Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In Which I Complicate Everything, and Yet Simplify It

I was watching SNL....and the opening credits show the actors doing various leisure activities in NYC at night. Taxis driving by, people standing in line at clubs, people standing around drinking with their friends, people loitering aimlessly on dark streets, people playing games. Just standing around outside at 2 a.m. smiling. Aimless. Not a care in the world.

And I thought, this looks NOTHING like my life. Don't those people need to get to bed? Don't they have stuff they need to be doing? Why aren't they at home scraping dried yogurt off the bottom of their kitchen table? Or sleeping? Making lists of what they have to do tomorrow? Don't they have to get up early the next day? What is wrong with those people? Where are their purses?


After my last post, I decided to get a grip on a portion of my life. I was imagining in my head how I would treat my job if I had been hired to do it. And I realized that I would do things TOTALLY differently if I had been hired and had a boss in my job of "Full Time Mom."

I need some sort of SYSTEM. I have been working on a system of piles for years now. Just put it in a general area, in a general pile and hope you find it again. It kind of works, but it is frustrating and I usually don't have that Toys R Us coupon on the day I happen to stop at the store. And I forget five of the things I needed to get at Target and I forget to pay the Home Owners Association bill and get a scary letter in the mail about what they are going to do to me.

I mean, how hard can this be? I have juggled more paperwork in various jobs without losing anything. In fact, I was always super organized and things were always done right and done on time.  Maybe it is time to start treating my daily life as I used to treat my other jobs.

So, I decided to approach it from more of a career perspective. I bought a lovely black leather day planner. It is huge. And it zips all the way around. And did I ever love spending a few minutes in the Staples aisle picking it out. (Office supplies, will you marry me?) So, in that day planner is a calendar, to-do lists, coupons, bank deposit envelopes, various invitations, important hand-outs for kid things, pens, post-it notes, bills I need to pay, etc.

My plan is to get everything organized the night before, complete with a post-it note detailing the next day's events and things I have to get done.

Here is everything, all packed up and ready to go for tomorrow. Complete with post-it note reminding me to put the stroller in the car and to pack some sippy cups, and day planner zipped up and in the diaper bag.
Ahh. I love that sight. It makes me feel calm. Very calm.

Now I can relax.

But, my life still seems a million light years away from those people standing on dark city streets, fluffing their hair and laughing as they seem to have nothing on their agendas and nothing better to be doing.


joanna said...

What a great idea. I hope it works. I might copy. Although I'd stand in the aisle at Staples and think how much cheaper and chintzy school binder would be and probably not get one and then all my crap would fall out after 3 days.

joanna said...

And I love those totes.

Katie said...

Oh wow, y'all! Day ONE and I went off the rails. You see that cute little pink backpack? All packed up and hanging right by the door? Well, somehow (don't know HOW) we left it at home today. So Becca ended up with a full sized lemonade and big grab of Doritos in a resueable grocery bag for her school snack/bag, etc. Nice. Then I totally forgot to do half the stuff that was on my little post-it and STUCK TO MY DASHBOARD. Wow. I'm worse than I thought! :)

lisa said...

Wow....so- would you believe that last week I went and bought a PLANNER TOO? Before you even wrote this. I kept thinking about all that I have going on right now and especially how moving back to the states we're going to be on the go a lot (I hope) and how having a wall calendar isn't going to hack it so I got a planner and Im going to buy this plastic organizer at the 100Y store to keep all the important stuff with me at all times that I'll inevitably need....orders....POA..... Katie, I think we're going to be great friends. ;)

Angie said...

It's just day one. Grabbing the bags will be part of your routine eventually. And, seriously? Doritos?

Angie said...

Not that I'm judging. I took the kids out for ice cream before dinner yesterday.

Laura said...

I feel like I'm reading about my life when I read your blogs. I am so totally the same way. Like now for example, I am sitting here blogging with my elbow resting on a huge ass pile of old mail and bills that need to be filed and listening to 2 boys not falling asleep while all I can think about is the way my stomach feels rolling over the top of my pants and thank god nobody has xray goggles and why won't that damn dryer stop buzzing at me?! . . .So thank God I don't have a boss. I would have been fired a long long time ago.

Jen said...

So is it WORKING? Please tell me it is! It is a fabulous idea, and I agree totally with the whole outlook of this being a "job". It's even more that way when one of the kids starts Kindergarten, at least it was for me this year.

Katie said...

Hey! Whats wrong with doritos? I love doritos? :)

Bevo said...

Where ARE their purses?