Sunday, May 22, 2011

Meditation on Never Catching Up

I always think to myself that I'll catch up as soon as I have some free time. This is my mantra. But I never catch up. I'm not sure if it's due to me being lazy or if it revolves more around  having a huge list of things I need to catch up on.

Lucky me got a summer class. Lecturers don't usually get a summer class so it was pretty awesome to get this one. We need the money for the move and it's not too horrible a summer job. But I only had as week between putting final grades in and this class starting. I thought that I would catch Umberto up on math during this week. Like an intensive math workshop. He's doing so great on his reading, and I don't really have to do much with him on that aspect (who would ever have guessed this would be the case a few years ago?) but now he's falling behind in math. I figured we'd spend a few hours each day on Math and have him established in a routine by the time school started again.

But that didn't happen because I also had to "catch up" on the housecleaning. The apartment was trashed and really needed a deep cleaning. I dusted, folded clothes, wiped down counters, put stuff away, etc. I also had to tweak my syllabus which was fun. I had to work on a book review for a journal. In other words, I caught up on everything but I wanted to catch up on. Yes we worked on some math but not nearly as much as needed.

And now it's Sunday and I'm utterly frustrated with myself. I have to figure out a way to balance things. I ended up being able to focus on one thing at time and then everything else gets left behind. It won't get done until Ginger chooses that as her weekly focus. I'm still striving towards this place where I do lots of little things each day. Now that my summer classes is starting up I am already worried about dropping everything and just focusing on the class. It would be easy to do as I teach M-Th for two hours in the evening. I can totally see my whole day as a big focal point for that one two hour span.

I'm thinking that perhaps I need to stop thinking in terms of catching up. I need to print out the schedule I made from my friend's template and I need to stick with it. This little things each day seems a much better system then my intense devotion to one chore at a time. Spending a week cleaning is all well and good when one doesn't home school. But it's not so great when your intense focus means that you let everything else go. I mean my kids are feed and clothed. They get out and do things. But then sometimes I feel like that focus needs to be on them not on the house. I guess in some ways this is the dilemma of motherhood.


S said...

I don't think there is such a thing as catching up. Honestly, I don't think there is even a way to do only small things or not focus on one thing at a time. I was going to try to blog about it myself actually, but right now all I want to do is catch up on my reading. Can't seem to do both :)

naturalbirthmodesto said...

I have a love/hate relationship with the flylady, but I like how she says not to try to catch up, just to jump in whereever you are doing your fifteen minutes here and fifteen minutes if I could just follow that advice...