Tried and true

Project 365 #288: 151009 Making Plans
Photo by comedy_nose

I am a sucker for a new scheme. If you can dress something up, sell it under a different title, or explain it to me a different way, I am going to be eager to dump whatever I had been doing and try it.

This is not helpful. Techniques that I have used with great success in the past somehow fall away and are lost as I rush to try something new.

What are these tried and true techniques?

Using a calendar. It’s okay… I’m laughing at this, too. Yes, folks, using a calendar has been known to help keep people organized. It’s not that I disagree with this; it’s just that I somehow get distracted and forget to carry and check one. I should do this. Calendars are very handy at the whole knowing-where-you-are-supposed-to-be thing. Much better than what Marcia Ramsland calls the “crisis and memory” method, which is what I tend to fall back on.

Keeping do-or-die To Do List close at hand. When I do this, I remember the things and I do them. Again, a no-brainer. Again,  something I do sporadically, not regularly.

Following specific set routines. FlyLady saved me from the Pit of Despair ten years ago. Yet, somehow, the whole concept of sticking with set routines has not clicked with me in my personal life. At work, it is different; I am organized and routinized to an admittedly OCD extent. But at home, where I have to create and implement the routines all on my own, they never seem to stick for long. I tend to revamp and rework them too frequently and then give them up altogether.

Following The Rules for my health. I know ’em. But I sure don’t always do them.

I just need to rededicate myself to doing these tried and true things. Put up post-it notes to remind myself to do them. Wear a list of them around my neck. Anything to help make my life easier!

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! that we can afford to go on this trip. I know we did it by scrimping and saving and I am proud of us for our hard work.
  • I’m lighter! I have been passing up all kinds of useful free things lately. It is a good feeling to know that “having things in my house that I know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” doesn’t mean I have to have them all.

People think I’m…

Flaky. Unreliable. Forgetful. Scatter-brained. Undisciplined.

I’m not saying that people don’t also think I’m all kinds of nice things. Smart. Funny. Friendly. A good storyteller. Good with kids. A voracious reader. An excellent sister [smiles and waves at Gina Marie]. I really and truly don’t discount those things, but they seem to get overshadowed by the Big Problem:

I let people down. Frequently.

Why, why, why?  I’ve analyzed it a million times and come up with a million reasons. Some are based on my behavior: I overcommitted or double-booked.  I didn’t check my calendar.  I didn’t write it down.  I did write it down, but then I forgot or lost the list or the paper or the calendar.  I thought about ____ but it was never the right time to go/call/do whatever or whoever I needed to, and by the time I remembered again, it was too late.  Other reasons are based on my character or innate traits: I have a bad memory. I must have ADD. I am undisciplined. I am a screw-up.  More responses come from other people: I never call them back.  I never check my voice mail/email. I must not value their time.  I must think I am more important than they are. They thought they could count on me to _____, and now it did not get done.

This brings to mind a lyric from one of my favorite songs by The Wonder Stuff:

I’ve been a long-term disappointment to myself
But it hits like a hammer when I’m that to someone else…

I hate disappointing people.  Hate it, hate it, hate it.  Yet it seems to be a constant in my life.  It’s on my mind this weekend because our church was calling for volunteers for a local organic festival being held this weekend.  I really want to volunteer, to walk the talk, as it were, but – again – I can’t ever seem to get enough of a handle on my life to actually do it.  So another weekend and another opportunity to give back to my community have passed me by again.  Urgh.  Not to mention not getting in touch with my friend Cindy about scrapbooking, not communicating with Charles about workout appointments, not getting the promised treats for Quinland’s slumber party, not getting my Girl Scout paperwork in… and those are just the things that people have brought to my attention.  There are probably five more things that I was supposed to have done in the past 48 hours I am not yet even aware that I have forgotten.  This is how my life goes.  I need a memory stick to upgrade the RAM in my brain.

  • {Clutter} released: Five more magazines and three unread newspapers!
  • {Body Fat} released: Tons of housework and laundry and thirty minutes of pulling weeds in the dirt.