Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

[alas, no snow days were called]

1. I just finished Severance by Ling Ma, and I thought it wasn't quite as good as the hype. It wasn't poor by any means, and I'll discuss my thoughts more in detail on my monthly review post, but still not as good as say, Station Eleven

2. It snowed last week here in Southern California- seriously. We live in Corona, which is basically between LA and Palm Springs, not a place known for snow. My house sits atop a hill and I'm at about 1100 feet above sea level- and it snowed in our backyard. I don't know how you people who actually have the white stuff on the ground for more than a day live. 

3. It bothers my that so many people are saying Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper have slept together, after their Oscar's performance. It shouldn't, as I don't know either of them, but it's just so unfortunate that two actors can't showcase their talent without that sort of speculation. Clearly my skin would never be thick enough for the limelight.

4. Things are just starting to settle down in our house after a few days of unfortunate events. Saturday morning our smoke detectors started going off again, at 5:45 (I vented about this happening last week last Wednesday). I drove like a bat-out-of-hell to the grocery store, bought $40 worth of batteries and my husband and I replaced EVERY single one in the house. It didn't work (and again, they weren't chirping, they were ALL going off like there was a fire) and the alarm company tried to troubleshoot us for an hour. Finally we started yanking them off the wires and that did the trick. Later that day our water heater went out. Sunday morning our carbon monoxide detector went off at 6:30 in the morning, which was very unnerving, considering I thought maybe something with the water heater was, ya know, POISONING us. Long story short, I bought new ones and later in the day we learned that the old one is programmed to "commit suicide" at seven years. Let's just say things were tense in our house.... Monday things started getting better- the plumber gave us a good deal on the new water heater and yesterday the alarm company fixed the detector issue for free.

5. I feel like an asshole complaining about these things, but I also really had a shitty weekend. Yes, my house didn't burn down or fill with a murderous gas. I had money saved for repairs. Sawyer's bronchitis got better. But still, I was on edge for various reasons for forty-eight hours straight and I also was getting sick myself. It should be okay sometimes to feel temporarily bad for yourself, right? I don't want to be a spoiled brat, but I also want to let myself feel things.

6. Sawyer and his friend at preschool decided they wanted a playdate, which I had no clue how to organize. I ended up leaving her mom a note in the office with my number, which I felt silly doing but was reassured was normal. The mom texted me and we're taking the kids painting on Saturday. This is a little outside of my comfort zone- I am very social, but with people I know. I am fully aware that part of the deal with having an only child is giving them time to socialize, though, so off we go.

7. Besides the above outing, this is our last slow weekend for awhile. I'm thankful. I feel like things have been a little monotonous and I've had major cabin fever because of our blizzard-like conditions (kidding, kidding, but it has been cold and rainy). I just want a few weeks of everyone being healthy and happy around here. 


5- The Last Things I’ve Read
1. Student prequels to The Metamorphosis
2. Work emails 
3. An article from The New Yorker on Sheila Heti’s Motherhood
4. A few pages of Severance, by Ling Ma, at lunch
5. An article on the Serena Williams Nike commercial 

4- Things I Want to Embroider
1. A treehouse
2. A rose bouquet for my mom, at her request
3. Another RBG design
4. A leafy monogram of C&S, since everyone in my house has first names and last names that start with either letter (I have am CS and my husband Scott and son Sawyer are both SC)

3-Ways to Stay Sane on the Treadmill (that I’ve been using like crazy)
1. Save all Instagram stories for the day
2. Write out a plan and stick to it (minutes 1-6 run, 6-8 walk, 8-10 sprint, 10-20 incline walk, etc…)
3. Take a few breaks to lift weights or do core work

2-Preordered Books 
1. Daisy Jones and the 6 by Taylor Jenkins Reid
2. Margaret Atwood’s follow up to The Handmaid’s Tale, due out in the fall

1- I want more than anything
1. Twenty-four hours in a hotel room in the desert or mountains, alone. I desperately want to read and sleep (and sleep and read and read and sleep). This hotel will need a full spa and room service, too. Thanks.

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

I was home with a sick kid today, and while we were getting ready to go the doctor every single one of our smoke detectors went off today (they are wired together and I think we have eight) for over an hour, until a neighbor and I were able to solve the problem (it was so loud I could hear them in my car parked out front). I know this sounds dramatic, since there wasn't a fire, but that level of noise was traumatizing for me. Afterwards I had to take Sawyer to urgent care, since I had to cancel his actual pediatrician appointment, where we waited for over two hours to learn he had bronchitis. We then had to wait at the pharmacy. Afterwards, when my husband returned from a funeral I drove to work to teach my late class. My first inclination is to be really unhappy at what a crappy day it was, but after thinking about it, I'm trying to focus on the fact that I took care of shit. I figured out how to handle the the shrieking coming from every room in my house, I took care of my son's needs, I fulfilled professional obligations, and I still managed to cook dinner, get in a walk, and run to the store. Perspective. Also: I am SO tired.

I need to stop having really destructive, negative conversations with people in my head. I’m pretty sure that this is something that I’ve always done, but it’s gotten infinitely worse lately and isn’t helping any or anything. I guess I’ve always figured this sort of behavior is at least a little bit cathartic, and I still think it can be to a point. But it’s also emotionally draining and inherently unproductive.

I typically don’t read Taylor Jenkin Reid’s books (although I have listened to one or two), but the subject matter for Daisy Jones & the Six is just too tempting. I’m looking forward to it, especially after some heavier titles this month.

Speaking of which, I’m reading Motherhood by Sheila Heti and I have mixed feelings. Part of me totally understands her impressively conflicted feelings on whether or not to have a child, but part of me is a little annoyed with her excessive ruminations on something that has been since the dawn of time.

I can’t embroider fast enough to keep up with my ideas- it’s a wonderful combination of awesome and frustrating. I was telling a friend the other day that I’ve never really considered myself an artistic or creative person, but now I feel like I’ve found a sort of outlet where I can be and it’s nice. Feel free to follow my Instagram account for my progress @daily_floss_

The guy who did my tree tattoo did Lady Gaga’s newest one, so on the off change I wanted another one in the future I’d have to book him a year out and be prepared to pay even more than I did last time. Because I know he’ll be so unavailable I, of course, sort of want another one now. Ugh. I hate myself.

We got our taxes done and our return will be like 25% less than normal, a combination of the reduced payroll deductions and the new tax code. I knew going into the appointment what our numbers were looking like, but I really feel bad for people who feel gob smacked by the whole thing. Most people are still paying the same, or less, in taxes, but the government did a horrible job of trying to educate people during the year on the changes.  

Looking Ahead: Spring

I have had a rough time with feeling consistently unmotivated and excited about life the past two months. There are a lot of factors involved, some of which include the post-holidays blues and the horrible weather we've been having. The nice thing is that I know what my issues are- nothing is worse than when you feel like crap and you can't quite put a finger on it. One of my go-to strategies when I have that ennui kind of feeling is to make plans and have things to look forward to. So that now that spring is sort of on the horizon, I'm looking at March and April and planning some things to put some pep back in my step. I thought I'd share in case you too are trying to beat those ever-so-common late winters blahs:

A trip to a museum- There is an awesome new exhibit at The Broad featuring art from The Black Power movement, so I'm going to book tickets for Sawyer and I ASAP. He's never been and there's some really cool modern art in their main galleries that he will love (and we might even take the train!). This is also a great option if the weather is less than stellar. 

A sporting event- I have been wanting to get to a UCLA gymnastics meet ever since Katelyn Ohashi scored a 10 on her floor routine (and now another gymnast got one on the vault!) and it's so ridiculously cheap- only $12! They have two meets at home next month, so we'll be going to one.

Self-Care- I really, really hate that term, but I guess it is what it is (I hate that phrase too). I desperately need my hair cut and colored and love taking a few hours to sit at the salon and catch up with my friend who does my hair. 

Book-Related Activities- I am going to the Otessa Moshfegh reading in a few weeks and then the LA Times Festival of Books at USC is in April. 

Get Out of Town- I currently have three nights books in Yosemite over spring break, which we do every year. I am a little concerned that the snow might be a problem, but I've already decided if I have to cancel Yosemite I'll rebook for somewhere else on the coast or something (Sawyer has never been to Monterrey or Big Sur, so maybe we'll go out that way if we have to). 

Meet up with friends- Spending times with my friends makes me so much happier. I love the people I have chosen to spend my time with! I try to make plans to meet up with girlfriends at least twice a month, even if it's just for a walking date. And lucky for me, one of my best friends teaches in the class next to me, so we have lunch several days a week together. 

Go outside- I am looking forward to more walks outside, time at the park, and maybe even some time playing on the beach if it gets warm enough in April! 

Celebrate!- We are lucky to have Sawyer's birthday to give us an excuse to celebrate in April, but there's Easter as well. I think we will maybe try to go to LEGO Land for his fifth birthday, since he's obsessed with them. Our annual IB Celebration is also at the end of April, which is one of my favorite events of the school year. 

Go Shopping- I've been hoarding an Antho gift card for spring/summer clothes that I'll finally spend. Everyone needs at least one new article of clothing when the weather turns! 

Five Reasons Why You Should Read The Overstory

You guys know it takes a lot for me to devote an actual post to just one book- it has to be just that special. And Richard Powers' The Overstory definitely was, despite my trepidation over the length (over five hundred pages) and the hype. I read this over the course of like two weeks, so I feel like it was truly a reading experience- the slow speed really gave me time to linger and muse about the plot when I wasn't reading. Here's five reasons why you should read it:

The Characters: There are seven(ish) different main characters in the text, which is admittedly a lot. There's plenty of room for Powers to develop them, though, giving them unique personalities, motivations, and struggles. 

The Subject Matter: Trees! What? Are you not in love with trees like I am? There's more to it, though, including the environment, different types of relationships, radical environmentalists, loss, and life.

The Writing: I read another one of Powers' books back in college (Gain) and remembering I liked it, but I really feel like he may be one of the sort of secret treasures that for some reason we aren't singing the praises of like we should be. His prose is this wonderful combination of nature, flowing syntax, crafted descriptions, and emotion. 

The Interwoven Aspect: The premise of this book is how trees communicate, but it's also how we has humans communicate, with each other, ourselves, and with nature. The root metaphor becomes such a connective force between the different characters and the tree element itself. 

The Overall Message: We are destroying out planet, no ifs, ands, ors, or buts. We are destroying so much more than just trees when we destroy forests and eventually Earth will suffer because of it.  

A Visit to Vromans, Plus Adding to the Wish List

The other day I was meeting a friend near Pasadena for lunch and decided I'd use the occasion to finally visit Vroman's, a popular LA-area independent bookstore. I've been to Skylight, Book Soup, and The Last Bookstore, but whenever I'm near Pasadena it's for something super specific and doesn't lend itself to bookstore browsing. This seems pretty tragic now that I've been- it was definitely a "why have I waited so long?" moment. Needless to say, I was completely won over by the place and quickly deemed it the best bookstore I've been to (besides the ones listed above, in terms of "famous" bookstores, I've been to The Strand, but not yet to Powells). 

I think what I liked about it most was the size- it was large, but not daunting (like The Strand). Quality literature was clearly the focus- there weren't tables and displays devoted to mass-market writers, which I actually don't even remember seeing any of. My favorite feature was their staff recommendation wall, which was impressively large, as opposed to the few shelves you'd see somewhere like Barnes and Noble. There were sections for basically every category you could think of, plus half of the upstairs section was devoted to children's books, along with a space for story time and readings. 

You could tell the sales people were incredibly knowledgable and EVERY time I heard someone ask them a question the associate would walk them to where the answer was, as opposed to just sort of pointing in the general direction. I could feel the literary love, that's for sure. At one point I texted my friend that I was moving in (to which she instructed me to set up a homestead in the fiction section, where she'd join me). It just felt like what a bookstore should feel like- comfortable, inviting, and fascinating. 

I of course instantly started a list of books to look into later as soon as I walked in (I did leave with buying a book for myself and one of Sawyer, of course... I felt happily obligated). Here's some of the titles that Vroman's inspired:

The Ballad of Huck and Miguel by Tim DeRoche

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai 

Little Culinary Triumphs by Pascale Pujol

When Death Becomes Life: Notes from a Transplant Surgeon by Joshua Mezrich

Such Good Work by Johannes Lichtman 

The Spirit of Science Fiction by Roberto Bolano

Putney by Sofka Zinovieff

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel 

The Lonesome Bodybuilder by Yukiko Motoya

I can't wait to go back! 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

1. I'm pretty excited that I have the opportunity to go see Ottessa Moshfegh next month through the LA Public Library's ALOUD program. It's on a Tuesday during what is sure to be a crazy week (parent-teacher conferences), but I'll survive. I've read her two novels and picked up her short story collection today, so I feel ready (ha). 

2. I just finished rock climber Alex Honnold's book, Alone on the Wall, and Scott and I watched his documentary Free Solo the other night. The guy is incredible! I can't imagine climbing securely harnessed at climbing gym, let alone traversing El Capitan without any sort of safety gear. 

3. I try to ask Sawyer a silly question or two every night when we I put him to bed ("what super power do you wish you had?" or "if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?") and finally bought one of those "question a day" books for kids, where you record their answers for three years. I actually had one I did for over two years, but then I had Sawyer and my entire nighttime routine was RUINED and I quit. It was so fun to see what previous year's answers were, so I think seeing how he changes will be great.

4. I just finished listening to The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo and it was pretty... fluffy (as I knew it would be). I need mindless entertainment when I drive, though, so I guess in a way it was perfect. I will say that the ending was lacking big time. 

5. I am off this week and I swear I am more tired than when I am working. This always happens! I stay up too late and then wake up at basically the same time, since Sawyer is such an early-bird. 

6. I have been so lucky to have three lunch dates with friends this week, and have one more with my cousin on Friday. I was also able to see my grandpa last weekend, so I feel vey warm and fuzzy from all of this positive social energy. 

7. This cake is happening asap (although maybe as cupcakes). 

A Really Long, Semi- Anti-Climatic, Story About a Terrifying Book

Sawyer's preschool runs a cute, awesome, little program every winter, where the kids have to read ten books at home, write the info on snowballs, and bring them in to put on a class snowman bulletin board. When they’re done they get a hot chocolate and cookie party and every kid gets the same free book. This year it was A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon, about a girl who turns colors after denying her love of lima beans (or something like that).

So on Monday by son came home telling me that he was terrified of the “rainbow book” his teacher read to the class and that when he woke up it was IN HIS CUBBY. At the time I had no idea that they had actually done the activity yet, so I sort of blew him off and told him we would figure it out on Tuesday. When I went in I forgot to mention it, but when I picked him up the teachers told me what had happened with the distribution the previous day and that he wouldn’t even go up to his cubby until they took the book out, which they did, and nicely replaced it with a much less-threatening Clifford book, putting the Shannon book in their class library. Now that I knew what book it was, I informed my poor little child that we actually had the book at home as well, specifically in his room. He made me promise to get rid of it and mentioned it a few more times that night, that he was scared of the book.

Fast-forward to Tuesday night when I put him to bed. He would barely talk and eventually I managed to get him to tell me what was wrong- he wanted that book out and I had forgotten when we got home. I promptly rectified the situation and told him the book was safely in my room. I thought the issue was over. It was most definitely not.

An hour later, Sawyer woke up sweating and shaking from a bad dream, which he had had about that damn book. He said he’d never go in my room again, since the book was in there (I told him I’d take it to work so it was out of the house, which I did) and that he wanted me to talk to his teacher so that they could turn the book around in the classroom library so he wouldn’t have to see the girl’s face as he walked to his cubby every day. I said we would and he went back to sleep.

Wednesday, when I dropped him off that morning, I explained the bad dream and rest of the situation to his teacher and he and I went to the classroom library to TURN IT AROUND. It was missing, which, instead of being reassuring, bothered him even more because he was worried it would resurface unexpectedly. Luckily, it did not, and he was able to get through his day.

In almost five years of life, my son’s biggest fear has been a book. He has even gone so far as to muse that when he dies he won't have to see it anymore (with a sly grin, though, so I'm not exactly putting a therapist on speed-dial). 

The end.

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

I’ve started a public Instagram account for my embroidery, as I debate about whether I want to move it from a hobby to an Etsy shop. Come! Follow @daily_floss_ for works-in-progress and finished projects.

I am reading Richard Powers’ Overstory and it is absolutely amazing. I am a tiny bit biased, since I have a definite thing for trees, but his writing is stunning. I read one of his books back in college, and all I remember is that I liked it, but nothing more specific. I’m looking forward to getting into his catalog in the future.

This weekend my husband and I watched the documentary Meru on Netflix, about a group that climbed the Himalayan mountain with the same name. I am such a sucker for these kinds of stories, and I can’t wait to see Free Solo (my husband saw that last week and said was amazing). I actually just bought Alex Honnold’s memoir, which I am looking forward to reading first.

Speaking of movies, who’s going to see the new LEGO movie this weekend with 3948395783 children???? These are actually some of my favorite kid’s movies, so I’m sure it will be good. I’m just admittedly not a fan of going to the theater to see family films.

I went to the Elton John concert last year and it was incredible. He is by far one of the best performers I’ve ever seen live, if not the best. I can’t believe he’s in his seventies! He sounds like he did decades ago and still plays the piano with such intensity. He does move around a lot slower, thought, but who can blame him? The crowd spanned from people in their early twenties into senior-citizen territory and there were some great costumes. Also interesting to note is that I’ve never smelled that much pot at a concert in my life,  which I thought was particularly amusing. When we were done, we promptly wandered around The Forum parking lot for a really long time in a cold drizzle, since the venue is a perfect circle and even if you are really confident you know where you came in at you probably do not. Luckily my friend and I were happy to get some steps in, so it worked out. Also, I must note, that she and I have never been to a concert together and she was the best person ever for this event. 

We have a had a lot of rain, considering it’s Southern California, and it has really made me quite confident that I could never survive in somewhere like Seattle. It makes me feel so lethargic and depressed after a day or so. I don’t think I have SAD or anything like that, I just need that boost that sunshine provides.

I started the essay collection Can We All Be Feminists a few months ago, and my reading of it has stalled big time. And I mean “stalled” as in I only got through the introduction… I don’t even know why! I found myself highlighting and tabbing things in those first pages and thinking how great it was. I guess it’s a classic example of needing to be in the right mood for something, I guess. I am really going to try to commit to ten or so pages a day this month, though, so that I can finish it. I want to! It’ll be like my daily devotional or whatever, fired-up feminist style.

Sawyer is very slowly learning to read. I mean like BABY steps- we have been working on the _at and _it CVC patterns right now, just to practice learning how to sound out words. It’s so exciting and he is feels so proud of his success. We just sit down and do five minutes a night, so it’s not overwhelming and it’s been so fun seeing him transition. I have bought a few of those leveled readers as well, and I do the reading but we stop and sound out the easy words together, just to practice.

While essays are never exactly a joy to read (I initially typed “job,” haha), my students have been showing a lot growth in their literary analysis lately, which is so nice. I have been nagging them to expand their analysis and they’ve finally started connecting elements of style, say tone and diction, to elaborate, and, low-and-behold, it’s working. Scores are going up. While I love an amazing essay as much as the next English teacher, improvement is really where it’s at.

Recommended Reading: Memoirs

This semester my students have to choose one of their outside reading books from either the memoir/autobiography, sci-fi, or drama genres (they have to read a total of 700 pages). I am putting together recommended lists from my own personal readings, so I thought I'd share here. Here's the first:

Get Stuff Done

Last week I spent some time talking to my students about strategies to help them manage their time better and be more efficient, since a lot of them are feeling quite overwhelmed with their rigorous course loads, extracurricular activities, family obligations, and the need to also be teenagers who have fun. Lucky for them, time-management is my jam. I'm the girl that read a book on the subject and then took the author's words to heart and tracked every minute of my life for a week to analyze my strengths and weaknesses. People often ask me how I “do so much” or “get it all done,” which has made me take a really solid look at the habits and routines I have integrated into my own life and am constantly reassessing. For the record, I don’t consider myself a Superwoman who knocks it out of the park twenty-four seven. Sometimes I do let things slide, half-ass things, or procrastinate. Some days I even come home and SIT ON THE COUCH FOR AN HOUR STRAIGHT (cue gasps). But I do try to make the most out of each day, prioritize like a boss, and plan ahead. And like I told my students, it’s taken thirty-five years to feel like I have a better handle on things, so it really is one of those things that require a great deal of trial and error.

I really hesitated about whether or not to write this, since we’re all capable adults and no one likes a know-it-all, but if Marie Kondo can tell everyone how to organize their sock drawers, I guess we can do whatever we want. Some of these strategies are ridiculously obvious and easy, and I take credit for none of them. Some of them also aren’t meant for everyone or for every situation. It’s all about finding out what works for us, in the place that we’re in, to feel successful (and even that looks differently for different people; heck, what feels like the right thing to do for me on Tuesday may not be the same on Saturday).

To-Do Lists
I live and die by my to-do lists; without one I sort of feel… itchy. And sad. I make one every morning at home for the afternoon/evening when I arrive home from work, and then I get to work I make one for what I have to get done there. I create a massive one every Friday for the weekend, divided into categories for home, work, self, and other. The visual reminder is really motivating and writing everything down ensures I don’t forget to do things.

I love setting a timer for a certain about of time and getting done what I can in that space, and then taking a break. At that point I either return to the task or move on to something else. A lot of times when I get home I’ll set a timer for thirty minutes and get done as many chores as I can; that way I make some progress on keeping things neat, but then also don’t let all of my precious work-week time get sucked away with mundane tasks. This also works really well with grading papers and working out- you can always get through thirty or forty minutes of something not super enjoyable if you know there’s an ending. I use the Forest app, as well, since it can help make my phone less tempting to pick up.

Calendering Tasks (Specifically: grading)
This simple idea has totally change my grading. Sure, I get behind some, but every time I assign my students something I then assign myself dates for grading it. That way I can be realistic about the work load, I can be flexible with my personal time, and I can make sure I’m making the progress necessary to prevent a massive paper-pile-up. I am completely caught up right now and I credit the grading calendar for keeping my honest and efficient.

Chunking Tasks
This is really helpful for bigger projects, like, say, undecorating the house after Christmas or doing some sort of home improvement project. I’ll break down what I’m doing into reasonable chunks and then schedule them out so that I’m making progress in a timely manner but don’t have to necessarily commit hours at one time to something.

Reward Yourself
This might be as simple as a cup of coffee or an hour of guilt-free Netflix. I think lab rats have proven that all living things love being rewarded, humans not being an exception. Sometimes we are intrinsically motivated, but sometimes a little bit of external motivation is necessary. I’d never need a reward to read books, but I have definitely used this idea to help get me through half-marathon training when the mileage starts climbing.

The Future You
This is so corny, but I always thing what the future me wants the present me to do. The Future Christine of this weekend doesn’t want to grade papers at home, so the Present Christine has to grade extra on week nights. The Future Christine of next Christmas doesn’t want to panic about Christmas costs, so the Present Christine sets aside forty or so dollars a month to alleviate the burden. That’s to say we should always be living in the future, as our current happiness and comfort is too, but you have to give a little to get a little.

Identify Time Sucks and Plan Accordingly
My time suck? Browsing on my phone. When the screen time function was released on the iPhone I was a little surprised at how much time I spent on social media and the web browser, so I actively tried to reduce my time. Like I told my students, we need time sucks! We need entertainment, distractions, and silly ways to connect. But there comes a point where we have to ask ourselves if we could do something more productive than looking at makeup tutorials on Instagram, watching another hour of TV, or playing mindless mobile games on our phones.  Ideally, you’ll use these “time sucks” as rewards for being productive or as the short breaks in between tasks.

One thing that I find myself asking is whether or not what I’m doing could be better done at a different time. If not, there’s no time like the present! And if so, we readjust. For example, say it’s the weekend and I’m trying to figure out what to do when Sawyer rests in his room. Laundry is a dumb option, because I can do that while I’m hanging out with him while he plays. Cleaning the bathrooms can be a pain when he is up, since he follows me around or constantly interrupts, so that is a better fit. Reading a book that requires all of my attention would be a good choice, too. As a whole, what needs to be done immediately? And of those things, what is the most important? What is option? What is not?

Maximize Your Time
It wasn't until I had Sawyer that I really started looking at my time as such a precious commodity. It was then that I started really maximizing the few minutes I had here and there to really increase my productivity. Five minutes to spare? Unload the dishwasher. Ten minutes? Read a few pages or grade two essays. There are plenty of mindless tasks that you can do here and there to reduce the workload when you'd usually do things. Every night I try to wipe down the kitchen or sweep while my slow little eater finishes. Or while Sawyer is picking up his toys at night I try to fold a load of laundry or throw up an almost-ready blog post (hiiiii!). 

A few things I try to remember:
Not everyone is like me; my husband never makes to-do lists and doesn’t feel an overwhelming drive to constantly be productive. I may not understand it, but I have to respect it.

Sometimes you have to abandon the to-do list and calendar, and that’s okay.

Even if there are things that weren’t done, what did happen? What did you get to cross off the list? Those things should be celebrated.

My efficiency isn’t just for tasks I don’t enjoy or feel obligated to do; there is plenty of space for seeing friends, my hobbies, and my family.

It has taken my over three decades to have systems in place; there’s always room to grow and ways to improve.  

Good luck!