Are We There Yet?

A couple months ago, a friend asked if I am finding myself with more “free time” now that my girls are both in school.

That question quickly stopped me in my tracks. Surely, I must feel as though I now have more time for myself with the girls both in school, right? So why do I feel like I have less time than ever to get “everything done”? Why do I not have the hours I imagined for taking the dog on hikes, cooking nice meals, taking an interesting class or two?

After considering this for a while (as I drove out to Woodstock and back to pick up Camille from a party), I had a bit of a “Eureka!” moment.

As soon as both girls were in school, I no longer had an excuse for putting off all the things I had been putting off for fifteen years (or so).

And I tackled them all, all at once.

  • I got myself into the doctor. That snowballed into a gyn exam and then a mammogram and then calls to the insurance company.
  • I signed up to volunteer with the Red Cross. That turned into hours and hours of trainings and meetings and left little time for the volunteering I want to do.
  • I decided to cook good meals every night – that fell apart quickly, unfortunately.
  • I worked on organizing, cleaning and decorating the house. Contractors, designing, shopping, emptying cabinets, deep cleaning. A couple rooms done, many left to go.
  • I realized it was time for me to understand our finances and for us to work on various aspects of estate planning.
  • I no longer had an excuse not to work on photo albums and put together three more.
  • I started to clean up a very poor migration of my blog from blogger to wordpress that I did about five years ago.

Most of these items don’t take lots of time on an individual basis, but I tackled them all at once. On top of my work and other activities, they added up to me truly having less time than when I was still a “homeschooling parent”.

My goal now is to work towards more time for those things I listed above – walking with the dog (exercise and stress relief), cooking (healthy living) and taking some classes (expanding my knowledge). Before I take those on seriously, I am devoting time to one more large task – LETTING GO.

I still own and maintain an number of projects for which I need to find new owners. I refuse to just let them drop, as I feel a strong sense of responsibility towards them.

  1. uuhomeschool.org – I am no longer a homeschooler. I have given up being moderator of the Yahoo group and am now in the process of converting the website, which I own and maintain, into WordPress so the domain and content can be handed off.
  2. PLAIN – I haven’t lived in Pine Lake for over two years. I have given up being owner and moderator of the Yahoo group. I am looking for someone to take over the website, which I own and maintain, and the weekly classifieds email that I still piece together and send out.
  3. Kids’ Music stuff:
    • Gooney Bird Kids – Wow, that was really tough giving that one up. I’ve been doing it for so long and count people in the kindie community amongst my friends. I am not passing it on at all. That was my baby, and since the girls’ and I no longer travel to concerts as much, it was time to let it go.
    • kplfans.com – I have someone who wants to take over the whole project, thankfully.
    • Fids and Kamily – I’m sure my fellow organizers will find a fine replacement for me in time.

While finding new owners for all these projects and making the transfer is taking MORE time than simply continuing to maintain them, I breathe a sigh of relief each time I am able to let one go.

In addition, I’m watching my social networking time. I’ve unfollowed blogs on feedly, unfriended people on facebook, unfollowed people on twitter, unliked pages on facebook, removed myself from many a mailing list. Simply cutting back on the information overload has been a great help in terms of time, energy and more.

My hope is that within a couple of months, I will have been able to rid myself of much of the baggage (most of which I created for myself, I know) from the past fifteen years. It is moving along. A little slower than I hoped, but it is moving along.

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