31-Day Challenge: Day 11

“It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.” ~Lena Horne

Where are you making life harder than it needs to be?

I came across this quote and question in an old day planner that I have laying around. Like many of my planners, it’s half-full because when I set it up, I grossly over complicated it, and it had way more nonsense in it than I needed, which I felt the need to use simply because it was there.

This year, I bought a simple Lichtturm notebook and set up my first bullet journal. I had seen a lot of posts about them online and decided to give it a try. After figuring out a tentative plan for how I wanted to use it, I laid out the first month or so and off I went. I’ve found it to be a relatively simple system, and I’ve made good use of mine throughout the year. It goes almost everywhere with me, and I’ve been consistently listing and checking things off on paper, which I find very satisfying.

That has gone a long way towards making me feel more organized. However, it’s not a perfect fix. Lately, I’ve run into the slight issue of forgetting or mixing up things for various classes. This is one hundred percent down to the giant shitshow currently living on the floor of our bedroom.

A few months ago, I cleared out the last shelf in our bookshelf, which was reserved for piles of papers and books from my English classes. In went normal books, and the teaching material moved to the floor. I had good intentions for clearing a new shelf for these things in the office, but then work started up after Christmas and we were off to the races. Gradually the pile has grown, crawling over the floor like the hops in our garden. It’s invading other spaces, it’s growing out, and when I try to re-stack things, cats come through and send things sliding down again. At this point, it’s completely out of hand.

My schedule at this point is different every day. Different companies, different levels, different books, different everything. The fact that I haven’t shown up in the wrong place at the wrong time yet, is a little bit amazing. Not that I’m a space cadet, but I’m juggling a fair amount right now and if I don’t pay attention, getting on the wrong train wouldn’t be too hard to do.

Generally though, I feel good about how work is going. There have been rough times here over the years, so I very much feel like it’s the season to make hay while the sun shines. But the pile plagues me. It’s visual evidence of me only knowing what I’m doing on the outside, but don’t poke any further. It is most definitely making my life harder than it needs to be. But when I leave home at 7am and don’t get home until 6:30pm, the absolute last thing I want to do is unpack my bag and put things neatly away. I want to flop on the couch, BV to serve me dinner, and to remain there until it’s time for bed.

That’s not what normally happens, but making myself do anything productive in the evening is a struggle.

As a freelancer, it’s up to me to manage my schedule and get everything done when it needs doing. I do try to separate work time and free time, but working freelance makes that extremely difficult some days. I get emails at all hours, and I let all my students know that if they need a question answered urgently, they can write me at any time. That’s something I’m happy to do, but the administrative side of things just makes me crazy.

However, it’s got to stop at some point. That means that this weekend, hopefully tomorrow, I’m going to kill the pile. I don’t know yet where I’m going to go with the pile as the office is also short on shelf space, but that’s an excuse I’ve been using for months. The pile is making me crazy, I’m tripping over the crap, the cat is partying on it and keeping me up at night… it’s gotta stop. It’s making my life harder than it needs to be, and I’m not having it anymore.

***

Editor’s Note: This is part of a 31-day challenge series for the month of May, in which I aim to spend at least 15 minutes writing about whatever strikes my fancy. Results may vary.

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