Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer slow down

I've been feeling way too frazzled lately, like I'm being pulled in 30 directions at the same time. My body has been sending me messages that I can no longer ignore. I firmly believe that stress leads to weakened immune systems and then to illness. So I'm taking my first ear infection since childhood and the ginormous cold sore on my lip as big old signs that something in my life needs to give before I fall apart completely.

So here are my resolutions:

Set regular working hours. One of the bad parts of being a freelancer is that work is always here waiting for me. I tend to try to cram work in wherever I can, frequently while I have three kids running around making noise. I get frustrated with them for distracting me, and they get frustrated with me for not paying attention to them. As a result, I don't get much done. So from here on out, I'm setting two regular work times during the day - while Campbell naps in the morning and after the kids go to bed. I know there will probably be some crunch times when I need to break this resolve, but I'm going to stick to it on a daily basis whenever possible.

Ignore my e-mail. I'm fairly compulsive about answering e-mail. When I hear the chime go off, I sprint to my computer to see what message is waiting. Often, it's work related, and I feel the need to take care of the issue immediately, which means I'm working all the time. So now I've turned off the announcement chime, and I'll be shutting down outlook during my non-work hours to remove all temptation to peek. So if you're used to getting an immediate response from me, you'll have to be patient from now on. I'll get to you, I promise.

Knit more. When I'm knitting, I'm less likely to pop up and do random things like check e-mail or switch out laundry or clean the kitchen again. Knitting is about the only thing I do that forces me to sit still.

Enjoy the time I have with my kids. I need to stop viewing their interuptions in my day as a distraction and a nuisance. While I do have a paying job, I need to remember that they are my first and most important job. They are the reason I'm here all day - not work, not laundry, not vacuuming.

These resolutions all tie back in with setting work hours. I think that really is the key to slowing down and enjoying things more. I need to pry myself away from the computer and my work and remember to enjoy the good times while I can. Before I know it, the summer will be over, the girls will be in school all day, Campbell will be at preschool, and I'll miss them when they're gone.

One last resolution -

No more volunteer gigs. Danskin is over with, and I don't have any volunteer hours on the calendar for the next few months, other than working in Lily's class twice a month. I've told all my friends about this resolution, and they've all promised to remind me of it if they hear me start to waver.

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