Category Archives: To-Do List

98 Degrees and 3,724 Words

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I slept in this morning (10am!) and when I finally reached my computer at 10:40am, the Weather.com toolbar app said…  93 Degrees in bright red.  Living in Ohio, I never expected to go through days, much less weeks, at a time with temperatures consistantly over 95.  I like the summer.  I like swimming, sunflowers, and miniature golf.  I do not, however, like sweaty boobs.  (Yes, I said sweaty boobs)Now my weather.com tool is blessing us with an excessive heat warning (heat index up to 110 Degrees) and it looks like this…

Despite the fact that Dave and I have the boys this weekend and we always like to do something fun with them, we made the executive “Team Awesome” decision that today is an inside day.  Games/movies/reading (for the boys), homework (for Dave) and writing (Me) are all that will really be accomplished, outside of the mandatory eating and chores. This, to me, is an awesome change of pace.  I’m enjoying watching Dave work on Adobe Illustrator, as he’s less than a week into using the program and he’s already blowing my mind with what he’s doing.  Perhaps at some point he will let me post some of his stuff on here.

For me, I have a goal.  I would like to get to 5,000 words minimum on my book.  Considering I’m starting the day with 3,724 and this blog post is already 230 words long, I don’t think it should be an issue.  For once, I have a steady stream of ideas, and I know where I want to go.  I have questions, however, which are troubling and hinder my creativity despite the fact that they have nothing to do with the storyline.

  • Should I be double-spacing?
  • Should the pages be formatted for a certain size?
  • Should I bother putting the header/footer on the pages now?
  • What do I want the cover to look like?
  • How long will the copyright process take?
  • Who can I get to proof-read the story?
  • Is the book even worth my time to write?  (I’m enjoying the process, however will anyone want to read it?)

I wonder if Stephanie Meyer, J.K. Rowling or Robert Jordan ever had any of these thoughts?  I know I’m writing my book for self-publication specifically for e-Readers which they probably weren’t worried about/focused on at all, however I would love to know what thoughts passed through their minds as they were writing.

My Latest Theme Song

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I heard a great song when I was listening to slacker.com at work today and right away had to share it with Dave.  (I’ll share it with you in just a second.)  While it seemed like it written especially for me to share with him, I related to it just that just more because of the line:

Everyday a million things cluttering up my mind

Let me share the song with you, and then I’ll write more…

What Means the Most – Colbie Caillat

Colbie Caillat – What means the most from Miss Whatever on Vimeo.

OK, so back to a million things cluttering up my mind…

I have so much on my mind lately.  My brain never ceases to tease me with a bunch of “what ifs?’ and to-do items.  My to-do list feels as though it’s a million miles long, and by the time I get home from work I really don’t feel like working on any of them.  My brain is exhausted from thinking all day and I just want to veg out.  Unfortunately that’s not how I work.  Here are a few of my many thoughts…

  • How many words can I write in my book tonight?  Yes, I finally started writing a book about a month ago.  I have the general story line worked out in my head, but how to get from here to there is puzzling to me.  I’m about 3,500 words in, and from what I’ve gathered on the internet, an average size chick-lit starts at 60,000 words.  So, yea.  I’m struggling.
  • I have an idea for another non-fiction book, however I believe it would be best written under a pseudonym.  While my family and loved ones will know it’s out there, I’d rather that a big part of my past doesn’t.  I think the fear of its discovery has kept me from starting to write it.
  • How do I get hired permanently by my employer?  I’m working my butt off, as I have for the past 14 months, and would like to be a permanent associate.
  • Do I want to pursue another degree and open my job opportunities up tremendously?  I’ve been applying for jobs at a local (great) university in hopes that I will be hired there and be able to pursue another degree for free.  (Yes, they pay for employees to take up to a certain number of classes for no-cost besides books).  My only dilemma is that I have no idea what field I would want to pursue degree wise at that university.  I want to be creative and not pursue a field just because I could make more money in that field.  I just wish I knew what creative field I wanted to go into.
  • What do we need to do and how do we do what we need to do to buy a house?  Plainly said, we’re paying too much rent for what we’re getting, but other apartments in the area are even more expensive than ours.  However, we could buy a decent sized house and pay the same as we are now.  Unfortunately I’ve heard that a temporary job (even if it’s 14 months long so far) doesn’t get viewed as a “real” job by mortgage lenders, and my credit score is…  less than favorable.  I know I need to work on the credit score, however the job situation takes me back up to “How to get hired permanently
  • Four short years ago I got paid double what I do now and was tremendously unhappy…  And broke.  I was living off credit cards, unable to pay their bills, and paying thousands of dollars of year in bank fees due to interest and a constantly overdrawn bank account.  Now, we still live paycheck-to-paycheck, however I have learned to budget.  No, not all bills get paid every month.  But rather than pay tons of money in bank fees, we’ll deal with phone calls reminding us that our payment is late…  again…  But I’m happy.  We’re happy.  TREMENDOUSLY HAPPY!

Mixed Excitement

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I have the tendency to get excited by the littlest hint that better opportunities may be coming.  And it’s happening again.  I work as a temporary employee for an extremely well-known international corporation in my town.  I love the people I work with/for, and I’m good, if not great at my job.  However, the pay is lacking.  With student loans, rent, car payment and insurance, utilities, food, gas, etc. to pay for, there’s nothing left at the end of the month.  But…

“So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.” ~1 Timothy 6:8

And Dave and I try to be content.  We really try.  We get excited when we’re able to make a delicious meal out of ingredients already in the house.  Would a $10 trip to Kroger kill us?  No.  However, $10 saved is…  $10 saved, haha.

Anyway…

I’ve interviewed for no less than 5 full-time, permanent positions with the company I work for.  Unfortunately, with a number of graduating college students, other temporary employees, and an entire outside job-applicant pool, I’ve struck out on each one.  At my post-interview reviews, I was always told, “We thought it was a great interview, you just didn’t show enough company name examples in your experience questions.”  I would always reply, “I won’t give up!  You’ll see me again!”  And they did.

Two days after the miscarriage/D&C, and two days before our wedding, I trudged into the office, on my day off, to interview for another two open positions.  I felt I did good, however with the pain I was in I just wanted to come in, interview, and go back home to bed.

Yesterday, over a month later, I received a follow-up email from corporate HR, which is located across the country.  They want references and a salary expectation.  Is it acceptable for me to get excited?

On a side note, my work load is VERY full.  My planner is filled with items needing to be completed, and I get frustrated when, at the end of the day, I’ve checked only one or two off.  It’s not that I’m not working, however, that keeps me from completing items.  It’s my boss with a seemingly endless box full of random supposedly-“small”-tasks specifically meant for me.  While analyzing how I can achieve more checks in my planner each day, I realized that if anyone gets me started I can be quite a chatterbox.  To keep on track, I put a spot in my planner to keep track of my chat breaks.  Since then, I’ve also been listening to my headphones (slacker.com), which also deters my chatty co-workers from distracting me.  My chat sessions have DRASTICALLY decreased.  Yesterday, for example, I had none. 

A closing thought…

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” ~Colossians 3:23

Daily Chore Avoidance

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Like our boys, I continue to struggle with my daily chores. 

  • Right now in the middle of the living room I know I have three overflowing baskets of CLEAN laundry to fold. 
  • My budget/check book is a month behind.
  • My dresser top has a stack of (my) CLEAN laundry on top to be put away
  • The bottom drawer of my desk is a mess of bills and paperwork that need to be filed
  • My bookshelf is a wreck, and I’m not even reading paper-based books!
  • My closet…  whoo…  I won’t even describe that mess…

And on top of my daily chores are all those one-time projects that if I could just get them done once, I would never have to look at them again. 

But for some reason, I avoid them.  I avoid my chores as though they were the black plague.  But avoidance is infectious.  It spreads around my brain and body, wreaking havoc on all it touches.  The guilt of not doing what I should be eats away at my gut, making me think about my chores while I am at work.  My brain sends out repetitive reminders of what I should have done last night, exhausting my mind.  By the end of the work day, I’m tired of thinking about what I need to do, and am more interested in relaxing…  Again. 

And the cycle begins again, as though I started a dose of antibiotics, but never finished it.  The plague lives on.

I think I need to break into my bookshelf and call upon my backup support.  The Flylady.  If you’ve never heard of The Flylady, and you are struggling with organization and keeping your house clean, I strongly urge you to check out this free website and program.  While I don’t agree with all aspects of the program (ex. wearing my shoes in the house), most of the other topics helped me tremendously when I did the program years ago. 

I must say, however, that despite MY struggles with organization and chores, Dave keeps our house clean and presentable.  Despite the laundry baskets in the middle of the living room, I would not be embarrassed if someone knocked on our door unexpectedly.  (Thank you, baby!)  I just don’t like my avoidance.  I want to go to sleep having done all I could for the day, including having time to relax with the boys and Dave.

Just a thought…

How much easier our work would be if we put forth as much effort trying to improve the quality of it as most of us do tryign to find excuses for not properly attending to it.”  ~George W. Ballenger

Eating the Ugly Frog First

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After Dave and I got married, I had about a week where I thought, “Wow!  It’s strange to not be planning or up to our eyebrows in preparations!”

That time has passed.

With Dave now a full-time college student (way to go, baby!) and essentially a stay-at-home dad/housekeeper, me working full-time, both of us coaching Thing 2’s junior baseball team two days a week and Thing 1 in baseball practice another two days a week, we’re stretched thin.  Very thin.  I posted on Facebook the other day (my first post in a couple of weeks), “I wish all the running around we do for kids (and ourselves) could count as exercise and burn calories, because I’m exhausted!”

I see the benefit of all these activities, however.  First, we’ve been forced to become more organized.  Dinner has to be planned, and we all have to be ready to go when we need to go or the whole day gets set back.  Second, we’ve been forced to do tackle activities we don’t necessarily want to tackle but are for our benefit.  For example, I realized I let tasks such as balancing the budget and laundry slide over the past month and a half.  Did laundry get done?  Yes.  But it was on an as-needed basis, rather than regular up-keep. 

Now, after the boys go to bed, I’m more consious of what I do with my time.  My first awareness came when I attempted to watch a movie while Dave was doing homework.  At first his head turned, then his chair turned, and eventually, he would be turned all the way around, watching TV instead of doing his work.  As much for me as for him, I realized there are activities I need to do, and I may as well do them while he is doing his work.  He can focus on his homework done (letting us get to bed earlier), and I feel better about my massive to-do list.  Coinsidently, this revelation came at about the same time as Dave read “Eat the Ugly Frog First” in one of his assignments.  What does this mean?  Simply put, do what needs to be done before doing what you want to do.  You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, and have one more item checked off your to-do list.

The third, and probably greatest, benefit I see, is that I see the love and support the four of us all share for each other.  We are constantly there for each other, and by “we”, I truly mean ALL of us.  Things 1 and 2 (and I!) are extremely excited that their “Best Dad” is in school, Dave and I are supportive of them in school and sports, and the three of them are all supportive of whatever I do.  This family dynamic continues to amaze me, as it’s not what I (or the boys) knew only a couple of years ago.

I can never say it enough, but THANK YOU to all of you who have been there for me/us through the years.  It’s with your love, support and encouragement that we have gotten to where we are now, and for that we are EXTREMELY grateful.

XOXOXO