Monday, January 9, 2017

Where do I find the time? Something's gotta go.

My story is on my mind, the one I started for NANO last year. I can feel ideas and nuances for different scenes bubbling to the surface. But no time, no time, no time to write them down, to dig out the story and get back to work on it. I must get on track. I must set up a time budget and stick to it, adjusting where necessary to stay efficient and yet mentally healthy.

I have looked at my time and all the things I have to do in my day, in my week in general, and I have to cut something if I'm going to have the time and energy to work on all the things I want.

Things a usual day and/or week has to include:

  1. Writing morning pages, affirmations, reading and homework from The Artist's Way
  2. eating well (healthy food takes more time to prepare)
  3.  writing a daily blog entry (at least five minutes a day and the blog is a writing habit)
  4.  training for my belt tests and my fight (driving to the gym and strength training and doing cardio there)
  5. going to work, staying focused and on task at work and learning about oils in my down time or researching craft projects that include those oils
  6.  driving to and from home multiple times a day sometimes
  7. grocery shopping, cooking meals, meal planning
  8. MA classes
  9. writing on my book
  10. drawing of any sort
  11. SCA Herald (Pursuivant!) responsiblities
  12. SCA persona research
  13. upcycling clothing
  14. designing shelves and racks for functional things here.
  15. Writers group meetings (two to three times a month)
  16. SCA group meetings (usually once a month, occasionally twice if there a A&S meeting)
  17. Personal reading
  18. Artist dates -- that's for The Artist's Way homework too, but it requires leaving the house and drive time.
  19. household chores: laundry, cleaning, kitten care, dishes, etc
  20. Visiting Algonquin for time with Dexter
  21. SD's counseling appointment once a week
  22. Hair appointments for me and SD once every six weeks or so
  23. Bill paying and budget planning
That's a lot. Driving really cuts into my time. It's twenty minutes to half an hour to DeKalb/Sycamore area, but that's where nearly everything is: classes, work, groceries, thrift stores. I'm driving there everyday almost. SCA meetings and Writers group meetings are up there too, or at people's houses and nobody lives in my town.Working is three to four days a week, depending on my work schedule. And driving to Algonquin is an hour at least, with the time spent for lunch and shopping and an hour back home. My bank first bank is in Sugar Grove, right now I'm putting my paychecks in that account until I can get all the online bill paying assignments switched over to the bank in DeKalb -- they don't have a branch of the bank I've been using for years -- so if my check needs to be deposited right away and I can't wait until my trip to Algonquin I have to drive the 20 to 30 minutes to Sugar Grove. 

The only thing extra I'm doing, that doesn't directly involve my needs and necessities, is helping to teach the kids' MA classes. We have to be at the dojo at 5:45 pm instead of 6:45, so that means we have to leave the house 5:15 or 5:20. Which means I have to start cooking dinner early so we can eat early if we don't want to have to wolf our food down. And SD's counseling appointment is on Wednesday, same as second MA class of the week. I have to start cooking during my alone time if I want to make a healthy sit down dinner (which and I want and need to), precious minutes of alone time I could be using to finish writing and drawing projects. Yeah, it's only twice a week so that's two hours. Is it really that much extra time? But taking back that two hours affects my mental well being.

I'm going to have to tell Mr. Scott that barring emergency I can't help with the kids classes anymore. I hate to do that. Some of the kids really like me. But unless SD is in Missouri and I don't have to make a sit down dinner and can grab a healthy dinner of my own from my shelf ( I eat different healthy food, faster cooking stuff, when I don't have to cook for them. I can make lentils or split green peas or kasha.) I just don't have the time to include the assistant teaching. Right now, it's the only thing that can easily be cut.

I may have to cut down blog entries to once a week. Assign them a weekly time slot like I'm going to do with my SCA stuff.

I'll have to cut out wasting time on Facebook too. I'm doing better on that but I can't cut out Facebook entirely as it's the only place I can keep contact my writers group and my SCA group. I need those two things for my mental well-being too. Maybe allow checking Facebook twice a week only for very short periods to keep up on my groups. That will be a difficult habit to build but it must be done.

This has been helpful. The entry took me longer than I expected and wanted, but proved very helpful. Now I have to pack up my exercise stuff and take Dexter back to Algonquin, he was watching the kittens over the weekend while we were in Indiana visiting friends. I'm not taking extra time for pictures today, this entry was more for writing practice and figuring things out, not entertainment.

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