Category Archives: 31 Days of Follow Through

The Blues

Everyone (it seems…there may be a few exceptions but I do not know them) in this town has the blues.  I suppose if you do not live in the Kansas City area, you may not realize it but the Royals are in the World Series!  The whole town seems to be blue.  Blue bird of happiness blue not exactly the same as having the blues (well, maybe after last night’s game but still it was only the first one of seven and according the Facebook which is of course, doubles as a sports digest, they did lose the first game in 1985 before winning it all).

Perhaps you are thinking that this is the part where I tell you that I’ve been out to “party like it’s 1985” and that is why I have not been following through on my 31 days of Follow Through Series.  Alas, I wish that were the reason.  Perhaps that could be my excuse for Thursday night and Friday I was busy with family.  However, since then, it’s been a different kind of blues around here.

Friday evening, I opted to go to bed rather than make that second (okay, fourth) attempt to holler for Chase, our Siamese cat, to come inside.  Augflowers14 025 He’s been left out once or twice before and usually turns right up and is ready and willing to go inside after a night out “in the wild.”  Except he did not show up Saturday morning.  Nor did he show up on Sunday.  Or Monday.  Or Tuesday.  And we are still missing him today.  He’s simply gone.  We’ve looked around the neighborhood.  I have ads running on Craigslist and the pet connection place.  I have registered him as missing with the microchip place (I’m so glad I followed through on that one Friday not long ago!).  I have flyers ready to go stick in the doors of all the neighbors in a 2-3 block area and hand out at area vet offices.  

 

Wondering why I haven’t done some of the above already?  Well, we had family from Oklahoma in town all weekend so we were working around that (life doesn’t stop for cats that have gone exploring…) and then, J woke up with a high fever on Monday.   Then, there was work as well to juggle.  Strange thing to be finding yourself a substitute when you are the substitute but it worked out.  Good thing as a trip to the doctor today confirmed it was Strep throat.  

All my free time has been consumed by searching for a missing cat, dealing with a sick child with a super high fever (I’m good to 103 but 104 is my freak out number), and trying to maintain my work responsibilities. 

I’m going to go ahead and count this as a post in the 31 Days of Follow Through Series because one thing the lost cat did highlight for me is the importance of follow through.  I can’t imagine how much worse I’d feel had I not already updated all the microchip information for him.  I certainly wish I had followed through on getting up that fifth time to see where he was on Friday night. 

 

Switching Gears

There is another component like distraction that sometimes keeps me from following through on my projects.  It is when my day does not go as planned.  Monday did not go as planned because it was full of distractions but I still could have overcome the majority of them had I chosen to do still move forward with my list.  I could have gone to the grocery store and run errands in the rain.  I certainly would not have melted.  I just made different choices on that day.

Yesterday did not go as planned for another reason.  J woke up feeling under the weather.  My day was not going to happen as I had planned it due to circumstances beyond my control.  I had to switch gears if I was going to get anything at all done.

NRC Modern Times 5

Photo Credit Neil Coulter via Flickr

I sometimes (often) struggle with actually getting things done when my original plans change.   Wiping down the kitchen cabinets was not on my list of projects I planned to tackle yesterday.  I could have simply done nothing yesterday.

I really was tempted to do nothing.  However, I decided that I could still get things done even if they were not the original things I had planned.  Too often, I do not make that choice.  I simply get stuck.  I was going to do project A today but now the day is different so I can’t do it.  Sometimes, it doesn’t occur to me to switch gears and still get something else done.

It is okay to finish projects in a different order than originally planned.  It certainly helps get some of those unfinished projects finished.   How do you switch gears and get things done when your day takes an unexpected twist?

Distractions of the Day

It is no secret that distractions are a big part of what keeps me away from my list of things that require follow-through.  Some days I’m much better at dealing with them than others.  Today was one of the other days.

For today’s post in the 31 days of Follow Through Series, I’m just going to share all list of all (that I can remember) my distractions today.

  • The boys were home from school!  That meant that we didn’t need to get up and get ready.  It also meant that the day didn’t exactly get off to an early start.  And that I was late figuring out breakfast which meant we all got a bit grouchy before mid-morning arrived.
  • The weather was a huge distraction today.  It meant that my grocery store/errand day didn’t happen because the rain never ever stopped!  I think it may still be raining out there.
  • The cats were a distraction.  Have I ever mentioned that our lovely little kittens are defective?  They like to go out in a little bit of rain but of course, want to come in when it starts pouring rain!  Then, they want to go back outside.
  • I started to think about clearing out the art supply cabinet but then J asked me to do something with him and that led to this:
Our artwork from today.  The tree on the left that looks like a preschooler made it is mine.

  The tree on the left that looks like a preschooler made it is mine.

This meant that instead of the cabinet getting any attention, the kitchen table took on its normal look:

Table is a mess as always.

Table is a mess as always.

 

  • The phone rang a bunch of times today.  My husband called twice asking me to look things up on the computer for him.  He needs a fancy phone but won’t get one.  We got a few political/sales calls.  What Do Not Call List?  I’ll be glad when election Tuesday finally arrives and the political phone calls stop at least.  A neighbor called and J ended up going to hang out with a friend.
  • I took the time J was at his friend’s house to take G and a friend to a movie.  I wanted to see it as well:

    It was a good movie but the book was better.

    It was a good movie but the book was better.

  • Can I just list the cats and weather twice?  I didn’t know one of our cats was still outside when we went to the movie so once everyone was back at home, I was outside with my umbrella tracking her down.  She was meowing to go back outside 10 minutes later although it was still pouring rain.  Have I mentioned our cats are defective?
  • Yes, I did play Candy Crush Saga today and look at Pinterest and take one of those “Do You Take Too Many Stupid Quizzes?” type quizzes.  By the way the answer to that would have been YES!
  • I also read the Entertainment Recaps for Once Upon A Time, Gracepoint, and Resurrection because I’m just that nerdy (sigh).
  • Almost forgot the time I spent mediating a few brotherly squabbles.  And by that I mean shouting:  would you please just work it out yourselves!

This is probably a short list of the day’s distractions and I certainly don’t think all of them were bad. Spending time with my boys while a distraction was probably more important than organizing the art cabinet or wiping down the kitchen cabinets.  Of course, I probably could have cut out some of the other distractions and accomplished the other tasks as well.

 

Help: No, I Don’t Need Any Help

Why is it so hard to ask for help?  Does anyone else struggle with this?  It’s as if I can’t get past this part of a certain song by the Beatles:

When I was younger

So much younger than today

I never needed anybody’s help in any way

But now those days are gone

And I’m not so self-assured

Now I find I’ve changed my mind

I’ve opened up the doors.

I’m sure you are singing along with the rest of the lyrics now.  My problem is that I may have opened up the doors but I’m still not sharing why or asking for what I need.

Asking can certainly be scary.

If the Help Desk Thinks...

image by Kyle James via Flickr

Most of my fears are pretty irrational.  Really, the worst thing that could happen is that I won’t get the help I am requesting.

Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help because we want things done our way exactly and no other way will do.  Dishwasher re-arrangers of the world unite!  However, it is okay to let someone else do things their way.  Done is still done.

Sometimes it is about the guilt.  I don’t feel it is fair to ask for assistance with a big project or mess that I made on my own.  While I usually don’t hesitate to help someone else out of a jam, I struggle to accept likewise help if I’m the one in need.

Sometimes it is about that foolish pride.  Okay, often it is about that stuff.  I don’t want to admit that I can not do it by myself.  I’m like a rebellious two-year old child “No!  I do it!”  Of course, the problem here is that I’m a few years older (indeed!) than two and I often need that help which my pride when my pride is refusing to do so much as ask for it.

What happens when we give into those irrational fears, quirks, and prideful feelings?  We end up with a mess of unfinished projects that often spiral out of control.  It would have been so much easier in the beginning to simply ask for help with a few of them.

Help me out and leave a comment letting me know if asking for assistance is hard for you as well.

Projects of Other People

I had my one task that I planned to finish today.  It remains undone.  Why?  It remains undone because I was sucked into the vortex of my husband’s project for today.  If I want to be nice to myself, I could call it our project since it involved the house and a teeny tiny step closer to actually getting our perpetual remodel of a bedroom completed.  Oh, how nice it will be to have actual walls again!

My plan for today was to have J try on his pants and maybe get both boys some fall clothing.  My husband’s plan for today involved working on the basement because we eventually have to clear out our bedroom for the ceiling and wall project.  My older son’s plan was to have a friend over to hang out.  My younger son’s plan was to be bored all day (not really but it seemed that way).

I decided to go along with my husband to Home Depot this morning.  He stayed on task while I looked at flowers (on sale!), discussed changing out the window in the main bathroom, looked at bathroom sink cabinets, asked about paint, and then, the project at hand (buying some sort of tile-like things in case water seeped into the basement although we think we’ve solved the problem…that’s what they are officially called, I’m sure of it.).  Then, we went and purchased a carpet remnant to go on top of the tile-like things.  Carpet remnants are heavy!

The carpet remnant.

The carpet remnant.  We aren’t worrying about the walls right now.

So, I helped him with his project, coordinated the friend “hang out”, and spent too many words explaining that “it was not my job” to entertain my younger son although we did play a game and do some Lego stuff together.  I also added my hopefully helpful two cents in an e-mail regarding a PTA book fair scheduling conflict.  I’m not saying I minded doing any of these things and of course, the basement project is partially mine in that it will impact me.    Yet, guess what didn’t happen?  I did not make any progress on any of my own projects that are in dire need of follow through.

Meanwhile, my laundry area project looked like this.

Meanwhile, my laundry area project looked like this.

Does that ever happen to you?  Sometimes I spend so much time helping everyone else with their projects that my own end up neglected and simmering way too long on the back burner.   The ironic thing is that while I am quite adapt at putting my stuff aside and helping everyone else, asking for help has always been a struggle for me.  That will be the subject of tomorrow’s post as I continue to explore my difficulties in follow through during this 31 days series.

If you missed any of the posts in my 31 Days of Follow Through Series, you can read them all here.

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