“Donna, have you ever kept track of how long it takes you do to tasks? I think it may surprise you!” Yup, she was right!
It seems I am always rushed for time, frantically getting things done on my “Honey do it yourself” list. Simple prep instructions emailed should only take about 15 minutes top, right? Wrong, add one hour. I had to write the prep instructions, scan the line drawings, and there very rarely is not issues with me on how to do things. I think I’m computer literature, but I realize I know just enough to know I don’t know enough. I can hold my own, but there are tasks I know can be done quicker, simpler…if only I had the time to learn them!
Always running with my hair on fire, getting to appointments, meetings one minute before, or squeezing in under the late buzzer in my and my doctors heads! I am learning to leave early, just IN CASE of unexpected delays, like…traffic? I have been consistently early for a few weeks now. I’m enjoying the relaxation, not having my body tensed up because I’m going to be late…changing things I can change to make my life better, to improve the quality of my life.
“Why don’t you start earlier so you aren’t rushed?” The last convention I started one month before, prepping surfaces, getting packets done, and STILL when it came time to go, I still had things I brought with me to do. I felt so proud of myself that I was tackling things earlier. Bottom line, I guess it saved some stress but there was not absence of such.
A very small ornament class. “I need about 4 hours prep”. Wrong again. It took half that to basecoat them, Three hours to straighten up and set up my art room into a classroom, 1.5 hours transferring patterns. Of course there is always something that goes wrong, in this case the ornaments were drilled in the opposite direction needed. Out comes the wood filler, and it takes several “coats” to fill it in nicely and not have it obvious…. Then ,,,, they need to be drilled the right way!
I horrendously misjudge time. Funny, I am very good and mostly right on track with my curriculum when I teach, but most other things? Insanely wrong. No wonder I am always flying around with my hair on fire. As a bored kid my mother would often say “There just isn’t enough time in the day!” , I would roll my eyes, sometimes the days seemed too long. Now, not only do I see glimpses of my mother reflect from the mirror but I hear myself saying the same thing. I yi yi!
It isn’t only calculating task times, but also budget. I’ve been working VERY hard to get to a point where I will be able to cover my bills, I don’t want the stressers anymore. I’m finding that physically I am not able to do the things I did 10 years ago, even 5. I hate admitting that, I hate accepting it but it is a cold fact. The days of prepping for 4 classes at a convention, packing up the booth, getting out the new packets, prepping surfaces, copying instructions, pictures, line drawings, transferring design onto surfaces, driving 12 hours straight to get to the convention center, unload the van, set up the booth, organize all for classes, teach classes, run the booth (I learned quickly to split the booth with another, as it not only covers costs but also you have relief!), figure out the taxes, break down booth, load up the van, drive 12 hours home, unpack the van, inventory packets, fill orders, unpack all of the stuff that I just unloaded, and have a class scheduled for the next morning! INSANITY! I honestly don’t know how I ever did it, I know I couldn’t do what I have done the past decade and a half without the help of my mom. She works cheap…for coca cola!
I remember about 20 years ago when I was in much pain, doctors hadn’t figured out what was wrong with me, finally I saw a neurologist and he did testing, upon meeting him to find out the results he said “There is nothing wrong with you, you just have fibromyalgia!” Dr. Patak was his name. This was when fibromyalgia was just starting to be recognized by doctors, and his statement clearly proved he didn’t have a clue as to what it was, or what it took from me, what it takes from others. I renamed him Dr. Pecker and was fortunate enough to have a good primary care provider who hooked me up with some good resources, specialists. I don’t talk often (or I don’t think I do) about fibromyalgia. When I was finally diagnosed, with assistance of a cane at times, I went to a support group at the local hospital. I was the youngest there and it didn’t help me at all. I am sure they have changed, and I know the facilitators of the meetings now are very helpful, offer educational facts and self help tips, stretching, exercises. Back then I felt it was a “pissing and moaning” group. I vowed then that I wasn’t going to become “Donna Fibromyalgia Scully”, and I haven’t. Screw that. But I digress….so I was making my bed one morning, pain shooting up my legs and back, I started to cry and said out loud “I just can’t do this anymore, I can’t do everything anymore”. Now add to that aging, natural slowing down, I simply am not the woman I once was who could juggle it all, and as I said above, run state to state with my hair on fire. Only recently have I intellectually accepted this.
I’m growing leaps and bounds, making better decisions for myself, improving the quality of my life. I have wonderful friends, and a couple in particular who have helped me through so much and still do. I am quite fortunate there, and grateful as well. I also am grateful that I work from home, in my pajamas if I want, unless I am travel teaching or at convention. I have the advantage of throwing in a load of laundry where those who work outside the home have to fit that into their off work time. I can set my own schedule, if I don’t sleep well, I sleep in and work later, if I have a doctors appointment I can make it without missing work, it’s much easier for me to get there than those with scheduled work hours. I honestly don’t know how women, single women, do all that they do, not to mention single mothers…. Good god! I suppose that sounded sexist. I don’t know how ANYONE does this long term.
So am I moaning? Eh, I’m really not upset, and many times my words have been misconstrued as anger or griping. It is not, I am learning, changing, and shocked and sharing how wrong I was with timing of tasks, etc. Would I do it over again? No question..YES! I don’t even want to think about what else I am wrong about that is negatively affecting the quality of my life…not yet anyway…. It will reveal itself soon enough.
Change is not easy, at least not for this woman. It takes self discipline, reprograming, perseverance and more, but I am doing it. I have heard and read that “pain is the greatest motivator”. I agree. When our realities become painful, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, we are more motivated to change it.
Now off I go to do another 3 hours of work before I go to bed. Think I timed this right???????