Sunday, September 18, 2011

Working the new normal

I mentioned a week or so ago that moving toward the new normal was proving to be a challenge. That packing up from work, leaving early and then knowing what to do with myself once home, was difficult.

Leif has challenges, according to his present and former teachers, with transitions. I think I know where he gets this from.

I struggle with it too. When I work, I like to have lots of projects and lots of things on my plate, but I tend to spend large chunks of time on one project and work it until all my outstanding to do items on that project are dealt with. While everything else festers sits idle. I claim myself to be a multitasker, but I wonder if I am more just a person who dislikes idle time? A person who fears boredom?

Say for example I am working project X and someone from project Y calls me. I have to fight my gut response that says, "what! Don't you know I am fully entrenched in something that has nothing to do with you or your work? Go away!"

Ok, so I would never ever say that. And I probably don't think it in those terms. But when I break it down and acknowledge my annoyance with phone calls on topic Y, while working topic X, this is where my annoyance stems. I can't transition to what you are talking about on this topic!

(And what is it lately with the increase in phone calls? Doesn't anyone e-mail anymore? My phone seems to ring off the hook lately at work.)

Ok, back to the topic at hand. The new normal.

My problem for the first few weeks is that I came home to work and didn't really know what I was supposed to be doing. Should I be doing laundry? Or fixing dinner? Or answering work e-mails? Or sitting in front of the TV with my kids? Or should we go to the park? I really want to sort photos. And I really need groceries... Argh! And before I knew it AB would be home and I would feel like I hadn't used my time wisely.

This last week I have kept a list on my phone of things I *want* to do. Ok, also on it is my list of things I *need* to do. I planned out my days and our dinners and the kids activities. I checked things off my list (yes, I have been known to put something on my list just so I can check it off). And happiness ensued.

Dinner gets made. The house gets picked up. Homework gets done. Books get read.

I enjoy work. I am good at what I do. I just need to apply my same strategies for a happy work life to my time at home.

The groove isn't worn in yet. But the wheel is working it. Once I get our schedule down and the new normal sets in, then I can set about changing and adding things.

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