Day 2 of the January 2024 Time Tracking Challenge

It is a wild night outside — rainy, windy, etc. It’s dark as midnight, and has been since about 4 p.m. this afternoon. I’m posting this at 6:15 p.m., but I keep feeling like it must be hours later.

Anyway, last night after I posted my time log I saw that my husband was playing with the 4-year-old, so I decided to go finish my puzzle. Santa brought me a 500-piece Squishmallow puzzle (since the three younger kids all got squishes in their stockings). I have found that 500-piece puzzles take about 25 percent of the time that 1000-piece puzzles do. Weirdly enough, the last piece I put in was an edge piece! While those are the easiest in many puzzles (so you’d do them first), with this one all the art was in the middle and the sides were, for long stretches, exactly the same purplish color. So I mostly did the interior first.

I did the puzzle from 8-8:45 p.m. (a little longer than I planned but…I wanted to finish). Then I got the 4-year-old, read him stories, and put him to bed. He wasn’t down but at least he was more or less willing to stay in his room. I then (9:05 p.m.) went to the 8-year-old’s room to do art with him (we colored a Demon Slayer coloring book– probably wouldn’t be my first choice, but hey) and then at 9:30 I switched to the 12-year-old’s room. We lay in her bed talking for a while (it was quite comfortable!) and then she told me about all her Squishmallows’ back stories.

Lights went off for everyone around 10, at which point I went to read in my room (Dave Barry’s book, Best State Ever, about Florida). My husband and I chatted for a while and I made it into bed around 11:15 p.m.

I woke up with my alarm at 6:22 a.m., got into my running clothes, and woke the three older kids. The 16-year-old was still not feeling great, so he wound up back in bed. I went upstairs to run on the treadmill for 2 miles (20:50, which was 6:33-6:55 a.m. with a little walking after) and listened to today’s Best of Both Worlds podcast. It was a pretty good one, if I say so myself! It is also our first official one as an iHeartMedia podcast (how’s that for burying an announcement?) We’ve been working on this transition to our new network for the past year and it is now done. You probably won’t notice too much change as a listener (the network ads might be different), but we hope this will bring in some new listeners.

Anyway, I went back downstairs at 6:55 and discovered that the 14-year-old had not actually woken up. So he was roused, and he ate a Pop-Tart before heading out with my husband and the 12-year-old to jazz band practice. I made myself coffee, went into my office, and did my back exercises (7:14-7:26) while listening to the rest of today’s BOBW episode. Then I showered and got dressed, at which point the little boys were getting up. We spent the next 10 minutes or so hunting for the 8-year-old’s Nintendo Switch, which he finally found.

B came at 8, we chatted, and I was in my office shortly thereafter, working on various things. The work day did not go exactly as I planned. I was going to use my “beginning of the day” energy to work on my book proposal. But then I got distracted with administrative stuff — a permission slip for a competition that was a bit more involved than the usual forms; signing the 4-year-old up for an activity that required resetting my password for something…then my phone couldn’t get the link for resetting and it expired so I had to go outside to get reception and…suddenly it was 9:30 a.m. And my zeal to do something I’d been procrastinating on disappeared.

So…I did everything else I had to do. This “productive procrastination” can feel pretty productive! I practiced and then recorded five episodes of Before Breakfast. I made three errors in 5 scripts – so I noted those for the producer and sent the files in. I answered various emails, and wrote a newsletter. I worked on a book review I’m writing. I ate lunch at 12:45 p.m. At 1:15, I did one media call (I was interviewed about being more focused) and at 2:00 I did another one (about better weekends). Then I worked on more random stuff and at 3:30 I interviewed someone for my book proposal sample chapter. It was a fun conversation. That went to 4:00, at which point I worked until 4:50 on the book review. Then my 14-year-old texted that he was at the bottom of the hill (he’d taken the activity bus home) so I drove down to get him as the rain was getting worse and worse. (B had picked up the 12-year-old, and then later the 8-year-old from the bottom of the hill).

I was back in the house a hair before 5, at which point I started cooking (chicken and rice with Rogan Josh sauce, plus green beans — B had put all the ingredients on the counter and then she was helping the 12-year-old with her vocabulary homework). The goal was to eat by 5:30 p.m. so I could take the 8-year-old to swim. But let’s just say that my desire to leave the house in a gusty downpour was…low. So we decided to stay put. B left around 5:45 so she could get home before the storm got worse.

Anyway, I’m posting this now — hoping we will keep power tonight! Here’s hoping everyone stays safe and dry!

12 thoughts on “Day 2 of the January 2024 Time Tracking Challenge

  1. We’re getting the same storm tomorrow. I HATE wind; it really makes me feel so anxious and so much can go wrong with wind and rain. Flooding, lots of trees down, power outages. I’ll be very glad for it all to be over – it’s supposed to hit us tomorrow morning and peak by early evening, so hopefully most of it can be endured with daylight?! Eeks. Hope you emerge unscathed.

    1. @Elisabeth – hope the storm isn’t too bad for you. Mostly unscathed. Just a LOT of driving this morning due to detours…

  2. I think one of the main reasons for your spending your time well (apart from living close to everything and having financial means to outsource the majority of household tasks) is that you don’t watch TV or spend too much time on social media. I’m not tracking right now because I’m sick but my time sheets show embarrassingly large chunks of “Instagram” and “Netflix”

    1. @Maggie – I’m still amazed at the end of the day how much time I have spent on my phone. It fits in those little crevices, or when I’m doing other things (supervising a bath) and wow. I don’t usually watch TV (it’s just not that compelling to me usually) so that does free up some time.

      1. I had a late night rant over the holidays about people recommending tv shows to me and insisting “you will love it…” My mother in law is the worst for this, detailed description of the plot, while I protest “oh I never watch tv…” I work full time, read 75 books a year, and have high sleep needs.

        Each year, I make a resolution to watch a show with my husband. And every year, I watch a show in January and turn off the tv for the year. I love peoples’ stories but I think I’m not super visual, so I rarely watch anything.

        1. @Coree – there’s only so much time, so we have to make choices – and not watching TV isn’t a bad one.

  3. Just woke up fromma terrible night of sleep. I always worry (not without reason) that our basement will flood or our power will go out. The rain is over but the wind is definitely still gusting…the electricity is on for now.

    1. @Gillian – sorry you didn’t sleep well. We lost power briefly (and the generator came on) but it was only a few minutes. Then the lights were flickering on and off all night but we kept power. Lots of tree branches and power lines down this morning so many detours with schools — definitely affecting my time logs there! But so far it looks like it could have been worse. Hope that is was OK everywhere else it hit too…

  4. I think I have seen this question before (apologies for the repeat!), but one thing I note is often how little “introvert” time you appear to have in the evening, and I wonder how you recover. This may be driven by the fact that my kids are younger, so I am very “on” from 4 pm until they are in bed, and I am very ready to be done by that point/excited for the time to pursue my own interests. I struggle a bit to see how it will play out as they get older and bedtimes get later. I have a lot of flexibility in most of my days, but very much feel a pull between enjoying “golden hours” and wanting to get through bedtime? Is this something you consider/struggle with?

    1. @Allison – I definitely want to be “done” with kids at a certain point in the evening. Generally I have them all in their rooms by 10 and then my lights out is 11, so that is an hour that can be pretty quiet. My hope is to have them all in their rooms and quiet at 9 but for various reasons that can wind up being still interactive time… Some work days are also fairly quiet – there are days I’m on the phone or zooms all day but it tends not to be every day. If I have been on the phone all day my patience for evening kid interactions is much lower!

  5. I love reading these time kids so thank you for sharing! I have to Google “Rogan Josh sauce,” that had me stumped.

    1. @Lori C – I used to love chicken tikka masala but a lot of that is cream based, so I needed a different Indian sauce that is often available in grocery stores, and Rogan Josh was it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *