Friday miscellany: Getting it done

I will admit that I was nervous about this week. My husband left at 6:45 a.m. Monday and is home today. Being gone four nights is not so long a trip, but last week the 2-year-old went on a sleep strike. We are talking multiple nights up in the middle of the night for hours, or else waking up at 3:45 a.m. and never going back to bed. I had zero desire to deal with four nights of this myself.

We also added a winter activity into the schedule (2 nights of wrestling) without any of the fall activities ending yet. So there was the question of how the intricate matrix of all this would with stand the addition.

But the good news is there was only one middle-of-the-night wake-up during the four nights. I am grateful for that. And now the next 3 nights are not my problem! Also, we absorbed the wrestling just fine. In general, the week went pretty well. Some highlights:

I finished a draft of the fable. It's only about 19,000 words right now and will likely be in the low 20ks when I'm done, but that's about par for the course for the genre (Who Moved My Cheese is sub-10k words).

Sarah and I recorded four podcasts. Four! Three were with guests, and they were awesome guests. We taped three episodes in a row Thursday morning, and I'll admit that I was really glad the last one we taped was our "Planner-Palooza," which involved Sarah's overview of the paper planner market, and how to use a planner to organize one's life. Translation: I could just be quiet while she ran with it. We're now good through the end of the year, which is fortunate, since she's due in early December.

I spoke at a local event on Wednesday night. In and out -- easy!

I managed to finish a surprising amount of administrative stuff. I realized while in the process of getting some travel to Canada booked that my passport expires in 6 months (not that it matters for Canada, but it does for some other destinations). So I filled out the forms to renew by mail, got my photo taken, and got myself to the post office to send it in for expedited processing. Check that off! I also managed to get myself approvedĀ in the federal government's System for Award Management. It helped that I already had various numbers I needed ahead of time, but still. Getting the notification made me feel like Small Business Superwoman.

I wound up with quite a bit of kid time too. My kids' elementary school was celebrating American Education Week, which meant we could come visit at various points to see lessons. I made it to the kindergarten class and the 2nd grade class. I had some good conversations with my 10-year-old about some tricky issues in the car. And then he made me a PowerPoint presentation about which fish would work with a 40-gallon aquarium (which he wants). The presentation was pretty good, though being a kid, he used the funky transitions between slides (I haven't shared my thoughts on PowerPoint with him yet).

I arranged playdates and Friday evening activities for all the kids. I went to choir practice on Thursday having practiced all my music ahead of time.

I will admit that I did not achieve my running goals this week. I ran every day (as I do) but I have neither run long nor run fast. I wanted to either do that 10-mile run in the fall foliage that I didn't get to from my fall fun list, or else run a sub 7:40 mile* on the treadmill. Perhaps I will still get to that second option later today though I kind of doubt it, as I don't really feel like doing it.

In other news: Speaking of podcasts, I was the guest on Christy Wright's Business Boutique this week -- excuses that steal time episode. Please check it out!

Also, news from friends of the blog! Elizabeth Grace Saunders, author of numerous time management books, has a new book out this week called Divine Time Management. This book looks at time and schedules from a Christian inspirational perspective.

*This is fast for me.

View Comments

  • Just recently started following your blog and love it but was wondering what your daily run is like? Do you have a specific time or mileage you have to achieve or just whatever works? I want to set a good New Year's goal but don't want to overestimated what can be accomplished. Thanks!

    • @Beth - thanks for reading the blog, and welcome! I need to run 1 mile per day to keep the streak going. I usually do more, but it's always what I feel like doing. If the weather is nice and I have time in my schedule, I really prefer to run outside. In general, outside, I aim to do at least 3.1 miles. About once a week I aim to do a long run (>5 miles). Today was a very short day (1.2 miles on treadmill) but I did ultimately do the speed workout I meant to: a 7:35 mile.

      • WOW! That is fast! I need to pack my running clothes in the car and just get it done before I leave work--once I get home, we all know what happens! Thanks for the inspiration and good luck with the streak!

  • I can't wait for the planner podcast! When is it scheduled. I am a little obsessed - and am trying to figure out a new and better system for 2018!

  • Laura, I have boundless empathy for the sleep problem. I'm a chronic insomniac with a kid with sleep issues. It took until 3.5 before we could get a referral to a sleep clinic, and I can't stress enough that he needed it. The plan they came up with was about 20% behavioral modification, 80% mega doses of iron and a *tiny* bit of melatonin. He's now 6 and sleeps great, with rare exceptions.

    • I always like to hear from another insomniac with kids! Newborn days were hard for me because I couldn't put MYSELF back to sleep after being up the baby, so every feed had me awake for way too long-- even when the baby went right back down. He's a toddler now and I still struggle, but it's much better. Good to know about he sleep clinic idea if we ever get to the point of needing that.

    • @gwinne- thanks for the suggestion. We may wind up doing that. This week was a lot better than last week, so I guess I keep hoping that we've moved beyond it. But we shall see. I know you had to deal with it on your own for a long time and here I am complaining about 4 nights solo.

  • Interesting that you are "into" planners. I vastly prefer Google Calendar because my husband can track what I'm planning. I particularly love that the school calendar is synced to my calendar so I'm never wondering what's going on. I did buy myself the makings of a custom notebook for work, although I haven't put it together yet. But I just don't understand the love of planners.

  • Laura, I'll just throw this recommendation out there. You might consider talking to your pediatrician about melatonin to aid your little guy's sleep. Our bodies make it, and melatonin signals that "sleepy feeling" that aids falling and staying asleep. It's the only thing I'd ever prescribe for sleep for my little patients. In many (not all) kids it helps them so much. Of course- just a suggestion, nothing more.

  • Thank you, Laura, for continuing to update about sleep issues. This aspect of child-rearing is one I always find interesting, because it can be a challenge to feel alert/motivated/excited about professional (and personal) things when you are SO tired from sleep battles. Thank you for sharing.