time + questioning habits

March 30, 2013

first, a bit of business.
1.  ipad/iphone readers:  an astute reader [fine, it was my mom] pointed out that my post didn’t come up correctly on her ‘pad the other day.  i noticed that the same was true on my phone — but since then, the issue seems to have been fixed.  does anyone know what that’s about?  did anyone else notice it?  just curious.

2.  an announcement:  yesterday marked the 86th day in a row that I FLOSSED!  i am pretty sure this is a record, or at least close to it.  i am mentioning it because i went to the dentist and they didn’t notice anything was different, so i’ve got to get ‘credit’ somehow.

3.  she’s back!  not 100%, but close.  and trying to comb her hair, apparently.

also, she’s almost ONE.   i have no idea how that happened.
so, onto time.
really, it’s always been one of my favorite topics.  when i was younger and happened to come across a battered copy of cheaper by the dozen, i was intrigued by the idea of motion study and shaving seconds off of chores.  and you all know i’ve become very interested in the concept of mindfulness over the past few years — i think one reason is because cultivating an awareness in each moment is a way to make sure you don’t accidentally miss any.  
i’ve read 168 hours twice.  i’ve logged my own hours, created schedules, and spent more time than is probably reasonable thinking about how best to get everything done that i thought was necessary.  in 2010, i even gave a seminar at the healthy living blog summit about time management and organization.  in fact, it can still be seen here.  but please don’t watch it — i cringe to think of what i might have said, a CHILDLESS 30-year old, in a talk entitled — ironically enough — “you can have it all”.

here are my top three BEST free-time-preserving tips: 
1) don’t be a doctor
2) don’t marry a doctor
3) don’t have children
okay, obviously i’m kidding.  i am actually quite happy with my overall station in life and couldn’t really imagine it differently.  but i’m still struggling with time challenges, and i am sure they are only going to get 10 times MORE challenging in the coming months/years.  i’m bracing myself as we head into april, as josh is on service for the last 3 months of his fellowship, and i’m on for the next month as well.  almost every weekend day is a call weekend for one of us until july, and both of us are scrambling to get projects finished.
but i refuse to give up.
i still need my time with annabel.  i need to run.  i need to read.  i need to write!  i need some tiny, TINY semblance of a social life [emphasis on tiny].  and unfortunately, i need to sleep.  i think the next 12 weeks are going to take a lot of discipline and just positive mojo.  but i am also thinking that perhaps i could be more creative with my time.
there are certain habits that are engrained in our daily lives that we don’t even stop to think about.  

here are some of mine that i am only now, because of the crunch, starting to question:
doing laundry on the weekends.  i know, it sounds like such a small thing.  but i swear it often seems like i have the dryer on the ENTIRE TIME.  i’m incredibly inefficient, probably because i’m trying to entertain a. while keeping the piles straight.  i used to love doing laundry, but i’ve started to hate the space that it takes in my precious free days.  so, i’m going to try to transition to weeknights — a load most nights thrown into the washer when i get home.  
[and i’m not ruling out a laundry service in the future.  but that’s not practical now.]
✰ packing lunch:  guess what?  after years of fancy lunchboxes, i don’t do it anymore.  and since there’s a pretty awesome [and free!] cafeteria where i’ll be working in august, i may never do it again.  i still hate duke’s cafeteria options, so i’ll be bringing some frozen meals/leftovers next month, but the caf in the lab is actually really decent and i’ve even been able to find healthy options [soups, a well-stocked salad bar, etc].    
[i will, however, be making lunch for annabel when we move — but that’s just something else new that i’ll have to get used to!]
✰ assuming longer = better when it comes to running/working out.  i wrote about this earlier in the week, but i’m already enjoying my new philosophy.  and — who knew? — it’s a lot easier to push speed when you know the whole thing will be over in 30 minutes and change. 

[although as usual — probably inflated.  at some point, i’m probably going to have to bite the bullet and buy a garmin.]

✰ planning specific ‘recipes’ for dinner most weeknights.  i’ve tried so hard to streamline the process — and i did make things better by trying to strip down to two nights of cooking per week.  but i think i need to take yet one more step back and think about what our weeknight dinners are for.  primarily: nutrition and efficiency.  i really think that if i continue to buy quality ingredients, i can make even simpler dinners — many that really don’t even require a recipe — and we can eat just as well but with less energy expended, both mental and physical.
i love making more elaborate meals, but for now i think i’m going to save those for weekends.  more weeknight meals that are just . . . salad with chicken, or broiled fish/rice/asparagus, or — quelle horreur pasta with jarred sauce and some steamed broccoli.  plus, i can start heading to the farmers’ market again now that it’s spring, and great produce generally speaks for itself quite well.

pork chop baked with apple butter/tamari mix + topped with sesame seeds
sauteed bok choy + rice-in-a-bag
DONE.  with hands-on time well under 10 minutes.
✰ equating working at night with some kind of horrible punishment.   i’ve written before about how i’m not a fan of the practice, but perhaps i’m not approaching it right.  with a cup of tea, a clearly defined task to do [clinic notes, whatever] and a time limit — i will survive.
i’m sure there are more, but i’ll have to come up with them.  and with that, i really do have to do some work [on call and barely familiar with our service right now].  i hope everyone has wonderful weekends!

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