Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It is time... not for NaNoWriMo, but something...

It is time to take myself firmly in hand. Actually, it is past time. The bad mood and feeling sorry for myself has lasted too long.

I signed up for NaNoWriMo last year and got a couple of paragraphs written before I abandoned the project, wondering what made me think I could fit it in. We're really busy.

So when I signed up, I got on an email list and now they are recruiting and motivating for this year. And I considered it. Briefly. But we are still too busy. And I am moody and feeling sorry for myself. So I am not going to do NaNoWriMo. Obviously.

But before I decided that, I requested No Plot, No Problem from the library. Picked up it and skimmed it. And realized this is not my time to write a novel in 30 days.

In that book, I read about how, in preparation for NaNoWriMo, you should write down how you spend your time for a week. Here's what Chris Baty said,
The Time Finder is to novel-planning what the Jaws of Life are to accident scenes. But rather than extracting precious things from tight places, the Time Finder does the opposite: It helps wedge large valuables into impossibly small spaces. The tool is the ideal way to discover the answer to the inevitable question, "Where the hell am I going to find the time to write a novel?"
 To use it, you only need some paper, a pen, and some red, blue and green highlighers (or colored pencils). You'll also need five minutes a night for seven nights in a row. And before you start complaining about getting homework already, let it be known: There are treats involved.
Here's how it works: Before you go to bed every night, sit down with your paper and pen, and write down everything you did that day, broken down into half-hour increments. ....
After you've carefully documented your activities for one week, bust out the highlighters or colored pencils, and go to town. First, go through and circle or underline every REQUIRED activity in red. ... Things in this category would be basic acts of personal hygiene, commutes to work or school, actual working, running work-related errands, eating meals, shuttling friends or family around, grocery shopping, and paying bills. 
Next, go through the lists and mark the HIGHLY DESIRED activities in blue.  In this category go the things that, if push came to shove, you could get by without doing for a month, but which would cause major stress or hardship. ...
 Finally, take that last color and mark all the FORGO-ABLE activities that you could give up for a month without courting disaster. ....
If, like me, you've found that you're spending between an hour and a half to two hours a day on forgo-able items, you're golden. These will be your sacrificial lambs next month. Say good-bye to them now, and know they will still be there when you pick them  up again in thirty days.
So, I don't know what my 30-day blitz is going to look like exactly, but I am going to start with The Time Finder.

I think my 30-day project (see, I don't even have a name for it yet) will include exercise for me, a plan for regular meals and snacks for the kids (more cooking and less fast-fooding), a serious look at what is going wrong in my housekeeping and laundry life and what I can do to counteract my frustration with my lot in life. (And I know I have a really great life, but I still complain a lot and get really frustrated and sometimes yell at my family and for someone who is trying to be more Christ-like, not because I am great but because I am a follower of His and we are supposed to get more mature, this--the complaining and frustrated and yelling part--makes me feel disappointed and defeated.)

I feel like if I could get Leila to come over, she'd gently let me know, in no uncertain terms, to stop whining and get on with it. And I have a feeling she'd pray for me, too.

The exercise is to help me feel better. The meals, laundry and housework is about serving my family and working to make things smoother for all of us. But I will only succeed if I get to the root of the problem, whether it is laziness, pride, selfishness or whatever. And I can only overcome those things with the help of the Lord. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I have a lot of work to do.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The house is a bit of a mess; the laundry isn't done...

And I want to do what I can to change it. In the next hour. (Only an hour now because, goodness, it is 1:45 in the morning!) And then more tomorrow.

  • Get the uniforms that are needed tomorrow in the washer (5 minutes)
  • Work on putting up clean clothes. Put the kids' clean stuff just outside their door. (15 minutes)
  • Unload dishwasher. (What is this doing being undone this late in the day/early the next day? For shame!) (10 minutes)
  • Move wet things to dryer (1 minute)
  • Sweep kitchen (5 minutes)
  • Put away more clothes (10 minutes)
  • Tidy kitchen (5 minutes)
  • Pick up and straighten up downstairs (aiming for the biggest, most obvious messes) (9 minutes)
The most important first step, the step you cannot accomplish this without doing first, no matter who you are is...


I'll report on how my one hour worked soon...