Tag Archives: delete

Only Child says delete

 

Only Child  contemplates deleting extra chores

Only Child contemplates deleting extra chores

Hitting the delete button is common with computers. We also need a “delete” button for all the flotsam and jetsam in our lives – something I’ve decided to apply.

Life is not as simple as when I was growing up – although back then I did not think life was simple. But I suppose with my Dad dying of cancer, being bullied, and turning into Worry Wart #2 (my late Mom gets the prize for Top Worry War), that is understandable.

When I start misplacing items – or in some cases items go missing and turn up in strange places (more on this in a future post), I get angrier than usual at so-called “little things,” I am not getting enough sleep so I can’t think and function normally, bingo – I’m in overwhelm. It’s time.

Time to take a look at what exactly is happening in my life and hitting the “delete” button for some things.

Off the top of my head, I know I have to make the word “no” into a very big word. I need to stop helping every Tom, Ken and Susan who wants my help. A lot of it happens in the writing department and I’m not referring to paying clients. I have reached the point where I use the “delay” tactic but I think I will have to say “no” upfront. It is good as an experienced writer/writing teacher/ and editor to help more newbie writers – but somewhere in there you have to draw the line at how many and for what.

Then there is this business of suddenly finding housework (some of it daily routine) to do after the 11 p.m. news. Or as one of my writing colleagues put it “no more dusting late at night.” I don’t dust late at night and my house is lucky if I dust it once a month. Yes, I have my priorities right there.

No, what I do late at night is empty the dehumidifier, shut the basement windows (those two in summer), fill the coffeepot ready to turn on in the morning, and sometimes finish washing the dishes, dump the recycling newspapers, etc. in the big bin I keep just outside the side door, and lock that door and the front door. And I haven’t even started on the personal get-ready-for-bed rituals.

Why can’t I do all this stuff earlier in the evening? If I’m watching TV, except for a couple of channels I watch, there are commercials. I used to laugh at my friend Diana who would rush into the kitchen during the commercials to do dishes, etc. Well, it’s a good idea and I do it for washing the dishes and most of the time they at least get done. So why not for other daily evening chores?

Other things in my life can fall under the delete button. I use a Plan A, B, C and D for what is important. The A box is “Have to Do; want to do;” B box is “Have to do; don’t want to do” (dusting goes under thus one); C box is Don’t have to do; want to do” and D box is “Don’t have to do; don’t want to do.”

Guess which one is the easiest to list.

How do you deal with too much to do? Do you have a plan? Or do you not have too much to do in your life?

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Anxiety, Balance, Burnout, Mom and Dad, Only child, Overwhelm, Sharon A. Crawford, Worrying

Only Child views September’s new beginnings

Only Child age 8 Holy Cross grade school photo

September is too fast approaching and kids, teens  and others will be returning to school or college. I remember the mixture of anticipation and dread of that first day back after two months of freedom. Back in the grey ages I could smell the pencils, paper and print from the books – it’s a miracle I didn’t get high. I wondered who would be my teacher(s) and who would be in my class(es). Not all was smooth sailing for someone who was shy and quiet (then, not now. Try shutting me up today). As I write in my memoir, I had some difficulties with one particular nun in grade 2.

In grade 2 we applied our Grade 1 reading skills in exercises.

“Turn to page 12, exercise A,” Mother St. Helen says. She stands behind her desk. She holds the exercise book, alternating between glancing down at it and over at us. “When you are finished it and exercise B, you may quietly bring them up here for me to look at.” She sits down.

For the next 15 to 20 minutes the only sounds are the flipping of pages and the scratching of pencils. I read through each question and write down my answer or draw the picture required. Some of the students finish quickly and line up at Mother’s desk, so now I hear her occasional, “That’s wrong. How do you expect to pass Grade 2,” and “Good.”

I have now completed the work, so pick up the exercise book, which is the size of a thick colouring book and climb out from behind the desk, walk up to the front and line up. Nora and Michael stand in front of me and as Mother looks at Nora’s work and says, “Good,” I think I also have done all right.

“How do you expect to pass grade 2?” Mother asks Michael.

I hope I have done all right.

It is now my turn. I say nothing as I place the open exercise book before Mother. She presses her lips together as she follows along on the page with her pencil. When she reaches the bottom, she jerks the book at me.

“What’s this?” she asks.

I look down and read out loud. “Draw an X.”

“The word isn’t ‘X;’ it’s an ‘axe.’ ”

I have drawn an “X.”

“Stupid,” she says. “You should know better than that.” She whacks the pencil against my nose.

Tears well up in my eyes. My face must be turning red because Mother is looking a little strange for Mother.

“I’m sorry. Did I hurt you?”

(Excerpted from You Can Go Home: Deconstructing the Demons, copyright 2011 Sharon Crawford)

But that was back then. Now, with this September lurking near, it might be a good idea to focus on renewing ourselves, what we do, and what we really don’t have to do. Some of us are in a too relaxed mode and September can thrust us in overwhelm and overload. Here are a few ideas to help get us through the next month or so (Do as I write, not necessarily as I will do).

1. Make a list of what you do, what you think you have to do in both work and personal.

2. Use the three D’s – delay, delegate, delete as you scrutinize all the items in your “to-do” list. Ask yourself: What can you get someone else to do? What can you put off doing until another time? What can you delete or never do?

3. Tell yourself that the biggest word in your dictionary is NO. Repeat it to yourself, out loud. And keep it in mind when someone asks you to do something you really don’t have time to do. All it takes is a “No, sorry, but I have a full schedule and really don’t have the time to do…” And courage to say it. If I had more courage here I might have said, “no,” back in July to phoning member of my graduation high school class for the reunion coming up in October. But I had to get the list of classmates with their possible current contact info. I’m not a journalist with a nosy mind for nothing.

4. Find some relax time – go and sit in your garden, a park, go for a walk, meditate, listen to soothing music, read a book, heck even watch some of  the new TV shows.

5. And don’t beat yourself up mentally (or otherwise) if you fall off the balance wagon. Nobody is perfect. (I will repeat that one to myself like a mantra, along with the “No.”)

I think my friend, Fran, had the best way of summing this up – consider what is best for you right now, not what someone else thinks you should be doing. I tend to agree with her. What about you? I’d like comments on how you plan to deal with the September rush and its back-to-business mode.

Cheers.

Sharon Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Anxiety, Back to School, Balance, Delete, Life demands, Memoir writing, No, Only child, Only child memoir, Overwhelm, Prioritizing, Reading escapism, School, School days, September, Stress, Teachers, Time management, to do list