After I wrote my last post about trying to get my act together this week I realised that I’d been there before. Actually, I’ve been there many many times, what I realised was that I blogged from a similar place not that long ago and it had rapidly fizzled out.
Well, so far this week has been ok. Maybe my holiday was more relaxing than I realised. I started with a new planish (I couldn’t really call it a plan, hence the ish), which was roughly don’t stay up too late, drink some water, remember to breathe and work from lists. So, don’t stay up too late is fairly obvious and has been mainly stuck too, I have been going to bed at a fairly sensibly hour (by 11pm) although not as sensible as I envisioned for my sleep detox week which was by 10 – however the lighter evenings are making the kids bedtime interesting and if you are constantly putting them back in bed until 9pm that doesn’t leave a lot of time before 10pm. However, with a little nudge from hubbie (and some communication, go us) I realised that I don’t have to give up and abandon everything becuase I haven’t kept up to my envisigioned high standards, by 11 is still better than post midnight. Most importantly I’ve been going to bed without any electronic devices so even when I don’t go to sleep straight away I’m not up till the wee hours doing rubbish. Tellingly it was last night that I didn’t go to bed until midnight (I was having printer issues) and it was this afternoon that I felt my usual extreme fatigue around 3pm – just when I need to get my act together and pick the kids up.
Items two and three, drinking water and breathing, came from a brain training book I picked up on holiday. The book has a pretty cover but I found it incredibly irritating to read and haven’t got far. One thing it mentioned was drinking water first thing because you dehydrate in your sleep. I know I’m terrible at drinking water enough at all so I’ve been filling a 750ml bottle and making myself drink it in a day (I do have cups of tea too). The breathing thing is not just staying alive breathing, it’s short periods of deep breathing whilst focusing your mind on what you’re planning to do next. I’m not explaining that well but I’m sure you get the idea, breathe in for 9, out for 11 and think about the coming few hours, what you’re trying to do and what you need to do to do it. Actually, that has been tailing off but I did find it useful at the beginning of the week.
So, that just leaves lists, which is my own little invention to try and get me doing more and avoiding less without spending so long working out all the things I have to do in order to prioritise them that I paralise myself at the thought of the impossible tasks ahead. I’m pretty good at writing lists, less good about doing them, so a new plan was needed. I quickly drew up several concurrent to do lists. I’ve discounted general household essential tasks (feeding everyone and providing them with clean clothes and associated tasks) becuase I’m pretty good at keeping on top of that without too much thinking (except when I’m feeling really bad, which I’m not right now). My list titles are roughly Other Housework (i.e. the backlog of stuff such that doesn’t need doing daily and then builds up), Paperwork stuff, Jobs for Others (the big guilt inducers), House Maintenence (the kind of stuff that involves getting quotes, we have a lot at the moment), My health and Aspergerey Stuff. I just put two or three things on each list from the top of my head of things I know I should be getting on with without too much thinking about what should be there. Then I challenged myself to try and do something from as many lists as possible each day. Initially I thought I’d do something from each list each day, but I quickly realised that wouldn’t be possible, so I switched to a vaguer aim. Get me and my two realisations in a week that I’m not going to acheive perfection so instead of giving up I need to revise down my expectations. The point of concurrent lists is not to latch onto one thing (i.e. spring cleaning the house) and then use the fact that I’m doing something as a distraction tactic to the fact that there are big things that I’m avoiding (such as opening letters and thereby realising I have a bill to pay). I’m aware of the benefits of blitzing one area of your life, but for now I’m trying to think, right, I’ve done that, what different thing can I do.
So far things I’ve done include going for a run, phoning someone to explain why I couldn’t do the thing they emailed me about in the timescale they wanted as I’d just got back from holiday (which went fine, but was such a big positive behaviour change for me that I whooped and dance around the room afterwards, needless to say I was alone in the house), leaving a firm yet polite letter for the GP explaining why he should refer son for ASD assesment, filling out the forms on time so he can go away for the weekend without us (boy would I be in trouble if I’d messed that up), writing to the school SENCO (special educational needs co-ordinator) about son, ringing a man about getting our windows fixed, nothing major but slow and steady progress. Today has slipped a little but I spent the morning with a friend who’s recovering from a bad illness and her toddler, catching up and mooching and it was good to talk.
It’s not all positive. On Monday there was far too much shouting (mainly from me at kids) as we were all tired from travelling. Son’s behaviour has been frustrating at times, todays mini meltdown was because I’d bought his sister a new school dress as her old ones are getting small. I didn’t get chance to show him the zip off trousers I’d bought him, he wasn’t listening by then. His focus seems worse at the moment too, I’m not sure if it’s my heightened awareness, his cold, being back at school or what, but things like getting him to get dressed at the moment are a big effort. Left to his own devices he rolls around on the floor, kicks things with his feet, picks something up and fiddles with it etc. When stood over and directed “i.e. put that piece of lego down” he doesn’t do as asked and complains at me for having a go at him “leave me alone, I can’t do things with you talking all the time” he says, whilst still fiddling with lego. Either way he isn’t getting dressed, or whatever else it is he’s supposed to be doing. Luckily I’m still managing to wake up and get out of bed in the mornings, which is a big help. Unfortunately hubbie is run down at the moment so he isn’t so good at that.
However, I’m officially counting this week as progress, whatever I end up doing tomorrow (oh yeah, I’ve also admitted to myself that doing anything other than day to day stuff at the weekend isn’t going to happen so don’t beat myself up about it). Oh and One Depressed Mama has nominated me for a Liebster award, really should do something about that lest I look ungreatful, now which list does that go on….