Thursday, April 28, 2016

Where's that Light? of Long Lists and Dark Tunnels and Encouraging Rewards and Pacing


Throwback Thursdays are a thing, I'm sure you know, and today I'm taking advantage of the meme for a quick post that not only takes me back to my January-February trip to Rome (the city my daughter, son-in-love, and granddaughter returned to this past weekend) but also shows my current focus on moving toward the light (even though sometimes that means trudging through a long tunnel, even a sustained uphill march!).

Not all the passages are difficult, of course. Today, for example, I intend to clear out a dresser that holds a mix of photographs, stationery, candles, table  linens, and garden records; I've also promised myself I'll fill at least three packing boxes with a mix of books, cushions, and linens. Might be a bit too much to do when I get back from the dental appointment I've been putting off for too long. But cleverly, I've booked a late breakfast with a friend right after the yoga class I'm not letting myself skip. 

Hmmmm, I just read that day's agenda back to myself, and I might leave the boxes of books, etc. until tomorrow. Pacing,girl, pacing!
I'd better go, get one or two drawers emptied, their contents sorted, so that the luxury of my yoga class will feel like an earned reward (light achieved after effort). But feel free to hang out in Rome for a bit after I've gone...and I'd love to hear your favourite tricks for urging yourself through demanding times...

36 comments:

  1. Well,my mantra is: Keep calm ( this is rarely the whole truth :-)) and carry on!
    I noticed that a well planned day with a little pleasure as a break (like reading) and a coffee with a friend helps!
    It worked perfectly before,now I come to value skipping the work and having a break first!
    Life is too short!
    Rome is so beautiful!
    Enjoy your breakfast,your boxes don't mind
    Dottoressa

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    1. Yes, I'd say I at least aim at Keeping Calm, but I'm not saying I achieve it consistently. I'm pretty good at giving myself breaks or rewards because I know that if I don't, I won't get through the next days very well...
      I like your plan: skip the work, have the break first, top of the list! (if only my boxes would pack themselves!)

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  2. Pacing is everything. I set a timer and work until it 'dings'. Another strategy is to put together a certain number of boxes and work until they are filled. The best one was setting up a series on TV - I believe it was the first season of Outlander. I put up two bridge tables and stacked paper on them - a friend and I packed five sets of china and miscellaneous dishes and ornaments. We still laugh about it, calling it our Highland Fling.
    Yoga is a good idea - as is any other treat that gets you through this.

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    1. I really like this plan, although my TV set-up (I generally watch series via Internet on my big computer screen in my "office") makes it a bit tricky to organise -- worth it, though, and I think I'll set this up when I'm ready to pack up the breakables. Five sets of china?! I should feel very lucky then. We're paring, paring, and paring...

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  3. I favour the Dottoressa school of time management. I read and then take a "work
    break". I set myself a certain number of tasks that can easily be completed. On Monday, I eliminated notes from Continuing Ed courses that I took in 2007. If I ever move (probably to a care home) or when I die, Daughter will not have to deal with it. Enjoy the yoga and breakfast with your friend.

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    1. Funny how long we hang onto those course notes. I'm debating whether I'm ready to chuck the big box of notes I took for my Comprehensive Field Exams for my doctorate. They were the foundation for many courses I taught, all that distilled research at the ready, but I'm very sure I won't be needing them again. . . And yet. . . Today I'm leaning toward putting them in the big green plastic bag (and, as you say, saving the kids from dealing with it after I'm gone. . . ) We'll see...

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  4. Pacing, indeed. Moving can be so daunting! But you're smart to break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. We have no plans to move anytime soon, but I'm still itching to start sorting through and clearing out some 20 years of our own accumulation, not to mention the inherited stuff...

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    1. It does feel good to get this stuff sorted, although I wish it didn't take the pressure of a moving truck to achieve it. . .

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  5. BTW, your photos and posts about Rome have put it back on our travel agenda for next year. :-)

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    1. So much to see and do in Rome. It's so very different than Paris, and I didn't love it immediately, but it's captured me . . .I'm glad to hear you're going back.

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  6. I set myself goals and work about half the day then go for a walk in the afternoon. Mornings are best for me to do the various tasks that I must get done...I like Pondsides idea of working with a friend.
    Yoga sounds like a wonderful treat...you have earned it,

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    1. I like this approach, a mix of work and play. And always time for a cup of tea!

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  7. Only Italy can produce such beautiful scenes! Tricky times usually result in me doing way too much baking to compensate. At least the cakes help you enjoy the sorting and packing :) B x

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    1. Interesting! Is the baking calming in the process for you? I've been finding myself just making do and foraging food-wise because Paul's away and it's just another mess-making task...

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    2. It's the whole process. I find it very calming and then there is the smell in the oven and the eating . Need I say more!

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    3. No more words necessary, except now I'm rather hungry . . . ;-)

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  8. I always intend to pace myself, then get carried away and do far too much and start spinning. I too am busy with drawers and cupboards, but happily not packing cases. Stuff is flying out of the house as I try and keep the momentum going (of not moving, that is). Get as much help as possible - pay for it if necessary and enjoy your yoga!

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    1. Spinning! Yes! I mean, you can always empty one more drawer and then when it's done, you'll just carry this stuff upstairs and put it in the designated box. . . and then right beside it is a pile of stuff you intended to sort. . . So it's been good to put a few treats (lunch with friends, yoga) on the calendar to impose breaks from the work. Except that the fun stuff takes energy as well. Oh well. .

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  9. Beautiful photos. It's possible that I don't have any tips beyond one foot in front of another:(. At least if my current pattern is any indication.

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    1. One foot in front of another is always good advice, in the end . . .;-)

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  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBQxG0Z72qM
    Slow down, Mater!

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    1. Feelin' groovy is lovely. Sadly won't get the boxes packed in time, but it's lovely when it happens. . . They were so very young, those four, then. Loved seeing Tommy and Dick. . .

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  11. Take it easy. And don't underestimate that dental appointment...

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    1. Ah, you know! Turned out I'm back there again today for an important intervention -- crown will be needed, ugh!

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  12. Let us celebrate ancient cities and modern dentistry. The dresser drawer made me chuckle. Our move was the impetus to achieve better drawer use. Typical drawer "before": CDs, table linens, unused Heavy Hands, parts to something no one could identify, dried out glue sticks, bag of glitter that had leaked (from the days of school projects). In our new place, drawers are far more unified- and there is no space for unused "stuff". If I ever need glitter again, I'll buy it.

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    1. Oh, you know it! Both worth celebrating, one more happily than the other.
      And I think we might have the same drawers! Something I've been thinking about, surrendering that role as the one who can magically supply almost any endeavour all these parenting years. . . Yes, if I ever need a glue stick, or glitter, or rubber bands, or five containers of three different sizes of mechanical pencil refill leads (yes, truly!), or. . . well, you know, you've emptied the same drawers apparently. I'm beginning to debate how many drawers we should allow ourselves in our new place. At least not until we've established some very firm guidelines. . .

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  13. I take advantage of momentum and push through. I like the idea of pausing to remember Rome. The first one looks like the stairs to St Pietro in Vincoli

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    1. It's wonderful how much pleasure I still get from the trip in these pauses, these memories. I wish I'd recorded where the top photo was taken (might be able to find out by looking back on my iphone) -- If we were near the basilica, I was completely ignorant of it that day. I think we were walking to Monti to do a bit of window-shopping . . .

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    2. You're right, it is off Via Cavour. Thank you for posting the photos and jogging my memory. The Moses will always be there, you'll see it next time.

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    3. I remember that street name, yes! Wow! You really know your Rome, don't you? I hope to someday as well, especially if my daughter continues to live there.

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  14. Carrots at the end of the stick always get me going, although I prefer chocolates. Power on! Reward yourself. You'll get through this. Yoga and food with a friend sound like a good way to recharge. Ah, Rome, Rome!!!

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    1. Yes, I'll get through -- after all, the option is being here with my goods all around when the new owners arrive. Not really an option (wouldn't they be surprised!)

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  15. I'm very like Dottoressa :) I need to mix practical tasks with breaks doing things I enjoy. If I'm struggling I ll go for a walk ..maybe call in a cafe for a coffee then back to the task in hand. Definitely a procrastinator! :)
    It works for me though and stops me feeling stressed.
    I've been meaning to say ...great news about your daughters engagement!
    Rosie

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  16. I'm very like Dottoressa :) I need to mix practical tasks with breaks doing things I enjoy. If I'm struggling I ll go for a walk ..maybe call in a cafe for a coffee then back to the task in hand. Definitely a procrastinator! :)
    It works for me though and stops me feeling stressed.
    I've been meaning to say ...great news about your daughters engagement!
    Rosie

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    1. Thanks, Rosie -- we were very pleased with that news as well!
      I think my approach is like Dottoressa's as well, although when I sense the clock ticking more loudly, it gets more difficult to take the needed breaks...

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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