Life Updates

Patience is a Virtue

William Langland said that in a poem in the 14th century and we still say it today.  So, it has stood the test of time.  But, it doesn’t mean it is easy to uphold that virtue.  I guess it is defined as “moral excellence”  for a reason.  Tonight, I am a bit short on that virtue.  I am typically a very patient person, but at times, I reach a level of frustration and anxiety and tension that makes me want to scream.  I have reached that level tonight.  And for no real good reason at all.  Overall, today was a good day.  A long day, but a good day.

We drove to my sister’s house last night and stayed the night, allowing us to get up at 4:45 this morning instead of 3:30 a.m. to get to Bean’s heart clinic appointment in Stanford by 7:15 a.m.  My sister was nice enough to go with us, so we got to use the carpool lane and we made it a little bit early even.  The appointment went really well.  All looked good.  I was surprised to learn that her pacemaker is pacing her upper half of the heart 22% of the time and her lower half 9% of the time.  In all honesty, I thought it might just be a precaution and it wouldn’t pace very often if at all.  But, it is pacing almost one quarter of the time!  It is set at 70, so dropping into the high 60s will cause it to pace.  But, still.  A little surprising.  The doctor also said that a transplant may be done before a valve replacement if the right side of the heart becomes overwhelmed by the regurgitation.  So, there’s that on my mind.  Hell, my tension and lack of patience tonight may all be part of a little PTSD that kicks in even when we hear good news, because it often is followed up with disconcerting news (pacemaker is working great and Bean’s health looks great, BUT it is having to be used 22%/9% of the time; the regurgitation does not seem to be increasing or causing her heart issues, BUT it could get worse and could require another open heart surgery for either a valve replacement or a second transplant).  It is a lot to take.  I want to be happy, but it is also tempered.  I’m also exhausted.

In addition, I am feeling overwhelmed again.  I feel like everything in my life happens just a little later than I need it to.  I feel like I wanted so much more done at this point – on my housecleaning and organizing, on my class prep for Fall (good Lord, it starts in just four short weeks), on my finances, on my life in general.  My DH comes home in three days after being gone for five weeks and I feel like I’ve accomplished little-to-nothing.  My birthday is on Sunday and I’m feeling like I don’t even want to celebrate.  I realize this is probably temporary and things will look better when I get up tomorrow and I’ve slept longer and better than last night, do not have to face medical appointments and have two days to get some things done (well, three really because my DH doesn’t come home until Saturday night pretty late).  I need to be productive, not procrastinating. I need to get my #!*^ together.

But, I also feel overly tired and lacking in energy and motivation.  What do you do when it all seems a little overwhelming?  I would love to hear some ideas.  I only have a few more days until my Year of Fun kicks off and I need to get over this feeling of BLAH and FRUSTRATION in order to really have some fun.  I know part of it is probably diet and lack of exercise and who knows what else…

Motivational Mondays

Motivational Monday -First Week of Summer Plan

That’s right, summer is here!

summer-time-1405961228GHz

This first week of my summer break is sure to be full, though.  Today is Memorial Day and it is our first day of 100s in a while, so we’re probably staying inside for the most part.  I’m still cleaning and grading and grading and cleaning.

Tomorrow is the end-of-school-year field trip to a local park and I’m driving/chaperoning.  So, three hours will be taken up doing that.  I also have some clean up work I need to do at work, so I will go do that between field trip and pick up time (an hour and a half or so).  Wednesday, I scheduled the dog for a bath, flea treatment, etc. at Noon while DD is at school.  Thursday is the last day of school, so DD gets out at Noon and we’re having her friend over for a sleepover (we did one last year with her as well).  So, I’m trying to figure out what to do with them for 24 hours (Noon is early!).  We are thinking Round Table for dinner and probably some sprinklers since it is going to be hot, maybe a movie…we’ll see.  Friday, we leave for our mini-vacation to Monterey for our pre-hospital enjoyment.  Monday is pre-op in the morning and then Tuesday is pacemaker placement surgery.  Then, hospital for four to seven days (or so they say).

We went to the library yesterday and loaded up on books (I got three, DD got five and has already finished one).  We are also reading the Wizard of Oz together (and that should take a while) and we got the Barnes and Noble classics with five novels in it, so we may just continue on through the four other Oz novels after we finish the original.  I need to get the house clean and type up a list of things the house/pet-sitter needs to do before Friday.  I have filled in my summer calendar with the Dollar movie choices (lots that my DD would like to see), my trip to San Diego for my grant workshop (and DD will stay with my in-laws in Bakersfield, so we’ll drive down and maybe stay a couple of days after), some Michael’s craft workshops, two different art camps, one ice cream camp, one cooking camp, a camping trip with friends…so, we have a full summer planned already!  It is strange to be able to make summer plans because the past three or four summers I have been dealing with a sick parent and the need to be flexible.  This summer, I only have to worry about DD’s recovery, which should be relatively easy (fingers crossed).  It will prevent swim lessons until more towards the end of summer, but I might just go back to enrolling her during the Winter at our swim school to insure she knows how to swim safely by her 8th birthday and can maybe do summer swim team next year.  I will probably try to spend some weekends helping my sister with my parent’s house that she has been doing a ton of work on to get it ready for sale as well.

So, overall, I’m happy summer is here, I’m happy to have a plan and I’m looking forward to the next 10-12 weeks or so!

What about you?  Do you have summers off?  Are you planning anything fun and/or exciting?

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Busy Weekend Edition

Joining up for a quick Six Word Saturday over at Show My Face.  Short, but sweet this week.

End of Spring 2016.  Summer begins!

Although I don’t feel like Summer officially begins until my DD gets out of school (Noon on Thursday), I am officially on Summer “break” (grading is still happening of course…I haven’t been THAT productive)!  This weekend has been super busy though.  We have my Father In Law visiting, Friday was my DD’s school carnival, tonight she has her Girl Scout Cookie Sale recognition and end-of-year celebration, tomorrow my Father In Law leaves and we might go to the fair tomorrow or Monday, and Tuesday is the end-of-year field trip to the park for my DD’s class.  Sigh…and all this while also trying to grade, grade, grade, clean up a dirty, cluttered house (which is what happens while I’m focused elsewhere for a few weeks) and keeping our lawn alive in the backyard.  I got some free sod off of Craig’s List and filled in the rest with some Weed and Seed and we’re trying to get it to grow so we’ll have a lawn this summer instead of dirt with some grass growing hear and there (we killed it a couple of years ago with one of those big pools, so it is our own fault).  My DH has been getting up early almost every morning to go and fish or shoot targets with friends, so I haven’t been able to get much sleeping in done (not that I am really a person who sleeps in much anyways) and I’m pretty exhausted.  But, I’m feeling like I’m getting things accomplished and that means a lot to me at this point.  I am looking forward to a summer of reading, rest and redoing my Argumentation and Debate class for the grant I received in the Spring semester (a year-long redo with tech and supplemental instruction and all kinds of exciting stuff).  So, I’ve got a great summer ahead!

Health and Caregiving, Uncategorized

Tired but Wired

This is often my state of mind.  “Tired but Wired.”  I should make t-shirts.

So, what does this mean.  Well, I’m exhausted most of the time.  I work a job and a half (well, really a job and three quarters).  I take care of most of the household chores on a day-to-day basis.  I manage appointments and scheduling because I am the one with the busy schedule.  I don’t want to paint my DH out to be lazy.  He has a couple of jobs, but those jobs are long distance and highly intense for short bursts of time.  They are also jobs that I would say suffer from Parkinson’s Law – so, given deadlines, the work would be done in less time, but because it is often done without near-term deadlines, it expands to fill a lot of his time.  My job is more defined – I have teaching hours, office hours and then hours that I spend doing grading, prep, etc. but those are when I can fit them in.  My job suffers a bit from Parkinson’s Law as well.  So, we’re both working at home quite a bit.  Too much, in fact.

So, anyways, I am often feeling exhausted from everything I’ve had to do in a day AND staring down the barrel of a to-do list that is far too long to ever complete in the time provided for it.  I feel behind quite a bit of the time.  I often struggle with what I should be doing.  For example, right now, there are three loads of laundry piled up in our living room needing to be folded and put away, a load of dishes to unload from the dishwasher and more dishes waiting to go in, a mess on the dining room table to that needs to be dealt with (thrown away, put away, etc.) AND a pile of grading in my work bag that is late being handed back.  I currently can’t locate my video camera that has some presentations on it I need to grade.  I have an iPad that needs to be restored to make it functional.  And my in-laws are coming for the weekend and their bed in the guest room needs to be made.  I need to clean the bathrooms.  The list goes on and on.  And this is not unique.  This is my daily operating.  And that list of things makes me WIRED.  I feel tense and anxious and like I need to be constantly DOING.  But, I’m also TIRED.  Yesterday was my 13 hour day (with one two hour break in there) and I have a headache and my back hurts and I just want to curl up with a TV show and recover.  But, I teach in three and a half hours and I volunteer in my DD’s classroom in an hour.  And…and…and…

So, yeah, I ‘m both tired and wired.  I’m exhausted but anxious.  And I feel a little stuck.  I do have summer coming in a month.  During summer, I am mostly wired.  I get bored easily and feel like I NEED to be doing things.  But, I also don’t get much done.  It is a strange set of circumstances.  But, this summer, I plan to be more purposeful in REST and in WORK.  So, I’m going to plan times for both. I need to work on a course redesign I got a grant for and I have a few other projects I would like to get done during the summer.  But, I also realize that I need to have some DOWN time.  When I’m not working on anything.  When I can just decompress.  Sleep.  Relax.  Read.  Enjoy.  If I am not purposeful about that, the summer will be gone and I will still feel just tired and wired.  I want to feel rejuvenated and purposeful instead.  It isn’t quite as poetic, but it sure would feel better.

Simplicity Sunday

Busy, but… Simplicity Sunday

This post includes some affiliate links.

I started using an Erin Condren planner at the beginning of this year.  I am actually using it regularly, which is unusual going into month three for me.  That is a bit of consistency I haven’t seen with past planners. I love the look and feel of the planner, so it makes me more likely to use it.

I also am keeping a family calendar on our wall:

march calendar
March Family Calendar

As you can probably see from all the writing, I have a lot going on.  Keeping a planner and calendar has made me more aware of all that I have going on.  But, I feel more in control this semester than past semesters.  I have figured out a schedule that works for me.  It makes my Mondays and Wednesdays very long (Wednesdays are very, very long), but my Tuesdays really open (I’ve taken to saying “Tuesday is Sue’s day”) and my Thursdays totally doable.  It has been a much easier semester so far.

So, I’m busy, but…I’m also feeling like I can do this.  Although, those three orange circles on the calendar are kind of sending out a warning signal.  My DD’s operation to have her pacemaker placed is less than two weeks away and I am definitely wondering how much of a kink that is going to put in our schedule.  I did end up doing a routine for us (although not everything on that list) and it has been really helpful.  So, I’m hoping that the surgery and its aftermath won’t be too bad.  But, only time will tell.  I’ve learned that lesson in the past.  There is no guarantee when it comes to predicting recovery and such, only averages.  And if there is one thing that my DD has NOT been in the past, it is average.

 

Health and Caregiving, Life Updates, Uncategorized

School Happens

Every semester it is the same thing.  I start out so on top of things, convinced I will be able to keep up with it all.  Then, slowly, things start to spiral out of control.  It usually happens around my house.  Piles start to form.  Papers, mail, clothes that need to be put away, stuff.  Next, grading.  I start to find myself with piles of papers or emails with things to grade.  Oh, and the to-do list.  That starts to pile up as well.  Emails get backed up.  Then, curve balls get thrown at me, but I can’t adjust because of all the piles.

This semester has been a bit better.  I haven’t let the grading pile up too badly yet.  I’m relatively on top of class prep.  But, oh there are piles.  My dining room table.  One of the couches.  Bean’s desk.  Really, any flat surface is fair game for a pile to form.  And they don’t even make sense.  On the dining room table right now is a Sorry game with a magazine on top of it and an envelope on top of that.  There is a ball next to that pile and then another pile mostly of mail items that have been opened, but need to be dealt with in some way.  Then, there is my purse that I’m not currently using because I’m using my work bag instead.  There are some little toys and jewelry from my DD’s birthday party two weeks ago.  On the couch next to me there is a set of “scratch off” cards and little stencils that go with it, my work bag, my DD’s princess bag that she wanted to take to school instead of her backpack today, a stuffed giraffe…

pacing a heart and myself

We found out last week, after a last minute trip to Stanford on Wednesday (my long day at work) that my DD needs a pacemaker.  It was not totally unexpected and the news of how they could do it was better than I thought it would be (no open heart surgery, just a small incision), but it still is a bit of a disappointment.  We will only be in the hospital over night (or at least that is the prediction – last time they said that we were in for four days).  It will mean more doctor’s appointments post-surgery.  It will mean a new thing to deal with.  And it is a new thing in her heart that isn’t working.

I am very happy to have this weekend off to catch up on housekeeping and class prep.  I am very happy to have a lot of weekends off this semester.  I need that.  For sanity.  For the sake of my house and family.

So, life is moving on.  I’m going to try to pick back up with the blogging.  I feel the need to write. Now if I can just MAKE the time!

 

 

January Focus, Monthly Focus 2016

Welcome 2016 – January Focus = Simplify

I’m back from my trip and it was a great time.  I will probably have some pics this week on Wordless Wednesday.  I’m now settling in to a house where it looks like Toys R Us and Bags n Boxes have exploded multiple times and filling in my calendar for January in my new Erin Condren planner (which I love so far) and noting that it is already filling up quite a bit.  So many things for my DD’s school, workshops for work and family stuff with the Spring semester starting for me the last week of the month! The new year comes fast and furious it seems!

I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of some of other bloggers and podcasters and rather than having New Year’s Resolutions, which I always seem to fail at, I’m going to have My One Word (which is “myself” if you haven’t been following along or have forgotten) and a monthly “focus” where I work on a habit or behavior I would like to establish and/or change.  So, I’ve decided that January is going to be all about simplifying for me.  With my house piled high with STUFF and my calendar filling up with STUFF and my feelings of overwhelm in the past, I think this is a great place to start.  I have a few specific areas of my life I would like to simplify:

  1. Things I own/have in my home.
  2. Things for my classes – grading, assignments, travel planning for the team, etc.
  3. Things I have to do – I want to simplify caring for my home, making meals, getting exercise, my schedule, etc.
  4. Money management

SIMPLIFY JANUARY 2016

I realize those are pretty broad, but I think that spending a week or so on each one this month will really help a lot.  I have some choices in how to simplify things – the first, and probably the most difficult for me, is to GET RID OF IT!  Whether it is getting rid of things in my home or getting rid of certain assignments in classes or delegating things to others for the team or my home or figuring out a system that simplifies HOW things are done for work or at home, I definitely have some choices.

So, I’ll be talking some on the blog about what I’m doing to simplify and hopefully sharing some of the resources I find with all of you.