Getting Stuff Done


August 25, 2010 by Marj Hatzell

Here’s the irony:  Things have been hectic around here the past two days. As in, barely tolerable and very busy and mostly crazy and nearly tears.  I’ve had tons going on.  But when I have tons to do I get overwhelmed very easily. And when  I am overwhelmed I freeze.  You know, like a slushy. So then I get nothing done.  Which means more piles up on me, and I get more overwhelmed, and then I freeze more and my feet move slower and slower and then…

I crash and burn.

Before the boys were ever born, I relied on two things (besides my husband):  Lists and sleep.   Without sleep, I cannot function. Without my lists, I cannot function. See where this is going?  Sleep and lists. Lists and sleep.  Remember that, mmkay?

So.  This week is busy. I may or may not have bitten off more than I can chew.  You know. Too many kids, too many dogs.  Friends and family members having personal issues, which makes my heart ache, because I have the audacity to want people to be HAPPY once in a while.   I’m emotionally drained. I’m busy with Home and School stuff (and I’m very, very nervous about this president of Home and School stuff, even if it is CO-PRESIDENT, it’s still a ton of work).  I have housework coming out of my ears.  I have been going all day without sitting, leading to very sore feet and an aching back.  I’ve been walking dogs like crazy (because it turns out that the more you walk them, the more tired they become, which means they are better behaved, and therefore less stressful to be around. Go figure) and trying to give all doggies all of the attention they need. And all kiddos the attention they need.  And my husband?  All of the attention they need. And my friends?  And my siblings?  And…and…

See where this is going?  Notice I am not mentioning giving ME the attention I need?  That’s because there is nothing left for me.  All pieces of the pie have been eaten. And yes, I just referred to myself as a piece of pie (cherry) and yes, I do find it strangely sexual in nature to refer to myself being eaten.Freud would have a field day with me, yo.  Especially with my food texture issues and the phallic phase.  But that’s another story for another time. Interpret that as you will.

So lists. And sleep.  I am not sleeping well lately. And I’ve not been making my lists. So I’ve been forgetting things.  And I’ve been forgetting children (not yours, don’t worry, just mine). And I’ve been forgetting to feed dogs (not yours!  Just mine!) and forgetting to call and make appointments and forgetting to do stuff around the house and forgetting to cook and eat and exercise and sleep and stuff. Forgetting it.  ’cause there is so much sh*t in my head it’s like spaghetti and it’s all tangled up and I can’t sort it out. Because I think in pictures and see concrete things in my head (even the things that are abstract, they have colors and textures in my head and stuff) and yes, I’m insane, haven’t we covered this?  And yes, I’m probably on the spectrum and definitely have ADHD and OOOH!  Shiney stuff and I smell something weird and where was I again?

Lists.  And sleep.  Riiiiight.

So I make tons of lists and I get great satisfaction from my well-organized lists and crossing them off in just the right way because putting the lists on paper instead of in my head makes them concrete and then they aren’t so jumbled in my head.  The lists are for the stuff I have to get done that day. The phone calls I have to make. The stuff I need at the store.  The order I do my housework.  And when I get my lists down on paper and cross some things off and accomplish them, I don’t climb into bed all frazzled with my head full of the lists that I didn’t make that I didn’t cross off and stay awake going over those lists and those things and that stuff until the wee hours and then wake up exhausted.

In other words, if I get sleep, I can make lists. Which help me sleep. Because I made lists. No, I don’t have OCD.  It’s CDO (in alphabetical order).

Now excuse me while I go make some lists.

9 thoughts on “Getting Stuff Done

  1. suz says:

    that list making thing MUST be genetic!!

  2. Amanda says:

    My husband and I invoke Van Wilder a lot. “Write that down.” If I don’t write it down, it may be weeks before I remember. If I have to go to the post office, more like months.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I don’t just have lists; I have a book for my lists so I will not lose my lists and I never leave home without it (actually took it to church last Sunday which cause a friend to question me/my santiy) and I cross things off the numbered lists with green ink pen. I am not insane, (neither are you— well not about that at least— I don’t really KNOW you so I can say about the whole you). . Anyhow I, too, sleep better when I check the list just before I go to bed and add stuff so I can forget it and sleep. Just makes perfect sense to me, mmmkay?

  4. kristastes says:

    I’ve had “buy stamps” on about 15 different lists and STILL, no stamps. I suck. I hope I boosted your organization ego a lil!

  5. Kelly says:

    I adore you, Marj.

  6. Mary says:

    1. I
    2. am
    3. so
    4. the
    5. same
    6. way

    praise the Post-it man/lord/god/woman

  7. annie says:

    I’d fail daily without my LISTS and CALENDAR!

  8. I heart lists. Also Philadelphia. Also moms of kids on the spectrum. Also you.

  9. Stephanie says:

    I can emphathize. Though, I must admit–sometimes the best I can do in a given day is move the stuff from today’s list to tomorrow’s list and hope that, if I make a little time for myself today, there will be more of me to be eaten up tomorrow.

    Don’t forget to put “Take care of me” on your list. It helps all the rest.

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