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In which I forget how to be me

June 14, 2010

Or at least one version of me.

I’m a very organized person. You know, the kind of organized person that other people make Monica from Friends jokes about? Most of the time. I handed out timelines to wedding party members, vendors, hell even GRANDPARENTS at our rehearsal dinner so that everyone would know exactly where they were supposed to be and when they were supposed to be there. I plan vacation activities down to the day. I can tell you what we’re having for dinner every night this week as well as what days Topher is taking leftovers for lunch vs which days he gets to choose between a can Chef Boyardee from last year’s hurricane stash and a PB&J.

And yet today, I am all in a tizzy and feel as though I can’t find my sunglasses, car keys or underpants. Ok, well I can’t find my sunglasses, the car keys and underpants have been located.

I feel scattered and disconnected. I have no idea what I’m doing or what needs to be done, where I’m going or when I’m supposed to be there. Whether I am on track to accomplish very big and important things or if I will instead being wearing the same pair of jeans all week because I’m so distracted that I can’t remember to wash any clothing.

I’m a big list maker but at the moment I feel that I have too many lists going on. Perhaps the problem is that some of them are wholly in my head and some are partially written down and partially in my head. Also, there is no Master List.

And that’s where my real problem is. At this moment in my life I have more plates spinning than I can ever remember having. Blogging, sewing, baby-raising, marriage maintaining, job doing, life altering plan making… there are so many things going on right now and none of them are small. All demand attention in significant quantities. I can have all of the grocery/chore/blog post/BlogHer ’10 Sessions to check out/ territory review/ required trainings/ hot dog day/ vacation packing/ date night planning/garden seed buying lists in the world, but if I don’t have some kind of Master plan that tells me what tasks I need to be doing right now to make all of these big things come to fruition at the right time for my family and my work. I’m drowning.

So once again I come to my friendly neighborhood interweb friends for help. What do you guys do to keep it all together? How do you keep building the big picture stuff according to spec, while dealing with the day to day minutia?


How you do wear the same jeans for a week without everyone noticing?


18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2010 9:56 am

    Okay first the jeans… dryer and febreeze. Although I really can’t pull off ALL week… but definitely more than once! 🙂

    As for the rest? Oh dear. I don’t know. I’m gonna check back and see if you get good advice that I can steal, though!!!

  2. June 14, 2010 10:36 am

    Honestly, I only have three pairs of jeans and no one ever notices. Or maybe they do and they are just too nice to say anything..hmmm.

    • June 14, 2010 12:05 pm

      I’m sure they don’t notice. They probably don’t notice on me either, I just assume everyone is judging me when in reality they’re probably too busy worrying about themselves just like I am.

  3. June 14, 2010 10:39 am

    I totally wear the same jeans over and over and over. And I really just don’t care. Chances are there’s drool or snot on my shirt anyway, and that’s a hell of a lot more noticeable.

    As for the list, I recently read, in Redbook, I think, that a great way to organize yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed is to do a grid list. Mark your paper into four quadrants, then label them: House, Work, Family, Me (or whatever!) and then make sure you keep the lists “balanced.” I’m not ordinarily a list-maker, but I’m thinking of giving this a spin.

    • June 14, 2010 10:46 am

      Miranda that’s a good idea, thanks!. I am MORE than confident that I’ll run away with it though and turn it into some Grid On Steroids system… but I like it and that’s a great place for me to start right now!

  4. Liz permalink
    June 14, 2010 11:04 am

    I wish I still had that e-mail from you when I was wedding planning and asked you to be Monica to my Phoebe and you waxed on poetically about folder tabs glistening in the Christmas tree lights. It was classic Mae.

    I have no advice though since I don’t have a child to juggle and therefore no real idea as to how much that portion adds to the organizing/list building/etc… I would venture to guess a hell of a lot.

    Oh and I wear jeans way too many times in between washings, but they are jeans and therefore supposed to be worn in and well loved. At least that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

    • June 14, 2010 12:01 pm

      I just spent 20 minutes trying to find that email, hoping to inspire myself. All I ended up accomplishing was wasting even more time. I get a FAIL.

  5. June 14, 2010 11:57 am

    i was incredibly organized and anal about cleaning. and now i am not. i forget things…forget to do things. i find it incredibly disappointing that i no longer “have it together.” i have started doing something similar to the prioritizing list…broken up into categories…so far so good. i feel like it is helping.
    i hate to say it…but since i took a step back from socializing on the interwebs throughout the day…things feel more accomplished…and as much as i feel SO OUT OF THE LOOP…and that no one probably even notices i am gone…i think it was a good choice…for me personally.
    it really is hard to keep all the balls in the air flawlessly when you wear so many hats. try the prioritizing categories list…i am sure monica would approve!

    • June 14, 2010 12:03 pm

      Kerri: 1. I totally noticed and continue to notice. And miss you. However
      2. I have also scaled WAY back on the internet interaction in an attempt to get more done and it has been helping. I still seem to be losing focus on big picture themes and goals though. I like the prioritizing categories idea and I’m thinking about ways to implement it.

  6. June 14, 2010 12:23 pm

    I’m all about the lists. I get a high off being able to mark something from the list. Lame, I know. I have a great list app on my phone but mostly I go off the good old paper list. If I’m in a boring ass meeting it allows me to look like I’m making notes when really I’m doing personal admin. I carry my planner everywhere and honestly, I feel like it’s become a staple. Having a kid has made me have a much fuller planner lately. Literally, if I don’t write it down, I will probably forget it. I’m also really big on trying to get crap done at night so I’m not frantically running around doing in the morning, because I’ll forget and also, I’m almost always late. EVERY. DAY.

    As for the jeans, I’m totally stealing Law Momma’s idea. Normally I’m lazy and end up wiping my hands on my jeans while doing stuff around the house so they are disgusting and I have to wash. But just wait, when Piper is older, she will become your towel folder. And you will always have clean towels because you will have a small child to fold them.

  7. June 14, 2010 2:33 pm

    Wow…great post and great question. I’m not sure I keep it together. I wear the same jeans over and over…and I usually have drool, spit-up, cheese curl crumbs and whatever else the babies happen to send my way on all matter of clothing. It is all a crazy balancing act and sometimes mine spins out of control. It takes a few days for me to get my crap together again. I guess I try to think about priorities and list them in order of importance and try to go by that. I envy those women who seem to have it all together. But in reality…it is what it is…it probably just *seems* that way.

  8. June 14, 2010 3:20 pm

    When you figure out the secret, TELL ME.

    I’ve been desperately digging for it for 8 months.

  9. Adam permalink
    June 14, 2010 3:30 pm

    I am more of a leaf on the wind kinda guy, but Lisa is all about the list. I often find myself in the situation of trying to give lisa advice on this very topic (you should know, she feels overwhelmed in much the same way fairly often). Typically this boils down to convincing her to unwind. So I guess my advice to you, make sure your stress relief is prominently listed on those awesome lists.

  10. June 14, 2010 4:10 pm

    Never put worn jeans in the hamper unless they a)actually smell like ass or b)have baby food/spit up/poop/dirt on them. I keep mine lying on a chair in the bathroom so the steam from the shower sort of unwrinkles them. Or something.

    As for staying organized, I have no system. Which is why our credit card bill went unpaid last month and I just spent 30 minutes begging them not to raise our rate. I failed. I find that when I do have the motivation to clean/organize/blog/garden/whatever I can throw myself into it full force and knock one thing off my (totally mental) list. If I try to plan out my week (Monday, laundry, Tuesday, meal planning, etc) I end up resenting that specific chore and doing everything I can to avoid it. I suppose I’ve just resigned myself to a life of constant disorganization and chaos. Which sounds incredibly exhausting but is better than the current alternative – running away and living in a shack with no electricity or running water I don’t have any lists to make or bills to pay.

  11. June 14, 2010 8:38 pm

    Who cares about the jeans!!? I too was once a very “put together” “organized” person and then I became a mom and the shit hit the fan. As a teacher, I loooove schedules and you know what babies laugh at them (or at least mine did/does)…I’ve decided to embrace the unorganized life that is motherhood! Try it – it’s been kind of freeing for me!! (And hiring a cleaning helped us a great deal)

  12. June 15, 2010 11:30 am

    If you get a good answer, let me know. Also, if you know what kind of business I should start let me know that too. Maybe we can charge others for us to help them make lists? I’m never going to get ahead working for someone else and that fact in and of itself makes me feel like I’m drowning daily.


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