Back to school – Back to work

I had no idea the transition back to school would go so well! I am SO excited about this school year. My classes are full of kids who are truly excited to take choir, and my schedule is basically a dream. My conference period is the last period of everyday, which is going to help me immensely when I have concerts or events after school. 

It’s only day 3, but here are some changes I’ve made that I hope will turn into habits. My points need to be modified some…

  • Establish a morning routine: In past years, I’ve let my level of exhaustion determine how long I sleep, if I pack a lunch, etc. Because I didn’t have a routine, my basic needs like breakfast, lunch, coffee, shower, work outfit, etc, where often not met. Now I am aiming to do the same thing every morning, to establish a foundation for my day. 1. Quiet time 2. Take care of Bartley 3. Breakfast/make lunch (put previously divided sandwich bags and tupperwares in my lunchbox) 4. Show/get ready 5. Leave by 6:30. Of course, in order to do that, I have to wake up at 5:15 (OUCH!) Which leads me to…
  • Being in bed by 10:00, electronics & lights off by 10:30. This gives me almost 7 hours of sleep. 
  • Organizing has turned into a “10-minute” clean. I love this idea. I found it on pinterest, and it’s almost ridiculously easy. You just set a timer for 10 minutes, and clean as much as you can during that time. The craziest part? I’m usually finished in 7 or 8 minutes! All these years I’ve dreaded cleaning, and it was something I could accomplish in 10 minutes or less. Insane!
  • Before I leave work at the end of the day, I go through this checklist: Clear desk, check/respond/archive emails, make necessary phone calls, complete or review the next days lesson plans, add to the next day’s to-do list, and 10-minute clean of my classroom. 

I am feeling so optimistic about these changes. These, along with eating well and daily yoga/meditation are my current “points.” If I can build them into habits, I know I will become the organized professional I want to be.

Let my inner virgo shine! 

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Quick Note

Just a quick note to say that today was not as productive as yesterday. I had a lot of professional development meetings, which meant I kept adding things to my to-do list, but couldn’t ever cross anything off! I did pick the three most important, and completed those tasks this evening. I also did my daily chore, and gave Bart a bath to help fight the skin infection. 

The moral of today’s story? I think I need to add another point to the list: go to sleep at a reasonable hour, specific time to be determined before or during my next post. 

Sleep well! It’s a 2-point day, and if I make through my meditation without falling asleep, I’ll get 3-points. See ya!

A Lot to be Happy About!

Today was a great day! It was really nice to be back at work and see people I’ve missed all summer. I also biked to work, which was great, and managed to stay very focused on getting things done! Yay! I was very productive.

I also saw my preliminary class rosters, and it looks like most of my students made it into the right class. Double yay! I teach choir, and a huge part of having successful classes is making sure students are put in the right class based on their experience.

Bartley is is doing really well. Still not 100% himself but he’s on his way. Since he’s on steroids, he pees a lot, and he’s successfully using the pee pad already! This is a very new thing for him, so I’m really proud – and grateful – pee breaks every two hours are not okay…

So, today was a 4-point day! It was actually almost a 5-point day, but I went over just a tiny bit on my calories. I feel so energized! I really think it’s true:

Life doesn’t have to be so difficult. I think it’s like yoga: the more you put into a class,  the more intentional you are about it, the more you get in return.

(It feels weird quoting myself!) So yeah, it’s hard to remember this when life throws shit in your face, or you’re exhausted, or alone, but experience tells me it’s true, so I hope I’ll remember it the next time I feel hopeless and overwhelmed.

In the comments section, are some links to some ideas/systems that have seriously been helping me out the last few days.  On my way to making them habits. 🙂

 

 

What Happens Tomorrow?

I go back to work!

Bartley is stable, so I’m SO grateful that I can go to work without worrying too much.

I was actually quite focused today (for the first time!) and I’m proud of the work I got done. I still have a LONG way to go before my classroom, lesson plans, and mind are ready to go for the school year.

I’m proud that I’m not freaking out too much, even though I’m so far behind. I’ll share some techniques tomorrow, but for now I’ve got to go to sleep! It’s going to be so hard to wake up tomorrow….

I Want it all at Once

I think I’ve mentioned before that I have trouble taking on big tasks because all I can think about is the big picture and everything that has to get done, and it’s just so overwhelming. Well, the same goes for my personal growth.

I’ve been pretty down the last couple of days, despite my very true recurring thought you read about last post. I’m so disappointed that it’s taking me so long to get on a better, more organized, disciplined track. I just want to be my dream me, now. I don’t want to wait. 

And then the long lost yoga girl within me, whose voice is way too small these days, says: but remember, you’re already perfect.

What a (healthy?) paradox it is to be conscious that I’m perfect the way I am, yet constantly yearning for the challenge of becoming someone better.

So, I will focus on my points. I will make lists. I will breathe. I will jump into this school year knowing that everything will be okay. I will do my best, and remember not to take it all so seriously… Right? 😉

Recurring Thought

Don’t expect things to slow down.

That has been the, often too late, response to my whiny, immature, impatient self-talk that occurs when life feels like too much. Which is almost all the time. Especially since all I’m focusing on is – when is ________ going to end?  when is ______ going to get easier?

Well, I’m pretty sure things will get easier and slow down when I choose to see the good along with the bad and when I let myself find peace in the struggle. I can’t let my happiness depend on things going my way. I have to take control.

Bartley is really sick again. We had a rough couple of days with him, wondering if he would be okay. The steriods helped, but soon enough, the skin infection that had been a secondary thing, became the primary concern. He has lost a lot of fur and has pustules and lesions. He’s more lethargic again. However, we had a promising visit to the dermatologist today, and I am hopeful that although it might be a slow journey, we’ll start to see some progress in the next few days.

This is what I’m talking about: I expected a rejeuvenating summer and life had other things in store for me. I’ve spent a lot of time whining about it in my mind, wondering if the school year is going to be just as overwhelming as the last three years, and I just can’t do that anymore.

I need to take control of my life and make it a life I want for myself, not just something I complain about.

Last week was a 19-point week. Not bad…. Considering:

  • Possible points = 35
  • Goal = 25
  • Best yet = 11

So last week was a record! 😀 As I go into this week, I have a new rule – no less than 2 points per day. I’m going to have to increase my expectations if I ever want to explore new points!

Today is a 4-point day. Also, I’ve made slow but steady progress that I feel good about on the bookshelf. I threw out so much stuff, have give-away items in my car, and learned that my next step is to do the same with the bookshelf in the living room.

Until next time. 😉

 

I’m a Virgo at Heart

…I just have weird priorities.

What I mean is, I want things to be organized and logical, I want to be in control, and I love planners, school supplies, lists, scheduals and spreadsheets.

But! The second life gets just a little too stressful – which is a lot of the time – all of those things just go shit. 😀 Which is why, as you can see from this page, organization is one of my main goals right now.

Disorganization really gets me down. For one thing, I don’t function well in that kind of state. I’m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. It takes me to overwhelmed land really quickly. Then, I feel bad about myself for getting myself into the chaotic mess, and that’s when the negative self-talk comes in.

So basically, disorganization, for me, is a one-way street to depression and anxiety.

Thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, I got the idea to read Organizing for Dummies. I’m impatient, so I ordered the mini version for Kindle from amazon (only $0.99! Sorry, not an official commercial, but whoa!) and it only took a couple of hours to get through/take notes.

There are WAY too many things that I want to organize. But here are the highlights of what I took away from the book, that I’m going to put into action today.

  • Mission Statement: My mission is to get organized so that I can reduce my stress level and become more efficient with my time both at home, with chores and projects, and at work.
  • Where to start? I picked the “hot spot” option, which is the most annoying area. For me that’s the bookshelf in my bedroom. It is SO gross and over populated with crap I never use. Which leads me to…
  • Setting a time-frame = start today, finish one week from today
  • The three D’s: have three bags/boxes with me when I sit down to organize the bookshelf. Distribute (for things that you are keeping but are out of place), Donate, and Dump
  • What to W-A-S-T-E:
    • Worthwhile?
    • Again? (Will I use it again)
    • Somewhere else? (If I need to use it again, can I get it somewhere else?)
    • Toss? (Is it a big deal to toss it?)
    • Entire thing? (Do I need all of it, or can I just keep some of it?
  • Where to P-L-A-C-E it:
  • Purge
  • Like items with like items
  • Access items logically and easily
  • Contain items properly (boxes? Stacks? drawers?)
  • Evaluate when you’re finishing up to see what could be better.

I learned many other things that will help me with maximizing my time at work, keeping lists, keeping my desk clean, etc. This is just the information for today’s project. Here’s a before picture of the terrible state of the bookshelf! Can’t wait to show you the rest of the process, and the completed project.