Wednesday, August 12, 2015

When the Universe Says Slow Down

Last week I was all gung ho about hitting unpause and prioritizing my re-entry. I had plans. I was going to write often! I had my idea book ready! I was going to get organized! I'd planned my projects so I wouldn't get overwhelmed! But I was ready.

Then the universe struck me down with a big, old school Nelson from the Simpsons HA HA!

Nothing huge happened. Nothing awful happened. But little stuff happened and started to sabotage me.

First, it is important to understand where I am writing this. I am using my husband's computer while he's out. Where did I write yesterday? At the library, using a public computer while the girls were at morning day camp. WHY am I parasiting on others' computers?

 (insert picture here that is refusing to download onto the library computer. And breathe).

Because mine went from semi-annoying to barely functional. It has taken slow to a whooooooole neeeeeeew leeeeeevvvveeeellll.

Fooooooorrrrr the loooooovvvveee.

Those who know me know that I generally move fast. I talk fast. I write fast. I want answers fast. I don't have a ton of patience when it comes to waiting. If I'm sitting at an intersection, wanting to turn left, but traffic is bad and I don't see the possibility of turning left in the near future, I will turn right, change my route, and, quite possibly, take a longer route just so I don't have to sit there with my left blinker on, staring at traffic.

For me, one of the worst computer glitches ever is the molasses drip of death. And it's in every program. It is so slow. I've done a virus scan. I've uninstalled programs. I've defragged. I've backed up pictures and videos onto my portable hard drive. Nope, nope, nope, nope. It's slow. It's a few years old now and it's slowing down. I seriously can't type on it without wanting to throw it out the window after ten minutes. And before you think that you could handle it and this is just an impatience thing, let me tell you that Adam tried it and admitted that there was NO WAY he could handle it either. When most people type they want the letters and words to appear on the screen as they are typing them - not fifteen seconds later.

Then I powered through, fueled by the thought of a new laptop, wrote a post, and my computer froze up while I was in the editing process, and - surprise! - I lost the whole thing. Did I save in Blogger as I went along? Yes, I type directly in Blogger. I don't like composing in Word. Of course I did. Did the computer seem to recognize that? Nope.

So now we're researching laptops, which is fine, but in the meantime, if I want to write and not start yelling, I need to do it elsewhere, on someone else's computer. Not really the best way to get into a great routine.

Then there are the project plans.

My parents had the girls last weekend while Adam played golf in an endless sort of tournament, so I had the house to myself. I live for these weekends. I love these weekends. And man, did I have plans for this one. I had things to clean and things to clean OUT and things to organize. I was going to deep clean the bathrooms. I was going to organize the homeschool materials that are staring at me from the corner of my bedroom. I was finally going to finish my nook, which has sat, not quite at completion, taunting me. I had master lists and sub-lists and daily lists and project specific lists. I put times on there. I set timers to make sure I didn't dawdle. I put my phone in the car so it wouldn't distract me.

I dropped the girls off, stopped quickly at the store to pick up a few things they needed for camp, and worked at home for close to five hours before leaving to have dinner with Adam and some friends. The next morning I worked from 8:00 to 3:00, leaving the house for about ninety minutes in that time to vacuum out the car and hit the grocery store.

And what did I get done?

The laundry (albeit all the laundry).
The general pick up needed before any real cleaning could occur.
My car.

The end.

Wait, what? 

I worked in the house for SO LONG. I had systems in place specifically to avoid the feeling of "not getting anything done"! I didn't get distracted! I made lists! HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE???? People who knew of my grand plans asked about how I managed and I was embarrassed to have such little actual evidence of all my free time.

But really, I think the universe was telling me to slow down. Like I tell Madison when she wants to be at dance every night and do every style and a solo and a trio and ....

Slow down.

Your computer is slow. That's ok. You are finding creative solutions while you figure out the right replacement, which is forcing you to be more productive when you do get some computer time on a decent machine. Are you posting daily? No. But you've basically been on a blogging vacation for a month. Why are you trying to go from 0-100?

You didn't get everything done. That's ok. You got caught up on what you needed to catch up on. You didn't do the projects, sure. But you can't go from a lazy summer of no systems to a perfectly tidy, organized, efficient house in two weekend days. You just can't. Why are you trying?

Slow down.

Both girls are in morning day camp this week, which means, for three hours every morning, I am on my own. I can run errands. I can go to the library and work on a computer. I can come home and get some things done. I don't need to give myself crazy deadlines or goals.

When you go too fast, you burn out. You get frustrated. It's work. It's too hard. Sure, everything is shiny for little while and you feel like Superwoman...but it doesn't last.  You end up wanting to go back to Pause Land and waste your evenings playing Candy Crush and liking pictures on Instagram.

So I'm listening to the universe. I'm enjoying the fact that our house gets far less "messy" with two girls at camp all morning and our nightly clean up is quick, leaving me time and energy to do some more of the actual cleaning. I'm making good use of my limited computer time.

Touche, Universe. You win.

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