In which challenges are faced, but not necessarily overcome.
Time for my weekly update. While my past weekly updates have been more work-focused, I’m going to extend this one to cover personal stuff as well.
(Confession: I think this is a good discipline for myself, but they may bore readers — as well as myself! So I’ll do my best to write at least one other tidbit or post on Fridays as well. At least I can tuck the gory details away behind the “more” link…)
What’s this week been like?
I was getting up toooo early. My husband started a new job that requires him to get up at 5:20 am and leave by 6:20. Now, there was a season in my life when I got up consistently at 6 am every morning, but that season has been long dormant (am I mixing metaphors?). My natural sleep cycle these days (as in, no alarm) is to go to bed around 10:30 and wake up around 7, when it is getting light outside. Add on the fact that I never really adjusted to the earlier Daylight Savings Time, and 5:20 is really, really early.
Thank goodness for English Breakfast tea!
The effects I’ve observed this week:
- I am draggin’ in the mornings. It takes me about twice as long to do everything.
- I am more easily distracted. It’s too dark outside to go for my first-thing-in-the-morning walk/run, so I fire up the computer and end up reading East Coast blogs. Then I start reading blog archives. Then I…
- I have been a little grumpy. Sorry, Steve!
- I feel guilty for not having been more productive by the time Steve comes home (around 4 pm).
- Me + caffeine = dehydrated. My system isn’t “used” to caffeinated drinks anymore.
Surprise! It’s another major project. I had one major project for PixelMill that was wrapping up this week, but got thrown a curveball with another Major Project and some last-minute work on a Minor Project. How am I supposed to reduce my hours? Well, by not doing the other stuff I’m supposed to be doing.
I did manage to please everyone who was involved by coming through on Major Project 1, Major Project 2, and Minor Project, but I had to drop my own personal PixelMill plans involving product and program development. This makes me feel behind and frustrated — partly because I like having a completed to-do list, but mostly because those product/program development plans are my main focus as a partner.
I have a lot to learn with working with new clients. I started a new client project this week, and realized that I’ve gotten complacent with my established, happy bunch of ongoing clients. I’ve developed different working synergies with each of them and have forgotten how to smoothly start a working relationship with a new one. A lot of time has been sucked away with my fumbling efforts to figure out what is important to the client and how to best communicate with them.
Harp practice went out the window, too. I have practiced a total of one hour this entire week.
Introspective moments about relationships. It’s been a challenging week relationally.
- I had to wade through feeling guilty for being “too busy” to hang out with Steve when he comes home from work. It always bothers me when my life doesn’t have enough margin to invest in the relationships that matter most to me. We talked about it, though, and the reality is that my workday usually doesn’t start until 8:30 or 9-ish — at least two hours after he leaves — what with exercise, personal devotional time, showering, eating, and blogging. He’s okay with me being unavailable for another couple of hours after he comes home so that I can finish up work and practice harp. So, it all ended well, but it sucked for the first few days when I was feeling guilty.
- I’m naturally an introvert, but I usually do enjoy hanging out with friends and family. This week, I have not. Is it because of lack of sleep? Is it because too much was going on this week? Or is twitter and the “internets” stunting my ability to have real-life interactions?
Rather negative week review, so far! Take all this with a grain of salt that I am rather sleep deprived so maybe my lack-of-sleep-induced-grumpiness is coming through.
On the positive side:
- I am getting back into running. This makes me feel fitter and happier. The highlight of the week was running 10 minutes in a row with no knee pain (even if I was a little huffy-and-puffy).
- I’ve been prolifically blogging on this site.
- I connected with and am going to start working with one of the “designers I admire.” This is pretty exciting.
- I am over being scatterbrained. I didn’t lose anything, misplace anything, or forget to do anything important (now, choosing to not do a specific thing because of lack of time is a different story!).
- My kitchen sink is clean*, and my other routines, with the exception of practicing harp, are getting re-established.
Looking forward to next week…
- Re: being tired, neglected harp, and relational challenges:
- Go to bed earlier! I think it will help to make a rough schedule for myself — more of a guide in terms of what I need to do when if I want to do everything that I want to do.
- Recharge and reconnect with people. Easter weekend is a great time for both personal reflection and for spending time with people. Steve is picking up another shift on Saturday, so I will have the whole day to myself to catch up on work stuff, bike to the library and refill my book stash, and have some introvert “me” time. Sunday morning we’ll be at church, and then we’ve planned on having a fun picnic with friends and hopefully family.
- Re: work curveballs:
- I need to focus on the fact that billable work (Major Projects 1 and 2) is a teensy bit more important than “development” work for this season. With that in mind, I won’t resent the time that the Projects take away from my planning work.
- Re: new client roadbumps
- I’ll process this in another blog post soon and try to analyze what I could have done better. This will be helpful when I start working on projects for “One of the Designers I Admire.”
Okay, I feel better now. Even though my week isn’t technically over, I feel like I pushed a reset button!
*A clean kitchen sink is the first step to a chaos-free life according to FlyLady, the purple-winged heroine of homemakers, mothers, and other people who want to be more organized.