Monday, December 13, 2010

List, List...Where's My List?!?

Started this list on Friday - and this is what it looked like on Sunday evening!

I know I'm not the only one who struggles with getting everything done during the holidays, but I swear, this year it's been particularly rough. And I don't have kids at home, or dinners to make (most nights); no school performances to attend, none of those obligations. It can't be the fact that I'm working - geez, I've worked many, many Decembers, and a lot more hours, truth be told.

It wasn't until late last week that I finally figured out why this year feels so difficult. It IS my job. Not that the job is hard, or the hours are long (that won't start until tomorrow, ha!) - rather, it's the fact that my schedule is different every week, and because I'm afraid that I'll accidentally miss a day, I'm constantly checking my calendar to see when I'm working. And it's been a little challenging to fit normal things in, like my morning runs, reading and writing blogs, Christmas shopping, and time spent with friends. I guess I've been so accustomed to having a set work schedule that this new "retail hours" thing has thrown me. Dumb, I know, but there you have it - apparently my brain has had to go into overdrive to keep everything straight this December.

What has helped? Lists. I've always been a list maker, but right now, I have a plethora of lists going - a TO DO, a list of what I've bought for each person, a list of what I still need to buy, a list of blog topics, a list of blog business emails (I have some cool reviews/giveaways in the works), and a menu/grocery list for when the boys come home in about a week. If I keep referring to the lists I feel a little more in control, especially when I can cross things off of them. However, if I can't access the lists, that control is out the window. Yesterday I couldn't find my blog topic list (and yes, that's why this post has preempted your regularly-scheduled post) and I went a little loopy for a few minutes - I keep all of my lists on my desk, so where could it have gone? Turns out it was slipped into a different week of my desk calendar (ooh, just remembered I need to buy new one for 2011 - better add that to a list!) and with a few flips of the pages, I found it. Whew - crisis averted!

With all the (mostly) self-induced holiday insanity, I am trying to remember to take some time to do what I enjoy. That's why I spent a couple of hours yesterday wrapping presents while watching my favorite holiday movie, Love Actually. I've been drinking a cup or two of holiday tea every evening - so far, Candy Cane Lane is edging out Gingerbread Spice and Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride as my favorite. Unfortunately, I've also been enjoying some M&M's lately - I bought a giant bag of red and green ones to use on our gingerbread houses...however, we won't be decorating them for another week at least. Needless to say, this has been a good reminder to me as to why I don't keep candy and other really tempting, snacky items in the house on a regular basis - it's too easy to reach for them when my defenses are down and stress levels are up.

So. The good news is that the M&M's are almost gone, and I have been making Jeff eat some sharing them with Jeff every night, so they are going faster. Of course, this means that I will have to buy another bag on the day we have our Second Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Throwdown, but that, along with the lesson about my candy snack trigger, seems to be a lesson I needed to relearn this year.

Now if I could only get the darn Christmas letter/cards/labels done, I'd be golden!

20 comments:

  1. I live on lists :lol: I've got to do lists at home and at work otherwise I definitely forget something important.

    I've been writing my Christmas Cards Saturday night and mailed them yesterday. All I have to do know is to think of Christmas dinner and make a shopping list and do the actual shopping on December 23rd.

    I love Love Actually, it always leaves me with a happy feeling after watching it and always makes me cry at exactly the same point :)

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  2. "To Do" lists
    Become "Ta Da!" lists!

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  3. I know exactly how you are feeling, though sometimes, I think the lists just enhance the panic. It's like they stare at you, sticking their tongue out, saying "Naner Naner Naner, you can't catch me."

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  4. I've got to get better at making lists! Instead, I've been running around like a crazy person, waking up in the middle of the night remembering something I need to do and scribbling on scraps of paper! UGH!

    Next year... I will be more organized! :)

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  5. Oh, man, my life is run by lists. I can't seem to keep it all straight in my head anymore. And I don't even have the excuse that all this big holiday stuff is coming! My holiday will be so low key as to be boring! But keep lists, I do.

    And I was just thinking that I need to own Love Actually. Watching movies is a part of the holiday family celebration and this is my 2nd favorite. It may be time to put it in rotation in place of The Christmas Story, which is my all-time favorite. Something to add to MY Christmas list.

    I know you will get it all done and as Anne said, get that "ta da" feeling when your "to do's" are done.

    Have a great week filled with crossing things off of your list.

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  6. Good to hear another person having just everyday normal living crap. I keep forgetting to get that new calendar -thanks for the reminder. I do imagine not having a set work schedule can be crazy making.

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  7. Lists are necessary in my world. It certainly looks like you've got a lot accomplished!

    M&Ms can be evil. Never allow a coconut M&M into the house. I seriously can not resist them. LOL

    No worries. No stress. Everything will get done and the most important thing about this season anyway is about being with family and having a good time. At least it is for me. :)

    ((HUGS))
    PS: I start my training this week. Half marathon, here I come. Eventually. LOL

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  8. I am a list maker too - and guess how technical I have become? I have a task list on my Blackberry! (okay, Hannah had to show me how to do it, but I love having access to it!)

    My cards are done - I decided only to send cards to people who send them to me - needless to say, my card list dropped dramatically!

    Happy Monday!

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  9. My theory is if you can survive retail at Christmas, you can survive anything!

    Last year I sent no cards. This year I reduced our card list to out of town people only. I'm saving a ton in postage.

    And after this weekend, my holiday "to do list" is down to "baking." I'm just saying.

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  10. I totally agree that lists are a must. If only mine would look a little more like yours....

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  11. I am a total list girl. I would never get out of the house to go on vacation without my lists.

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  12. Oh yeah. Love the lists. Especially when I get to cross things off of them.

    Stress and M&M's. There's something about the open pack. I went nuts (har har I made a funny) on trail mix the other night. Seriously, I didn't feel good the next day. I ended the evening by throwing the rest of the trail mix in the garbage can. I seem to be able to control myself with the individual packages. So far.

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  13. I need to get back into doing lists, I think it would totally make me feel more at ease with getting everything done!

    And where is this tea you were speaking of!???

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  14. I live for to do lists Shelley, you're not alone ;-)

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  15. Love lists, but only do it because I'm completely scatterbrained without them. The photo of your list looks insanely complete to me. I'm doing well to get about a quarter of my items marked off. Sometimes I even add a couple of sneaky items just so I can mark them off ("showering" for example.) Hope you can keep your stress level low this season!

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  16. I keep all my lists superflyorganized in my smart phone.
    and then spend all day ever day obsessing about WHAT IF I LOST MY SMART PHONE?!

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  17. Can't wait to see the Throwdown pics. ROAR!! ;) - Kirsten

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  18. You know you're insanely busy when "fold laundry" makes your list. ((shelley))

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  19. I make lists when I am feeling overwhelmed.

    I love 'fold laundry' - I don't even do that at all LOL! Guess that is why I am always a bit wrinkled, cause I don't iron either.

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  20. Smart phone all the way to stay organized! Lists of all kinds, alarms set in the calendar to remind me of appointments. Heck I have even been known to set an alarm (days in advance) in my calendar to remind me to set the alarm clock to get up the next day. Alarms to remind me to give the dog her meds, which she gets every third day. Waxing, when I colored my hair last, dog grooming - you name it. I don't think I could survive without it. What did we (I) do before them?
    If I were you I'd put my work schedule in the calendar of my phone and set an alarm to remind me the night before and the morning of. One of the nicest thing about using my phone this way is that it is always with me. So if I am out and about and think of something "list or calendar worthy" I can add it immediately.

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