Greetings, HaQ readers! I have a confession: It’s funny how things go. I had a handful of different topics picked out that I might choose for today – and then something completely different presented itself and … here I am. Keeping up. Sometimes just barely with my own run-away thoughts, but keeping up nonetheless.
We’re six weeks into the new year, resolutions are looking a little dog-eared, and Valentine’s Day – that day of dedication and declaration – is right around the corner. What with time passing and obligations mounting, you may have an occasion for thinking “Oh <find appropriate word here>” “Smithers” would work. Or some such.
There’s a lot of “oh <sumthin’>” going around. Time just seems to get slippery when you have a lot to do. Those of us who teach are well into the spring semester. Students are turning in work (or not), there is always work to evaluate and return; there is always prep work and reading to do. (And I’m not even mentioning the other academic work there is to do…) It can all really pile up. Since taking on twice the usual number of students in one of my classes, I have writing samples to evaluate every week. If I let them get backed up, I would end up with a paralyzing guilt pile of work, and the students wouldn’t have the information they need to keep their projects moving. That is not a place I want to end up. To keep up I designated one morning each week just for that class and I do my marking then – and it’s done. No backlog, no guilt, no trying to squeeze it around other stuff already planned. Done. I know – some of you are thinking “DUH! This is not rocket science.” But it took me a while to get here.
It’s the same at home. Keeping up is keeping me sane. I’m in two book discussion groups – I made myself a schedule, taking into account the page count and the amount of time I had to read. It sounds goofy, but it helps me stay on track and be prepared. I use the same principle for shopping. I shop from a list and I start the new list practically when I get home from the previous shopping trip, because I know – that bag of dry dog food will last another 10 days. It goes on the list now so that when we hit bottom a week from Tuesday, I already have a new bag. (In my house we do not run out of pet food, toilet paper, or coffee – anything else we can deal with.) And – after repeatedly losing track of my paper lists (or forgetting them) – I use a list app on my phone, so I always have the list with me. Life is too short to spend 30 minutes on the weekend looking for a scribbled piece of paper.
This morning I found myself looking into the sweet crumbly face of my very last homemade granola bar. Oh dear. BUT – since I already the ingredients, I made a fresh batch and I will be set for another couple weeks. While they baked, I washed all the dishes. No mess and no fuss. I can’t tell you how much of a difference it makes.
When I have the everyday stuff in hand, not only does it mean my home-work and my professional work are done, I have time for other wonderful things. Like a long, lovely walk with those happy well-fed pups. See you next week, dear readers – I hear the jingle of the leashes!
Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!