Monday, October 22, 2018

weekend / odds & ends

I owe you all a planner review.

Or perhaps we'll just call it a break (after all, I don't want to overload you all!) and resume on Friday.

After today's day off, I am entering a call week.  Considering the discussion after my last one, I am not going to say too much except that I did try to engineer a somewhat better situation.  I covered 3 nights this past week (for one of my colleagues) in exchange for future coverage, so that I will not be covering 7 nights in a row this time around.  The only longish consecutive stretch will be from Friday morning to Monday night.  So hopefully that will feel more manageable.

This is also my LAST call week while pumping.  OMGOMGOMG. That alone makes me downright giddy.

We had kind of a busy weekend, including a Boca bat mitzvah and a playdate/dinner with two other families at our house, which was a ton of fun!

(SIDE NOTE: I encourage anyone who feels like they have to host things 'perfectly' or have a beautifully neat house in order to have people over to completely ditch those ideas, order some takeout, open some wine, and just go for it.  As much as I love to talk Kon-Mari and appreciate pretty design, our home is quite imperfect.  Honestly, it is so much less 'done' than many of our friends' homes.  We've got drawings on the walls and aging IKEA furniture -- perfect for 3 young kids in my opinion, but not exactly the epitome of style or minimalism.  But this is not where Josh and I like to spend time or money, so we just don't let it stop us from doing anything!)

Sunday we spent some time outdoors and took a trip to Target as a family, which is something we rarely do -- so it was actually kind of fun.

We came home with:
- A pumpkin + decorating materials (sparkly Sharpies, pack of stickers) for A's class (the reason for the trip)
- An extra pumpkin with spiky yellow hair b/c Cameron felt left out
- A charging cable for my phone in Josh's car
- A bat mitzvah card (a day after the event, oops)
- A pack of white T-shirts for a craft project Cameron is doing in school

I am actually shocked at our restraint.  Josh and I kept marveling about how (due to Prime & ordering everything online) it had been forever since we went into an actual store that is not a grocery store.  Also, G was mesmerized by the colors everywhere.

Anyway.  That errand wasn't terribly exciting but since it was done together as a family it was actually pretty fun.  The kids kept mentioning toys they wanted and we added them to holiday gift lists.

AND I started the 2017 photobook!!

All in all, it was a pretty mundane weekend but pretty relaxing and fun.  I also feel like I was kind of tired due to getting the flu shot on Friday (I know it's not 'the flu', but mounting an immune response can take work, you know!?).

OH, and - I took email + Instagram off of my phone!  I loved all of the comments on last week's post.  I will admit I put Insta back on today (because I'll need to post to BoBW, and because I do want to continue to post/interact there to some extent!).  HOWEVER - I just figured out there is a screen time passcode you can set!  I'm going to have Josh set one so I can't get back into Insta after my allotted time is up.

I still haven't read How to Break Up with Your Phone. Maybe I'm attempting to do everything in advance so I don't even need to . . .

teaser of a future planner review

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

EMAIL ANGST / touch it once!

As I mentioned, I ordered How to Break Up with Your Phone in an impulsive flurry the other day.  The title -- and its promise -- was just too good for me to ignore.

(I am going to be sad if it was just a marketing ploy and is not chock full of practical tips and a real plan, and I will let you all know so you don't make the same mistake if that turns out to be the case!).

When I texted Josh that I had ordered this book (because trust me, no one wishes for this breakup more than my beloved husband), he texted back*:

You know what?  I HATE EMAIL ON MY PHONE.  For several reasons:

1) It's distracting (obviously).  It's very hard NOT to read something once it's popped up and has some interest.

2) I feel compelled to check work email when I'm off even though really I do not need to (we have a coverage system for that).  Then I find out someone needs something and worry about it / end up doing work on my day off that wasn't really necessary.

3) It's incredibly annoying to respond on email, which means a lot of times they are read but then left to fester, which means I am looking at the same things MULTIPLE TIMES instead of once, creating a lot of brain clutter that didn't need to exist in the first place because IF IT WAS THAT URGENT, it wouldn't have been an email.

Touch It Once - maybe not always practical advice, but I certainly don't need to open up a preschool bday party invite 3 separate times before responding, entering it into my calendar, and ordering a gift.

I think that Josh is right - I predict Catherine Price (the author of the book) will tell you to take email off of your phone.  And you know what?  That is an unbelievably smart idea, whether she suggests it or not.  I'm going to do it now even before I read the book.  As soon as I figure out how  . . . after all, I can always put them back.  But I'd like to see if getting rid of the option to check (other than opening a browser window to do it, which is much more annoying) will force me to corral email-reading back to where it belong: on the computer when I actually have time/energy to respond.  Wish me luck!

* Yes, I get the irony.  But the truth is he kind of HAS broken up with his phone.  Other than the occasional text reply sent to me often an hour or more after I've texted him.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

personal time-use analysis, belated weekend update, and more

Oh man.  Just in case anyone is marveling over how well I seem to carry out multiple projects and hobbies and self-care items while still holding down a job and parenting 3 children, well . . . I am definitely not doing 'it all' lately.  I mean, who is, right?  That said, there have been times when I have felt pretty on top of my $@*(&#.  Now is not one of those times.

Things I wish I had more time for:
- Workouts.  I got in a grand total of 2 runs and one strength workout last week.  I recognize that is better than nothing, but it's less than I would like. Yesterday, armed with 'new week!' energy, I dutifully turned on Beachbody at 6 am only to have G wake up 5 minutes in.  She ate, but had no interested in going back to sleep.  Josh had been up twice in the night for BOTH A&C (this is not typical, but both fell asleep in the car and woke up thirsty) so I wasn't about to give her to him.  End result = no workout.

EDITED - same thing happened today, but I took G out on her first BOB run!  3 miles, and she was a silent but happy passenger and then fell back asleep.  WIN.

Writing.  It's no secret that I'd like to write a book proposal (a total planner nerd-out book, full of techniques and tricks and ideas for systems) . . . and of course then there's the matter of the actual book!  However, I recognize that now is not the time to add another big project.  This gnaws at me, though!  I'd like to think that strategic use of my days off and focused early mornings would allow me to slowly but surely make headway on this.  But I am not sure when the 'right' time for that will be.  Perhaps next year.

- Work tasks: the non-urgent but important.  I definitely have kept up with the 'urgent' portions of my job over the past 7.5 months of pumping (yes, I am counting, both up and down).  Patient care - check (though notes are often written after the fact, which is neither ideal nor pleasant!).  Everything extra, however, has gone by the wayside.  I think what I need is:

a) to spend call weekends at the office catching up without the pressure of having to go home to pump/feed G/whatever

b) to have my time in the office less interrupted (by people asking for things, pumping, etc)

c) 1-2 nights working a bit later per week (like an extra hour or so)

I was listening to a podcast discuss a 'shutdown ritual' where everything was neatly tidied away by the end of day on Friday, and that time spent planning the next week.  I spend that time frantically calling people (clinical) and doing what seems most catastrophic if I ignore it (residency), and always leave unsatisfied with the state of my work affairs only to start things up on Monday with a hectic clinical day.  I don't know what the answer to this is, because I do not really want to spend more time on work during the weekends (seems like it would defeat the purpose of my part-time status).  I'm continuing to hope that everything will improve once pumping is out of the equation, since it seemed more under control before!

I also would like to READ more clinical literature.  Right now, I tend to just look things up as they come up, but I'd love even an hour weekly of systematic journal perusing.

- Teaching the kids.  Josh came home early (6:45 pm) last night and we were able to give a lot of more attention to A's homework than usual.  I am torn between the attitude that it's HER homework (and hello, it's first grade . . .) and not mine to do, but reviewing it is an opportunity to see what she is learning and reinforce concepts (she had "13 - 8 = 4" in yesterday's packet).  Cameron seems to be really interested in writing letters and learning basic words but between A's homework and G's overall needs, he just isn't getting that much focused attention.  I'm not saying they will be damaged because of this (and I happen to think they are pretty lucky kids!) but I just wish I had more time to devote to teaching the big kids.

Things I feel like I am doing enough of:
- Reading.  Because I read while I pump, and good books beget more reading time in some magical way, I have read more this year than perhaps ever (aside from childhood, when I would churn though a literal stack of library books every weekend).  This renewed hobby has brought me so much joy this year!

- Attending to this blog, and I am proud of myself for finally outsourcing a site makeover and move (I am working with Amanda)!  Truthfully, posts like these do not take up all that much time (I've written the above in the last 18 minutes) and writing here truly helps me sort out my thoughts, so I guess I am fairly satisfied with the amount of time I devote to it.  So hey, there's something.

- Spending time with friends.  I don't have a crazy social life, and my typical Friday night ritual is pumping on the kitchen floor while reading.  HOWEVER, I am in 2 book clubs, and we have plans most weekends, and I am friends with other parents (making birthday parties + school drop-offs fun social occasions), and that feels like enough for me.  I'd like to see family a bit more (parents who are overdue for a visit, I'm talking to you!) but at least FaceTime helps with that deficit.

So . . . .what's the answer?  I recognize I'll have basically all the time in the world in approximately 18 years (if I am lucky enough to be healthy / still here / not foraging to survive in a post-apocalyptic world), but until then I likely need to spend time making peace with the finite nature of time, and also strategize to make sure I am using my precious minutes in the best ways possible.  I am hoping to reclaim earlier mornings once G is sleeping through the night, and getting some more focused work done (on writing, the podcast, my own projects) on my days off once she doesn't need me every couple of hours.  Ideally, on my days off, I could spend 4-5 hours working on my own things and the rest of the time with G & the big kids.

I am also really really hoping that I can fit the work I do mostly into the confines of a) the work day (with perhaps 1-2 days staying a little later at the office) and b) weekends when I am on call.  We will see how things unfold over the next 6-12 months.


Weekend in brief:
Summary: Josh had to do surgery (even though he was technically off) and I did not take it well.  However, according to my photos, there were some happier moments, so we'll just leave it at that.

my Fri-YAY

RFES Pumpkin Pancakes (so good!  And we use whole wheat flour instead of hard-to-find teff flour, though I'd like to source & try that someday!)

pancakes = a  hit

4 mi beach run (in heat)

new TBR stack!

basically a big kid already 

C = essentially a blur

impulse buy!

matching pajamas I found on sale at Bedhead (confession: I have matching ones too!)

cutest little nugget ever

Coming up:
- List of light candy fluffy podcasts that I use to self-soothe on my commute
- Planner Review #3
- Friends/social life post