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Friday, April 25, 2008

In Panic Mode

Now I lay me down to sleep, and not to count a single sheep. For neatly in my mind laid out, are all my chores to brood about.

I don't remember where I first heard that little ditty, but it's always held true for me. The last couple of nights, just as my weary head has finally--gratefully--sunk into the pillows, I've heard a buzzer go off. The panic alarm in the back of my brain. You know the one. "Red alert! Red alert! No time for sleep, there's work to be done!"

Yeah--that one.

Whenever there's an "event", whether it's a holiday or a birthday or something like my son's upcoming First Holy Communion celebration, I panic. Usually for days. And I don't sleep.

I don't have a lot of cooking to do for The Event, I was smart enough to plan on just a few home made things and my mother and in-laws have both asked to bring something to help out. That's fine, I don't mind letting others help.

And there's lots of cleaning to be done--not a big deal, I still have a week and plan to take Thursday and Friday both off from my day job next week to finish anything I don't get to during the beginning of the week. I am a Flybaby, after all, (not a very good one, mind you, but I try and that's all that counts. LOL) so I know how to take baby steps and do things in small doses.

It's the day job, the writing deadlines and the promoting that's tipping the scales too far in the wrong direction, LOL. Add to that I've been walking for an hour every day, something I really, really need to do, not just for myself, but for my dog and my kids, who get dragged along on these walks, and there's more time out of my day. I've been able to fit that hour in small doses, walking the kids to school -- ten minutes up, ten minutes back, twice a day. That's forty minutes. Plus a good walk for the dog that's usually between 20-30 minutes, and I've easily gotten that hour in. I feel better, I'm not dragging in the middle of the day and I'm falling to sleep faster at night. (If only I could stay asleep!) So this is not something I want to push aside, because I know I'll never get back to it.

Usually fitting it all in is never an issue for me. I stick to my schedule and things gets done. But the house is still not quite put back together from the painting marathon (simply put: everything I can put back in place has been taken care of. It's the big stuff--y'know, the "guy" stuff my husband has to help with, like hanging shelves and big pictures, that hasn't been done. Big surprise there!) The warm weather hasn't helped becuase now every night after the dh gets home, instead of being available for all those little "honey do" things I've saved up, he's working in the yard. (If you've read my blog for very long you know I'm a Lawn Widow. Once the warm weather comes, I no longer have a husband. I have a man obsessed with weeds, dandelions and whether or not the neighbor's grass is greener or lusher than his.) Is it too much to ask for a couple of good, rainy days around here in the month of April?????

Since The Model Man came out at the end of last month, I've had trouble keeping up. I usually devote my Fridays to promoting and blogging and reading other blogs, but that means squeezing more work into the other four days, sometimes spilling into the weekends. (And the one week I didn't promote--The Model Man slipped from #1 to #2 for TWRP sales at Fictionwise. Coincidence? I don't think so!!!)

Anyway, this isn't much of a blog so much as it is a vent, LOL, and it occurs to me that while I'm sitting here sniveling, I could be writing or working.

But tell me...when things pile up on you and you need to get out from under, how do you cope? Get up an hour earlier? Stay up later? Dive in and do a marathon job of catching up?

I probably won't blog much between now and The Big Day, so I'll be back sometime soon afterward to let you know how it all went.

Wish me luck!


Paty Jager said...

You have a lot on your plate at the moment- it's no wonder your feeling a teeny bit frazzled! LOL

That's why I don't walk as much as I should - I feel like I'm wasting time away from the computer. But I feel better when I walk or exercise.

When I feel overwhelemed- I take a big breath and prioritize. Then I look at the priority items and determine are they life or death? What if I don't get this book finished by X? Will the world come to an end? No. If I don't get work done by the date I specified- again will the world come to an end? No. If the house isn't spotless- will anyone notice? Probably- Does it matter in the whole large scheme of life? No.
Worrying over things that really aren't a life or die situation- aren't worth worrying yourself sick over.

I know it's easier to say it than do it, but what would make your life and your family's life happier- you stressing over all the things that YOU believe need to be done, or you being happy and enjoying your time with them and let the other things go?

Just a thought.

Nicole McCaffrey said...

As always, you are the voice of reason, my friend.

As you well know, my in-laws--and probably my sister--will notice if there's a dust bunny in a corner somewhere. Silly as it sounds I hate giving them the satisfaction of finding one. I'd always believed that most people understood that since I have small kids AND work from home that my house could not be spotless. Until my FIL, the hypocrite, made some rude comments a couple of summers back. (But hey, drop in on me unannounced and you're bound to find a messy house, LOL) So now I'm paranoid, LOL.

I can look at the calendar and fudge around with response times for work, but I think if I pull a couple of early mornings and dive in I'll feel better. Mentally at least. *G*

The walking does seem to keep me from totally going off the deep end, though, LOL, so at least it's helping with the stress.

Unknown said...

You're allowed to vent/blog or whatever you want to call it. I get overwhelmed with all those same things sometimes. I have a lot of writing to do this weekend, too.

I'm sure your party will turn out well. Have fun.

Unknown said...

I hate that when people come unannounced (or even announced) and complain about your house, especially if it's only something small.

It's really hard to work even one job and have a family, much less two jobs - and then keep a spotless house, too. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Thanks, Ashely.

My FIL is from another generation--another planet really *G*--where a woman's worth is judged by how clean she keeps her house.

But since I'm not the resident pack rat, (that would be the son HE raised) I figure it's not my problem.

But since I work from home, each morning I have a choice: I can work and make some money. Or I can clean. Neither one lasts, but at least one helps me to buy groceries, LOL.

Still it's kind of frustrating to think that no one will ever stop by my house when it's messy and think "wow, Pete sure doesn't clean very often." No, it's always the woman's fault, LOL.

Good luck with your writing this weekend, Ashely!

Monya Clayton said...

Hi Nic - sorry I haven't been in more regular touch. I've been scrolling through Amazon looking for reviewers for TPATP, found four and have one pending, hooray. And doing more edits for the contemporary.
I have the excuse of being old but I do sympathise with your state of constant busyness. Been there, done that. Believe me, having the strength to cope is better than absolutely not being able to stretch oneself too far. Old age is a high price to pay for maturity, someone said. But hey, I don't mind, the advantages outweigh the health problems.
Just hang in there, do your best and DON'T expect too much of yourself. Housework comes a long way down my list as well. Just think, what will you remember about these days when you're eighty? I bet it's the walks, the time spent with the kids, the achievement of writing, the support of friends. The good stuff. All the negatives will have condensed into a cloud you don't look at anymore.
Tomorrow I must do something to my blog! Haven't touched it in ages. You put me to shame, there.
And congrats on the good reviews for The Model Man.

Sarita Leone said...

Just sending hugs your way, Nicole. That's all. No advice, just hugs.

Well, maybe a commiseration... I can so totally relate to how you're feeling. I'm one of those neat-as-a-pin housekeepers so if I get a drive-by drop-in I just about lose my mind wondering if there's a cobweb that's grown overnight and is dangling in a corner, LOL.

But recently I've let up a bit on being uber-compulsive. I've adapted the "Does it inspire? Or tire?" point of view. There have been a few things that have been deemed more tiring than inspiring so I've let them slide. Feels good, too.

So, sending hugs and hoping your family's special event will be wonderful, holy and happy. I'm sure that with--or without--a dust bunny present it will be a lovely day.

And, hugs. :)

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