Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fifteen Minutes

When I added up all the time I spend goofing around the other day I was a little alarmed by how much I complain about never having any time for myself considering the kids go to bed around seven, I go to bed around ten, and I never actually DO anything during those three hours. Not to knock vegging out, because believe me, no one knows better than me how bad you need to just stare at the TV for a few hours to deal with The Crazy you experienced the rest of the day. Sometimes. But then, I thought, wouldn't it be satisfying to actually make some forward progress on SOMETHING every day? So here's what I'm going to try to do in this time of resolutions and goal setting. I am going to spend fifteen minutes each every day on three things:

1) Personal-care. How many days have I jumped out of bed and straight into Mommy-land? How many times do I skip a shower even when I have time to take one because I would rather read a book or, who are we kidding, spend those twenty minutes looking up people I didn't like in high school on Facebook? I have decided that my MINIMUM daily personal-care goal is to take a shower before three o'clock. And then I am to put on nice-smelling lotion. Because last time I cleaned out the fridge I washed so many dishes my hands looked like spring rolls by the time I went to bed. Lotion is not optional. I realize how silly this sounds to those of you who are NORMAL. If I am feeling really fancy I will attempt the DIY pedicure Sarah talked about. I do love to have pretty toes. Getting a haircut counts. As does standing in front of the mascara display at Target wondering if I should take the plunge.

2) Exercise. I will spend AT LEAST fifteen minutes exercising. My minimum will be a walk around the block with the stroller (which weighs at least eighty pounds, I feel like an event at the county fair pushing that thing around). If the weather is bad my minimum will be the 30 Day Shred Level One, but hopefully I can get to the gym so I can use the treadmill and watch TV while the kids hang out with Magda from Sex in the City (seriously, Dead. Ringer. Accent and everything). This means I have to go in the morning which often means I work out shortly AFTER I take a shower. Genius!

3) Professional Development. Again, I do a lot of self-defeating complaining in this area. "I want to write papers! I want to publish my dissertation work!" I say to Ryan. "Then DO IT!" he says. "Stop trying to fix every little problem I just wanted to talk to you GEEZ!" I say to him. So tonight I was all warm and cozy in my bed when I told him about this fifteen minutes idea I had and he said "Great, go for it!" and I said I would do it tomorrow. And then I realized that I had taken a shower today, I had exercised today (in that order, awesome!), I should go work on a paper and then I could start TODAY! So I ran downstairs in my flannel polar bear pajama pants and hammered out five-hundred words of an introduction to a paper I've been tossing around since, oh, March of last year. Five-hundred words! At eleven o'clock at night! It's like I'm an unmarried, childless grad student slave again! Oh how I enjoyed that part of my life. I met a lot of good friends then, like coffee. Interestingly, that is one habit that has stood the test of time. Unlike maintaining some kind of scientific career. One out of two, right?

So there you have it. Forty-five minutes doesn't seem like TOO big of a commitment. But you know how that goes. Keep me honest internet!

11 comments:

Chiconky said...

Love it! I'm the same way, spending way too much time "recuperating" and then kicking my own butt for not getting anything done. I like the fifteen minute plan. Good luck!

Kim said...

Good luck! I think using the "little minutes" (as my high school principle used to say) is the way to go. It's how I get anything done!

For working on papers and such, I recommend keeping notes about what you were doing and what you want to do next, and when you think of something relevant, write it down! I find I forget tons of things switching between "work" and "Mommy" modes without writing them down. I have kept a notebook and just a word file. It helps me not spend those precious few minutes recreating what I did last time or trying to remember that awesome thought I had two hours ago...

Sarah said...

I love this idea-- very approachable when it's not run a marathon on the treadmill everyday and write a book proposal on MOnday, for example-- which is usually my problem-- I try to do huge tasks and then when I can't do them b/c they're so huge, I do NOTHING.

LOVE the spring rolls description-- my hands look like that all winter. ALso grad student slave-- ha!

Here's to a productive new year :)

Alyssa said...

Great resolutions! It's always nice to keep them realistic instead of going completely overboard. Happy 2010!

AJU5's Mom said...

I am good on the shower thing, but the rest- FAIL! I do hope to begin walking more though... But my big issue - getting one two year old (and an infant) out of the house without a meltdown over something! Maybe by the time she is three :)

Hanah said...

Woohoo!

Kyla said...

Go you!

Anonymous said...

Good ones! I think I will follow your lead and try and do um, like 15 crunches everyday for a bit and see if I can get something going in my "core" area. Fifteen crunches won't even take five minutes! Wish me luck! Happy New Year!! Abrazos, Candy

Steph said...

Your reference to Sex in the City in your paragraph about exercise leads me to say that in my world, sex totally counts as exercise. ;-)

brooke said...

Good luck--I have just finished my dissertation and even without having kids I have mastered the ability to fill my day with anything but work. Small goals move you forward, and it is amazing what you can get done in fifteen minutes.

sarah said...

Excellent!! Keep it up!!

And rarely has a description of anything made me simultaneously laugh and gag, as did your comparing your water-logged hands to spring rolls. Nice job!