Spring Break is over and the beginning of a new quarter lies 22 hours in my future. I would love to be a couch potato and watch Doris Day movies for hours on end, ignoring the blinding light of the speeding train headed in my direction. But my mind forces me to the realization that this is a golden opportunity of time to get my life in order for the next three months. Not only does school appear in my horizon, but also I have two major competitions to coordinate and my youngest child will graduate high school in June. My ducks need to be in a row and swimming along the straight and narrow just to keep my head above water.
Enlisting my go to practice of time management, work begins. I have a method for accomplishing a “to do” list with structure (my family and even co-workers shake their heads at my process) which is affectionately known as 20 Minute Sundays. In the truest definition, 20 Minute Sundays is a process of tackling a set of chores in twenty-minute intervals. It starts with pen and paper, jotting down general headings, usually four or five, and then rotating through the categories every twenty minutes. And yes I use a timer. I find it helps me stay on task and not get consumed with any one activity. Today I had four categories, Housecleaning, Cal Poly, Organize/Bookkeeping and Me. I really wanted to write and without a Me moment I might not ever finish this post.
So off I started, timer set, projects outlined and I decided to put The Office on Netflix for back ground noise. The Office is not only an iconic television show, but also one I have related to over the years. Themes and story lines that were funny yet piquant, resonated with me as an educator and office employee. Michael Scott could very well be the poster child of what not to do as a manager. Working through the morning the final season paralleled my movement through the list. Kitchen cleaned, syllabus complete, closet organized, blog writing, laundry started, and so on (you get the point). When the final episode aired it was time for a lunch break.
As it came to a close, Pam reflected on the series and how she didn’t watch their PBS special because it was just to hard for her to see herself.
It took me so long to do so many important things; it’s just hard to accept that I spent so many years being less happy than I could’ve been. It’d be great if people saw this documentary and learned from my mistakes. It would make my heart soar if someone out there saw this and she said to herself, “Be strong. Trust Yourself. Love Yourself. Conquer your fears. Just go after what you want, and act fast ‘cause life just isn’t that long.” – Pam Halpert The Office
And there it was, The Office connecting with me once again. Lately I have felt like I am afraid, unsure and basically worried about everything. Putting others first leaves one feeling unappreciated, tired and at times pretty unhappy. Am I being true to Jacky or am I being what everyone else expects me to be? This past year has been full of change and I have seen it as a sign. A message from above that I am missing out of opportunities that I am not opening myself up to experience.
Do I know exactly what I want to go after, maybe not, but I am going to build the strength to trust my feeling and conquer all obstacles. More time for writing and less time jumping to others demands. Exploring more and allowing adventure to replace fear. Allowing myself to relax and not be scared.
My timer just went off, and I must move on to another chore. (or maybe it is time for a little Doris Day) But fear not, my list starts with Me and that is a pretty strong heading.