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July 29, 2008

There are moments in life when you step back and evaluate. How is my life? Am I happy? Am I fulfilled? Am I productive? What am I doing well? What can I do better? How do I want to do better? How can I be better?

The answer to these self reflective questions is usually revealing for me, often depressingly overwhelming, but overall necessary.

Today, I put together a list of the things I should be doing every weeknight. I figure there’s time for errands, cleaning, playing, etc on the weekends.

The best case scenario is that I have 1.5 hours left in the day after doing everything I need to do. The worst case scenario is that I have -1.5 hours left in the day. Both estimates assume I’m not at work late, there isn’t a traffic jam, my clothes are ironed so I can get ready quickly, I can find my keys, etc. Neither estimates incorporate time to unwind, have fun, or socialize.

I think it’s possible to get everything done with time to spare, yet I regularly feel overwhelmed. Why is that? A few thoughts come to mind:

  • I think I’ve grown fond of leisure time. I probably take 3-4 hours a day, so the thought of at most 1 1/2 hours seems stifling. That’s just pathetic. Or is it?
  • There are always one-time errands that come up. Cooking for dinner group. Car registration. Moving. Even if the actual event takes 3 hours or even 20 minutes, the preparation and stress gets to me.
  • I’m not productive. I waste a lot of time, mainly from the lack of organization that causes me to jump from one task to another.

Given the reasons for being overwhelmed, what’s to be done?  I guess I’ll have to buckle down and be responsible, organized, and focused.  Things have to work out, so they will, eventually.  In the meantime, I’ll likely look like a chicken with my head cut off. If I seem testy, frazzled, and ready go to postal, I apologize in advance.

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