Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Muddling Through

Lately the blog world is a buzz of the New Year. New goals for fitness, organization, diet and so on. Everyone seems so energized and organized and on top of things. Sadly I missed this boat. While everyone is seemingly running full of energy through their goals I seem to be drowning in chaos. It is only day two of my work week and already everything is a mess. My desk is covered in papers, reports, memos and to do lists. My phone is going like mad. My house is a disaster. And I seem to be constantly running and never caught up. I’m either late, unprepared or I forgot something. This is all particularly bad since I just had a 4 day weekend. You would think after a 4-day weekend at home I would be sailing through this week a picture of energy, efficiency and organization. Then you would be wrong, very very wrong.

So what’s a girl to do in this situation? The “me” of three years ago would say, “make a very detailed to do list, go get a big cup of coffee and work through the list”. But that was the old “me”, the idealistic college “me”, the pre-real world “me”. The “me” of today can’t drink coffee. The “me” of today is much more seasoned in the life of chaos that is mine. The “me” of today knows that my phone will ring, crisis will ensue, and I will be derailed from my well intentioned to-do list because that is the nature of my job. So we are back to what’s a girl to do? Buck up and muddle through. I know I know this doesn’t sound like a very inspired answer. But here is my point. Sometimes life is just crazy and that’s okay. We can get through it but sometimes getting through it isn’t very pretty and that’s okay too. So in case any of you out there are having the same chaotic start to 2010 as I am here are my muddling through tips.

1. Eat Breakfast. I can not stress this enough. No matter how late you are, or how much you don’t like to eat in the morning, if you know you have craziness ahead of you eat. It doesn’t matter what you eat, it can be eggs, toast, peanut butter by the spoonful or leftover pot roast just eat something with protein. Because at 2pm when you still haven’t had lunch you will be so much better off having eaten breakfast.

2. Try and take a break from work. Even if it’s 10 minutes on email a blog or facebook. Try to take a few minutes to disassociate your mind from work. Because then minutes later when you return to work you will be able to look at things with fresh eyes and sometimes that makes all the difference.

3. Wear comfortable clothes. Obviously I don’t mean wear sweats to work. But if you have a go too work outfit, a comfortable pair of slacks or dress shoes, a shirt you feel great in. This is the week to wear those clothes. You want your tried and true I feel great and look good outfits this week. This in not the week to experiment with high fashion. Nothing sucks more to be still working at 8pm and be incredibly uncomfortable.

4. This is my favorite life is crazy trick. Speed cleaning on your lunch hour. When my job gets crazy and Mr. P’s life is crazy and we still have church events, youth group, social live, working out and so on the house always gets shoved to the back burner. The last thing either of us wants to do after getting home at 8pm and making dinner is the dishes or the laundry. So we leave the kitchen a disaster. Then we over sleep because and are frantically fixing breakfast and making lunch in a messy kitchen rendering it even more messy. Then we can't find work out clothes, clean socks or somebody's wallet. We get out of the door late, frazzled and irritated. Then I'm dreading coming home late to a disaster in my house. Meanwhile work is crazy and annoying and I need a break. So my cell phone and I run home for lunch. With a 10 minute drive home and a 10 minute drive to return I have 40 minutes to pick up the house. I know this might sound crazy but it's amazing. You can get a lot of cleaning done in 40 minutes and the difference in your energy level at noon or 1 when you finally got out of that office and 8pm when you are finally home are night and day. On an average lunch hour I can run home, start laundry, make the bed, pick up the clothes on the floor, take all the dirty dishes into the kitchen, pick up the living room, load the dishwasher, and maybe even wash a few dishes while scarfing some lunch. It might sound stressful to spend your lunch hour frantically cleaning but for me it's incredibly therapeutic. I go back to work feeling a weight off my shoulders and like I've accomplished something. Obviously this only works if you live close to work. And for me it's vital that I have my cell phone. My office phone rolls over to my cell (best office invention of all time) so I can be reached by anyone who needs me while I'm cleaning my house.

So there you go. Life is crazy muddling through tips. What are you secrets for coping with chaos? Please share, I'd love to know.


  1. All very good tips! I am a list-maker, but I make lists for the week, not for the day. But if I don't have a list, I will literally stand in the middle of the room and take ten minutes to decide which of 5 projects I should start, when I could have completed 2 or 3 by then.

  2. Hey, I am sorry your life is so hectic right now. I think you are doing just great though. If it helps any, I am home all day and my kitchen still falls into disaster mode more often then you would think!

  3. Oh...I love that speed cleaning idea!! I think I will try this out for myself!

  4. Great list!! Thanks for sharing! New to your blog, and I'll be back soon!