Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Secondary Things We Balance

I've read many amusing posts lately about bad days. You know, the day when everything goes wrong; you have too much to do and no time to do it.

Chore Board - You Did It!
Photo by vox_efx

I think we tend to underestimate many things in our lives. We underestimate how much we spend on Christmas presents, how much we have in our checking accounts, how much our VISA bill adds up to. We underestimate how much of our day is spent eating and preparing meals. Even if we decide to pick up dinner in a drive-through, it takes time, maybe even twenty minutes.

We underestimate how much we eat. I had one smallish piece of cake, but I had three blueberries, and...wait a minute, half a bag of Doritos. How much is a serving size anyhow? Seventy-six chips? Well, than I'm good! Oh wait. Fifteen chips. Seriously?! Who can eat only fifteen chips?? Is it a serving for the Keebler Elf? I'll round down...

We underestimate how long it will take us to run an errand. How much time we spend commuting. How much time we spend watching television.

Then we feel guilty, angry, or defensive when we don't have enough money in our account, or we gain three pounds, or we're late for work. It's hard to balance when we don't have an accurate tally of what we're balancing.

Think of all the things you do in a day. You probably have the basics: sleeping, grooming, preparing meals, eating, driving, working, housecleaning, exercising, relaxing. But what about the other things that crop up? The occasional hair appointment, the long phone call to Mom, the pet explosion in the living room, the endless errands for piddly things, the lawn care, the purchase of gifts for every occasion, the pile of bills, the urge to dance a silly jig to a favorite tune.
Did that list exhaust you? We do so many things we never give ourselves credit for. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for all you do. Today, you do not need to feel guilty about anything. You accomplished enough.

On a side note, the fabulous Angie Ledbetter of Gumbo Writer has invited us all to an open house. If you have a chance, stop by!

You are cordially invited to attend an "open house" beginning Wednesday, October 14, in honor of the newly renovated Rose &Thorn Journal.

Drop by, sign up for the newsletter, check out the new digs (and blog!), follow us on Twitter and Facebook, leave us your comments/thoughts, and wish us well.

Rose &Thorn is a quarterly literary journal featuring the voices of emerging and established authors, poets and artists. Now...go enjoy the open bar and appetizer spread!

Angie Ledbetter &Kathryn
MagendieCo-Editor/PublishersRose & Thorn
Journal

Join me on Friday when we'll discuss why social networks aren't just time wasters and how we can balance our use of them.

39 comments:

  1. I underestimate everything! Especially food (started laughing about that one) and most especially the time I spend dilly-dallying om the comuter!

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  2. I completely underestimate how long I intend to spend on Bejeweled! ;)

    So are you referring to all my bad days lately. They seem to pile up one after another, and sadly for all very time related issues.

    And we won't go into the food issue because I totally ONLY got a medium cheese fry! I didn't know they were going to put enough cheese on there to cover a large. So not my fault. And of course I HAD to eat...there are starving kids out there...I need to be a good example to my children about not wasting!

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  3. I underestimate how much I like writing. How much I need my husband and how much God loves me. I am up for learning to estimate :)

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  4. I think if we wrote a list of every single thing we did in a day, we'd be pretty amazed. I like to write itineraries, just to keep all those unestimables manageable!

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  5. Thanks for the pep talk coach. I'm going back in with a winning attitude! :O)

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  6. I think I underestimate money most of all, especially on trips. I always have this magic number in my head that I couldn't possibly spend even if I tried (usually not very much) and always end up spending more than that (even if it's still not very much). One day I'm going to figure out a math equation of wrong estimate to right and never guess incorrectly again!

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  7. This was a fantastic post. I really needed it today. I've been wasting a lot of time lately and it needs to stop.

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  8. You're so right, instead of giving myself credit for the stuff I DO, I tend to focus too much on the places where I fall down. :)

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  9. I am bad about underestimating how long it will take to drive places. I tend to be late quite often. I've been trying to add five minutes to all of my guesses. It seems to be helping.

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  10. I KNOW my days are crammed, and my age I overestimate time needed to do tasks. Then when they get done, it's gravy!

    Thanks for the nice PSA on our R&T Journal, bloggy friend. :)

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  11. Thanks, I will pat myself on the back!

    Looking forward to Friday's post and hearing how to successfully visit, comment, interact on other blogs in a timely fashion. I literally blog ALL day long! Yikes!

    Blessings to you...

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  12. I've thought of that recently, how much time I really have in a day. And yet, there still doesn't seem to be enough. *sigh*

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  13. Growing up, I loved the dad from Cheaper by the Dozen b/c he jammed in so much during those tedious task times. I still think he's pretty cool. Going to check out R&T.
    ~ Wendy

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  14. Katie: Me too! Except exercise. I overestimate that one every time :)!!

    Marybeth: Cheese fries? I hear those belong in the calorie free category, along with my penchant for naches. And I hear you on the Bejeweled. Sucks you right in, doesn't it?

    Tabitha: Your list is WAY better than mine! And I agree!

    Joanne: Yes, (I'm rubbing my hands together in glee) I love itineraries! I recently heard of an electronic one Lotus Organizer. It micromanages your entire day. Sounds intriguing...

    Diane: I'll be a winner today if you are. :)

    Kristen T.: I'm terrible about estimating money for a trip. Everything adds up so quickly! You're not alone!

    Natalie: I bet you aren't wasting nearly as much time as you think. Do you realize how many little things we do in the course of a day? It's astonishing!

    Erica: Uggh, so do I. Why do we feel the need to flog ourselves? Not today!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  15. Hi Jill -

    I always have a to-do list on my desk. It feels good to cross things off. Sometimes I'm amazed that I've accomplished so much in a day.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  16. Susan: Yep. I struggled with this at the beginning of the school year. Then I set all the clocks five minutes ahead, and guess what? Problem solved!

    Angie: Great strategy! Who would have thought--overestimate how long it takes. Might have to try that! (Can't wait to come over and check out the open house!)

    Tamika: Hey, we're all struggling with it. My way isn't ideal, but it fits. I still feel guilty, though! See you Friday!

    T.Anne: Can I sigh too? I feel the same way.

    Wendy: I love that movie! Actually, both versions are great. They make me laugh!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  17. Susan: Me too! I write down even the itty-bitty things and cross them off. It feels great, doesn't it?

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Hi Jill! Thanks for giving me permission to open FB and Twitter without feeling guilty. After all, being a writer is only one part of who God made us!

    Enjoyed the post!

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  19. Great post. Balance is such a hard status to achieve!

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  20. Maria: All work and no play? Yuck. FB and Twitter are necessary distractions in my life!

    Melissa: It is, isn't it! Hope you're feeling better!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  21. The hubby and I spent a week where we would turn the TV off after dinner.
    It was amazing how much we got done. LOL!

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  22. Jill, I think you missed your calling as a life coach.

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  23. Excellent post. Patting self on back for accomplishing something today and not feeling guilty over the things left to accomplish.

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  24. Sometimes to boost my mood, I write EVERYTHING I do on my to do list (even if I have already completed it) and then I check it all off and feel like I truly accomplished a lot that day. It does also make me aware of all of the little time consumers that I don't usually count or give a lot of thought to.

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  25. Good thoughts here Jill. I forget alot of what I do and usually feel guilty that I'm not doing enough!

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  26. Jennifer: I can imagine! Any plans to do it again?

    Lisa and Laura: I'm shaking my head--that's so sweet--but I'm not qualified. I'm always trying to cram too much in!

    Amy: Good for you!

    Tamara: Love it! What a great way to gain perspective!

    Terri: I hear you! I do the same thing. It's easy to forget the little things we do each week.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  27. I definitely underestimate things. Thanks for this post and the encouragement!

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  28. I underestimated how much hair I should have cut from my head after I didn't like the haircut I received today -- thus taking the scissors to it -- of course because I have a book event Saturday, I wanted to show how crazy I can look *sigh* *laughing*

    thank you for the R&T mention! Ang and I are excited...

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  29. Cindy: It comes with being a mom, right? :)

    Kathryn: Welcome! Congratulations on the R&T overhaul and re-opening! Sorry about your hair trauma. I've been there myself. Maybe a little styling mud will hide any iffy areas? Have a great time at the book event!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  30. What you are saying is that on Monday when my kids were sick and my to do list went out the window, I actually accomplished something? I like the way you think! I spent time running for my boys all day. When the day was over and I looked at my to do list, with 1 item checked off, I felt defeated. In reality, I should have been patting myself on the back for making it through the day with 2 sick kids.

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  31. some great comments here - it is all about perspective and priorities. Its a good reminder to me, thanks Jill :)

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  32. Did this post ever peg me. I definitely underestimate the time I need for everything!!!

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  33. i underestimate how long it will take me to do my character therapy posts all the time. i end up getting into it...and the time gets away from me. *sigh*

    jeannie
    The Character Therapist

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  34. CMOM: Taking care of two sick children clears the agenda fast! Why do we even think we can get anything done in those situations??

    Tess: You're welcome!

    Eileen: Me too--glad I'm not the only one!

    Jeannie: Oh, I know! Some posts come to me very quickly, while others take forever, but for some reason I always plan for the quick ones. Should double the estimated time...

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  35. I always underestimate how much time it will take to do things, secretly hoping that God will make the days longer at some point. I'm always saying that there's just not enough time in the day for me to do all of the things I want to do. Argh! I've loved your posts on balance. One of my favorite topics! Thanks for giving me something more to think about re: the subject.

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  36. *pat pat* Ahhh, that felt good. Thanks Jill. And you're right. We DON'T give ourselves credit. LET'S START NOW! Thanks for another wonderful post. :) And thanks for helping our buddy Angie out. :)

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  37. So nice to have permission not to feel guilty when we experience time wasters like spilled juice, things we can't find though we just saw them, and letters that just have to be mailed today. Not on the list. Thanks so much.

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  38. You're right! What a process we put ourselves through. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I'll try to work on this.

    Ugh. We've had more than one pet explosion in the living room. Mental Note: Do NOT feed the dog Thanksgiving's leftover Cajun Turducken this year.

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  39. Heather: Sadly, I'd fill up the extra hours if God did give them out!

    Robyn: ((pat, pat!!)) Absolutely!

    Nancy: The first hour of my day is filled with so many tasks--and I conveniently forget how much I've accomplished just in that hour. Sigh...

    Janna: I'm taking your mental note and applying it to self--do NOT feed the cat any Thanksgiving's leftover Cajun Turducken this year. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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