2021-06-30 List Making Foolishness!… ✅✅✅

It’s the last day of the month. This month I did something I haven’t done in a good long time and that was to put my monthly goals on the whiteboard in my office. In truth I only did it about a week ago in an attempt to reboot my productivity with regard to longer term goals. There are things I do every day or every week and for that I use my paper planner but some things I aspire to do are bigger or “one and done” and it helps to make a list so I don’t forget. 

Well, most things I won’t forget because if they are important they will stay in my brain so it’s maybe more about prioritizing. Oh, and also about the feels I get when I get to cross things off. 

It’s probably ridiculous but I’ve gotten a lot of stuff done in June and really wanted to “see” that. Now the real truth comes out. I did my to-do list and THEN wrote down the list so I could feel good about how much got done. 😜

But.. it also made me look ahead to July and put some forethought into that list. Obviously since it’s the last day of the month there are some things that did not get done and those just carry over but what else might I want to focus on for the month? I’ve got goals for the lit mag, goals for my personal writing endeavors, house projects, and friends on holiday for the summer who I want to spend some quality time with. 

My July list looks really ambitious and I actually ran out of room on the whiteboard. Might have gone a little overboard, but as I said the priorities are key and that will get sorted out fairly soon. I’m really looking forward to July actually. 

I believe the reason I put this monthly “accounting” on pause for so long is because I was trying to dial things back and be kind to myself with regards to expectations for myself. I have a history of over-committing and that always ends in me feeling badly for not putting the proper effort into a task. 

2020 was rough, you know, and I had finally come to terms with the fact that I needed more time to just live and focus on my family and our daily needs. Now I’m finally feeling much better about the state of the world and it’s evident in my better sleep and more consistent good moods. 

I still have to be careful and not over commit, but if I take a day I have a fair amount of free time and visit my list, it will feel great to start picking those things off. One by one. 

Today I have almost the whole “work” day to myself to get things done and I’ve got a high hopes about what I’ll be able to accomplish. And still have time to get in my steps and cardio. 

Besides my regular daily chores, I want to work on the lit mag, run a few errands, and then maybe figure out what else I can knock off that list (and it’s not even July yet!). We’ll see how that turns out.

I guess today’s post is all about lists, to-dos, and future plans. I suppose it’s time now to stop writing and start doing or I’ll never get it all done. 😜 ✅✅✅

Cheers to Getting It All Done,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-05-30 Two More Days

To get things checked off my to-do list. It’s deciding what’s important and what is not. I feel like I haven’t accomplished much, but to be fair isn’t loving life enough??!!

Today I picked up my car from the tire place where I had new tires put on yesterday. That was on my to-do list in like January and so I’m only like five months behind. I procrastinated that one so long. A few weeks ago I discovered one of the tires was slightly flat. The indicator light in my dash was the first clue. That day I thought to myself, “this is it, finally the last straw I was looking for to motivate me to pull the trigger on replacing my tires”. WRONG

I used the event as a lesson to C on what you can/should do if the tire is low but still driveable. We went to the gas station and put air in it. Checked the tire for the max pressure and then plunked 4 quarters in the machine. A buck for air?? Wtf?

Then I channeled the voice of an older generation, “back in my day son, Air was free. What is this world coming to?”. And that air bought me a little more time on the tire. Several days later and I’m back at the gas station again putting more air in, instead of calling to make an appointment to have them replaced. Somehow I’d found a way to procrastinate just a little longer. Whatever. Then a week went by, including a long holiday weekend and when I went out to the garage, I discovered my tire was very flat. Too flat to drive on. Uhhhh, ok.

This time I was going to teach JS a lesson. You know what you can do if you have a slow leak in your tire and it’s flat and you need to drive to get somewhere? You pump it up with a manual bike pump. Hell yeah, you can do that! And we did. So the first order of business after the holiday was calling around to get estimates and then pulling the trigger. When I was all done with that mess (this morning walking to pick up my car and then driving back home), I wrote “Get Tires Replaced” on my to-do list for May and then crossed it off. Cuz that’s how I roll.

So now I have two.. strike that.. one more day to get all the stuff on my list done. It’s not happening. I’ve procrastinated everything that is not essential. If the last day or two has taught me anything, it is that the essential stuff gets done anyway, so no reason to list it or even think or worry about it. If it wasn’t for the satisfaction of crossing it off the list, I might not even have a list. (OK, that’s a lie, I love my lists). But whatever.

I started writing this blog at like 8AM and got sidetracked by life and now it’s 10:47PM and time for bed. It turned out to be a pretty great day, despite not checking any more things off of my list. But.. there’s always tomorrow. 😉

Whose Counting Anyway,
~Miss SugarCookie

2019-05-03 Threes and Things I Really Don’t Need

Today is either.. “Third Time is a charm” OR “Three strikes and you’re out”. I’m talking about donating at the Red Cross. I’ve tried twice before in the last couple weeks and my hemoglobin has been too low. Last time it was by two tenths of a point and that’s sooooo close. I’ve been eating all the right things (Cheeseburgers – yeah!!), and taking iron supplements.

In truth, I’ve taken a LOT of iron and I know my body can’t absorb all that. It’s kind of messing with my system. If I’m not successful today, then that’s it, I’m out. I will conceed and admit that this whole blood donation thing is just not meant for me.

My hemoglobin is not so low to be a concern medically and if I went to my doc for it, he would just say, “perhaps you should consider taking an iron supplement”. Yeah.. thanks. I think it’s just how I was built. You know my temp always runs under 98.6, my BP is moderately low, these are the facts. There are variants in human biology and just because the norm is 98.6 degrees, doesn’t mean we cant have slight degrees in differences does it? Maybe that’s wrong. I dunno. 🤷‍♀️

The Fitbit Alta HR was on sale (30 bucks off) at Target this week and I pulled the trigger on that. The HR came out like two weeks after I got mine and I’ve wanted this one for a good long while. It’s the first purchase I’ve made from the list I started last fall for “things” I would buy when I was “back in the black”. I haven’t looked at that list in months and that’s pretty telling. I don’t need those things. I just needed a mechanism to get thinking about them out of my brain and the list was it. Then, the things I continue to think about are truly the ones I’ll value, like the Alta HR. For Christmas I got an echo dot and it’s perfect for this. I can verbally add things to a grocery list or wish list as I think about them and then forget about it. When I’m at the store shopping, I look at the stuff and can sort though what I really need versus what was just a fancy thought.

For example, I don’t really need a new bathroom scale. I’ve wanted an Aria, but I don’t need it. I’m keeping track of potential bday gift ideas for C. I’m keeping track of home improvement ideas. I’m keeping track of potential vacation destinations. It’s awesome. Then my mind is clear to focus on what I need to. It doesn’t replace my beloved white board. That’s my goals for the current month and I need that as a daily reminder and the satisfaction I get when crossing things off when they get done. This morning I’ll be revisiting the list and getting rid of April and doing May. That’s also a wonderful exercise.

It shows how much I got done and what was not important enough to do. Some incomplete things will make it to the May list and some will be re-evaluated and fall off. I have a former co-worker, Don, who used to say that if you put something off long enough, you know it’s not that important and will likely never get done. He’s right.

It’s a very grey, foggy day here and perfect for a lazy day at home. I should be able to get some good hours into work since I won’t be enticed to go outside and play in the yard. I’ve got a serious dandelion issue that needs some attention but waiting for a break in the rain to administer some weed killer. (Put it on the list). 😉

For posterity, here’s my April 2018 list before it gets erased from the whiteboard forever…
Taxes ✅
Get Roof Scheduled ✅
Finish Easthope Book ✅
Paint Dining Room ✅
Organize Poetry Blog
Reach out to Former Customers
Get the RX8 Running
Get health insurance on the kids ✅
Plan C’s Birthday ✅
Submit Poems to UNO Spring Contest ✅
Read Kinzie Chapter 6
Poetry Workshop
Visit Amy ✅
Pay C’s Doctor Bill ✅
W4 Change
Submit April MFA Packet ✅
Sign up for Summer Residency ✅
529 Nest Deposit
Work through Idea Factory Stuff ✅
Recycle Glass

Not a bad set list for April. And not a ton to carry over into this month. I’m sure soon, plant flowers will be added and that will keep me busy for a while.

Time for me to go boost my iron by eating some more red meat. Fingers crossed that the third time really is the charm.

Cheers,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-07 What Works and What Doesn’t

Last week I decided to throw my trusty to-do list out the window and just live and do the things that struck my fancy when the moments were ripe. By Wednesday I felt very unproductive and unsatisfied and by Thursday I decided to make a list and start crossing things off and by Friday, I felt good again about my week. Why that makes such a difference, I will not pretend to try and understand but can accept the outcome none the less.

It’s Monday again and I’m awake after only 5 hours of sleep and my brain is not wasting any time on how I might change my approach and try something new, it’s ready to make a list and get started. I’ve checked the weather and it will be overcast again but clear which means I can start on my next big backyard project. I’ve checked the class schedules for both Jazzercise and my Genesis Health Club and there are two classes later this afternoon I would like to attend. I know Josh is coming over sometime this morning to borrow my ladder and at some point Alabama (who I wrote about yesterday) would like to meet up in person. I need to look into school registration for the kids and fill out some online forms and also figure out what to do since they will not be physically present for the “in-person” part of the process. So that’s the start of a list for today. That works.

Since winging it does not seem to work for me and making lists does, I may just make a list for my week and also for the rest of August. I’m really not reaching out to any old or new acquaintances or friends or family for meet ups this week so I can focus my meals on eating healthy and not spending money. In July I was really focussed on connections, but now I think I will turn my attention more to myself and just getting stuff I want done, done.

I’d like to get this edging project underway, sell my car, clean out my garage and potentially paint it. I’m going to take an assessment at Metro to see what kind of career I might be geared for. I’d like to take a self defense class and perhaps try the climbing gym and find some other classes (that are free) at Genesis that I might be interested in. I think all of that is enough to keep me busy for a month.

Yesterday I spent half a day working out. I literally did Jazzercise followed by Yoga/Pilates followed by cardio on the elliptical machine. I had brief breaks in between, but was feeling pretty awesome by like 2 in the afternoon. Then I switched gears and had Steph and Barb over to the house for wine, and got an upsetting text, and ended up eating at Qdoba with Josh. All of that was OK, but I ate too much and then vegetated while I got somewhat caught up on Game of Thrones. While all of that was just fine, by the end of the day I felt really terrible. I felt like the exercise I did early in the day was negated by my poor food choices later in the day. So the take away on that is that the exercise works and the focus on the food and sitting around watching a show doesn’t. Not for me anyway.

Now that I have put some thought into what’s on my list for today, this week, and this month, I can rest easy until it’s really time to start digging in. Right now, however, it’s not even 7AM and I’m not quite ready just yet.

Welcome to Monday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-01 Welcome to August

Yesterday I did that thing that I have been doing every Monday for several weeks. I made a list. I’ve made a list at the beginning of the week and each day take care of something so that progress is inevitable. Last week I crossed off all but two or three things on the list and that leaves me with a pretty good feeling. Those things that don’t get done end up on the subsequent list. Yesterday I followed suit and made a list, but by the end of the day, I’d thrown it in the recycle bin. This week I am trying something new.

This week, I am going to do whatever I feel like doing in the moment and try to completely let go of what “needs” to get done. I might go for a walk and I might sort and file paperwork and I might do some weeding in the garden. It’s an experiment to see if I 1). Still get enough done to feel good about my accomplishments and 2.) If I feel less pressure about all my “commitments”. In recognizing that sometimes I am my own worst enemy in both making too many promises and also feeling overwhelmed too easily, can this turn make a difference or will that list just remain in my head to irritate my brain and make the anxiety worse?

I ended up at Home Depot yesterday in the garden section. I wanted to see if there were any good perennials left since most other garden centers have a supply that has diminished considerably. I was shocked to see they still had a lot left, in pretty good condition, but also still full price. I find that Home Depot is one of the most expensive garden centers in the area and I rarely would buy anything there. Why pay more when you can get the same thing cheaper somewhere else? Anyway, now you can’t get the same thing somewhere else, so I guess the price is what it is. I still will not pay it though.

What I did find is several quart perennials on the clearance rack for 2 bucks each. I, of course, had to save these lovelies from their fate and spring them from the Home Depot discard bin. They will now be afforded a long and happy life in the midst of one of my many flower beds. What this means for me, of course, is that today I have to spend a little time figuring out where they will go and getting them in the ground. I bought 6 dwarf day lilies which will sport pink blooms and 4 larger day lilies which look like they will be more of a red hue. Probably the smaller ones will go on the east border of my house and then the larger ones will be on the west and perhaps one in the front southeast corner.

It’s only just 7AM now and still pretty cool outside and it might be a perfect time to get outside and figure it out, but something in me is not ready for the day yet. Something in me wants to just lay in bed a little longer and

It’s going to be beautiful out and looking ahead at the weeks forecast, there will not be a bad day in the bunch. Only time will tell if my new approach is going to have the desired affect on my week. In any case, it is August now and the second month of the “Summer of Shyla” has officially begun.

Huzzahhhhhh,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-06-23 Now What?

Four weeks ago when I quit my job it felt scary, but wonderful. I felt as if a huge weight was lifted off me. All the technical debt of the past and all the piles of work in the future were suddenly not going to be my problem anymore. I had resolved to take some time for myself and just live, without the burden of work. That was four weeks ago.

Today I am waking up on the very first day I don’t have to go to work. It’s a Friday and would not have had to go into the office anyway, but it still feels strange that I’m not grabbing my phone to check for email (it was turned off already). It feels strange that I don’t need to call in to our morning meeting at 8:45am and let people know what I’m doing today. It feels strange that I can just continue to lie here in my bed and nobody will care.

My kids are not here today so it’s reeeaaally quiet. It’s almost 9 now and I’ve been awake and thinking about “stuff” for a while now. Mostly I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do today but also about what I am going to do next week and the week after that. I have not really put a lot of thought into it, other than planning a vacation for the kids and I, but now I definitely have the time to think about it.

My friend Rebecca said to not “over plan” my time, which I completely agree with. I do, however, intend to accomplish a lot of things in the next few months and want to be smart about my time and not waste it. I don’t want to fall into a pattern of sleeping until 10AM and binge watching shows and then wake up three months from now with an empty bank account and nothing to show for it. That’s an extreme and not really me anyway, but I want to avoid anything resembling that. Which leads me to making lists.

I may or may not have mentioned lists before but I’m a consummate list maker. It’s how I get shit done. I decide early on what I want to accomplish and then I make a list. Whether it be a “weekend to-do” list or a “garden planning” list or just a simple grocery list, that is where I like to start, and after that, it’s just a matter of execution and crossing things off. So perhaps that is exactly where I should start with this new adventure.

Before that, however, it is 9AM and I need to get out of bed. Maybe a little caffeine and a little time on the elliptical will spark my inspiration for what should be on my list.

Later Gaters,
~Miss SugarCookie