Thursday, October 27, 2011

I think I might be done with beating myself up...

I have a really bad habit. I LOVE to write to-do lists. But I'm overzealous in a big way. Rarely, if ever, are my to-do lists lists that can actually be done in a day. It's like the worst kind of sabotage and I set myself up for failure every morning. I wake up excited to tackle a day (Seriously! Sometimes when I'm writing my lists I actually get excited at the prospect of such productivity!) and get out my scrap of paper and start jotting down everything that I'm just sure I'll be able to accomplish in the next 15 hours. Okay let's be real. In my next 18 hours. I'm never, ever in bed before midnight no matter how many times I set that goal...

So I write down the whole list of things to do. The errands, the bills to pay, the chauffeuring gigs, the household chores, the design work I want to do, the meals to cook, the exercise to fit in, etc. I write it all down. Usually with boxes to proudly place my check mark in when I'm ready to tick off a completed task.

And then I usually plow through the first 2-3 things on the list. And I mark them off with a smug grin. Look at me taking down this monster list! I am woman; hear me roar!

And then somewhere around the time that Molly drops the milk jug, or Toby can't find a clean pair of jeans and has a complete meltdown because heaven forbid should my son (living in Hawaii!) have to wear (gasp!) shorts [the horror!] to school one day, or Brady won't stop asking for variations on what I've packed for lunch or Ben is grumbling about how heavy his backpack is.... I crumble. The list gets lost and I start muddling my way through a day of obstacles, sidetracks and lots and lots and lots of messes.

At the end of the day when I find my morning list buried under piles of school notes or receipts, I see a few measly boxes check marked and a whole bunch of unfinished tasks glaring me in the face. My shoulders slump and I usually heave a few heavy sighs and I count the day as a big ol' flop.

I think I'm done with this whole beating-myself-up-daily grind. That's not to say that I'll stop making lists because I NEED to write things down to help me remember the critical stuff. I think I'm just done with only looking at what wasn't accomplished during the day and I'm going to start focusing on what I did get done during my 15 18 hours.

Today I:

  • Cleaned Molly up after a nighttime potty accident. (What?! Ugh!)
  • Packed lunches for my boys
  • Got the kids out the door in (relatively) clean clothing
  • Fed my daughter
  • Fed myself (on a schedule even! The things we do to get in control of our weight...)
  • Drank a ton of water (no diet soda! Yay for me and will-power...)
  • Designed a fun new product to go into the Scrap Girls store tomorrow and did all the business-y stuff associated with preparing it to launch
  • Designed a freebie product to offer Scrap Girls customers in the near future
  • Designed two digital scrapbook layouts to go with my new products (and to go in the kids' books! Two birds one stone baby.)
  • Cheered on my weight loss pacing partner
  • Accepted a little freelance design job
  • Talked with a friend (when we both needed a little adult interaction)
  • Agreed to help with a baptismal service at church this weekend
  • Washed, dried and folded a few loads of laundry
  • Put a few dishes away and cleaned the counters
  • Made sure the kids' homework was done
  • Had a couple of great heart-to-heart conversations with Ben about some heavy issues (LGBT club at school, racism and the prejudice against him as a minority at his school, and also confronting one of his teachers about her cuss word of choice...Wow. What a day.)
  • Shuttled the kids to swim lessons
  • Sent the kids to the park to play (I could have just let them keep staring at the xbox and tv right? I think getting them out the door to play is an accomplishment in it's own way...)
  • Took Brady to his dance class
  • Exercised for an hour at Zumba class
  • Cooked dinner for Willy and I (he fed the kids while I was gone. Woot!)
  • Wrote a product review to publish tomorrow on Win, Lose or Blog
And then I also:
  • Checked out Facebook for a bit
  • Played around in Pinterest for a little longer bit
  • Played a little Pac-Man
  • Watched last night's episode of the X Factor
  • Read a bit of my book
Did I get new vacuum bags and get my floors vacuumed today as written on my list? Nope.

Did I get the kitchen sparkling clean as written on my list? Nope.

Did I clean up my hot spot pile of randomness in my bedroom as written on my list? Nope.

Did I create and craft a new educational game for my preschooler? Nope. (Not on my list... but c'mon. We Supermom ourselves to death sometimes and I've put stupidly ambitious things like this on my lists before.)

For goodness sake. I had a busy day! I was productive and attentive to my kids and their needs and I took care of myself and the essentials. I think I'm done with the whole beating myself up thing. I'm going to stop moaning about the non-essential things that I don't get done in any given day and start trying to celebrate the talks with my kids, the shuttling kids to and from activities that they love, the exercise, the interactions with other adults, etc as the accomplishments that they are.

Oh, and the Pac-man. I'm definitely going to celebrate the Pac-man.


  1. I'm tired just looking at your list. ...or is that bc it's 4:50 am and I'm getting twins to sleep while looking at your post. Seriously though sounds like a very productive day to me. -Teresa

  2. I remember being a mom of young kids and all the distracting work it entailed. Along the way, we made some beautiful memories captured in photographs, and I sewed for creativity when they crashed for a bit. Looking back, I accomplished the essentials... priorities. Good job, Ang. Mental anguish, take a hike!

  3. You are such an inspiration! I <3 your blog and YOU! Amy (former JJG)

  4. Oh, how I love your blogs, Ang. Seriously. What a great way to start my day! I am a huge list person too. In fact, I carry around a Composition notebook with me at ALL TIMES and jot down things I need to do throughout the day. I'm obsessed.

  5. Your list is HUGE girl! Im impressed by all you tackle in a day!!!!

  6. I love enlightening posts by you. Also, you excell at the things that matter. At the end of the day if we can say that we have loved and nurtured it has indeed been a good day. Way to kick the guilt to the curb. We need less guilt and more praise for the work we do. Your list is stellar by the way.