‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cure for "A Lot on My Plate' Kind of Days?

It's one of those days. You know the kind where you wake up and - faced with all that is on your plate - wish you could climb back under the covers? I woke to ome of those days today, and wondered aloud 'how do other people deal with days like this?' My default response is usually this:

#1 Stay in bed an extra ten minutes and pray for guidance, then:

#2 Clear my head of everything and just breathe deeply for awhile, then:

#3 Subconsciously (and that's they key word!) find ways to avoid 75% of what is on my plate.

Sometimes we can't help it, we end up with days that involve far more to do than we have the means to tackle it. Sometimes it's due to procrastination, other times it's just plain tough luck. I think mine is a combination of both. 

And I'm thinking right now that if I type out my 'to do' list here, I might be shamed into getting more of it done in a timely fashion. Here is my 'must do today' list, in no particular order:

  • get car-inspected
  • pay overdue oil bill
  • respond to jury duty notification
  • make appt for sick cat at the vet
  • respond to multiple school inquiries about potential residencies
  • talk to Virgin Atlantic about my group reservation for 30 to England in April
  • finally make overdue 'new' neurologist appt
  • get toilet fixed
  • replace broken showerhead!
  • pick up meds at pharmacy
  • drop off invoice at next scheduled school
  • set up have-a-heart mouse-traps ASAP (it's that time of year...)
  • Start online financial aid form for colleges for Nastia
  • Make final college visit appts for this month
  • pick up chair ordered at Staples 3 weeks ago!
  • send monthly stipend to Anya & Sasha

And here is my 'Can Wait a Day or Two but Must Be Done Soon' List:

  • Clean and organize M's room so it is ready when we come home!
  • insulate downstairs room & replace broken door
  • Winterize the house - take out all air conditioners and screens
  • Get new glasses so I can see!
  • Plan for final performances for current classes
  • Pack suitcase for Latvia so I'm ready to go!
  • Find someone to stay with Nastia while I'm in Latvia.
  • Replace broken stove
  • Make appt to have suspicious black spot on leg looked at!
  • take apart trampoline
  • pay parking tickets!

This, of course, is not a comprehensive list, but it covers the most important stuff. It is only on days like these that I really feel the burden of being a single mom. Most of the time I love it -- but when my 'to do' list gets too long I feel very aware that I'm on my own. I have so many overdue bills sitting on my kitchen table right now, it is anxiety-provoking to just walk by it. It's time to take the bull by the horns and just tackle them. It's my least favorite things on earth to go - anything involving paperwork and/or accounting. I'd honestly rather have to get bloodwork.

So what kinds of tactics work for you when you feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand? How do you clean off that plate faster and more efficiently? I need some pointers. I should be heading overseas any day now, so I definitely feel the pressure. Your advice or recommendations are really appreciated!


  1. Maybe it's because I haven't reached adulthood yet, but when I actually have lists of things to do, I do reeeeaallllyy well getting them done! It's only when I have just one thing to do that procrastination comes in... lol! You could always try rewarding yourself after getting things done.. Perhaps a trip to a restaurant/coffee shop after doing the out-of-house errands?

  2. Well, you clearly handle these things the way I do. Blog about it and get some strength and love from all the people out there who are so ready with support and caring.

    You will figure it out by dropping some, doing some much faster than you thought possible, and slogging through others. You'll not get to or forget a few. I'll say a quick prayer that all of the critical things get done and you feel some peace, too.

  3. Oh, my gosh! That's a lot. Are there any things you can delegate?

    I think sometimes that breathing & praying thing is the thing to do, and just tackle your list and get some of the things done. When I'm in situations like that, I spend way too long trying to prioritize and changing my mind, and get a lot of things only partially done before I decide something else is more important, and that doesn't work too well for me.

    Prayers from here. Sounds like there are a lot of really good things happening in your life, though, daughters & a granddaughter to love, work that you love that's fulfilling for you & your students.

  4. I hate to tell you, Keri, I do the same thing with the bills: put it off as long as humanly possible, hate myself for waiting so long, then feel indescribably better once it's done. Even if it doesn't work out exactly the way I hoped, it's better than having it still waiting - staring at me from my desk.

  5. I totally do the same with posting my overwhelming to do list on my blog! And it works! ; ) I get motivated to start crossing them off. So, next post--just copy and paste your lists, and use HTML "strong" to cross them off. It mightl be fun (and motivating) to show us what you have done. : )

    (I don't do that all the time--just when I am desperate for a jump-start. And my friends and family then share their goals and successes in the comments if I invite them to join me!)

  6. That's a big list! Can you get Nastia to pay the bills? She just tells you what amount to write the check for. Maybe a good life lesson on how much things cost?

  7. Anonymous1:04 AM

    We get the same lists and there are two of us! I honestly think we are too busy in America. We need a personal attendant just to get it all done!
    So how do I do it? Eat the elephant one bite at a time, and ask for HELP! Do you have any friends who can make appointments by phone or pick up/drop off stuff? We have close friends and neighbors besides my MIL that we will ask at times....


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