personal time-use analysis, belated weekend update, and more

October 16, 2018

Oh man.  Just in case anyone is marveling over how well I seem to carry out multiple projects and hobbies and self-care items while still holding down a job and parenting 3 children, well . . . I am definitely not doing ‘it all’ lately.  I mean, who is, right?  That said, there have been times when I have felt pretty on top of my $@*(&#.  Now is not one of those times.

Things I wish I had more time for:
Workouts.  I got in a grand total of 2 runs and one strength workout last week.  I recognize that is better than nothing, but it’s less than I would like. Yesterday, armed with ‘new week!’ energy, I dutifully turned on Beachbody at 6 am only to have G wake up 5 minutes in.  She ate, but had no interested in going back to sleep.  Josh had been up twice in the night for BOTH A&C (this is not typical, but both fell asleep in the car and woke up thirsty) so I wasn’t about to give her to him.  End result = no workout.

EDITED – same thing happened today, but I took G out on her first BOB run!  3 miles, and she was a silent but happy passenger and then fell back asleep.  WIN.

– Writing.  It’s no secret that I’d like to write a book proposal (a total planner nerd-out book, full of techniques and tricks and ideas for systems) . . . and of course then there’s the matter of the actual book!  However, I recognize that now is not the time to add another big project.  This gnaws at me, though!  I’d like to think that strategic use of my days off and focused early mornings would allow me to slowly but surely make headway on this.  But I am not sure when the ‘right’ time for that will be.  Perhaps next year.

Work tasks: the non-urgent but important.  I definitely have kept up with the ‘urgent’ portions of my job over the past 7.5 months of pumping (yes, I am counting, both up and down).  Patient care – check (though notes are often written after the fact, which is neither ideal nor pleasant!).  Everything extra, however, has gone by the wayside.  I think what I need is:

a) to spend call weekends at the office catching up without the pressure of having to go home to pump/feed G/whatever

b) to have my time in the office less interrupted (by people asking for things, pumping, etc)

c) 1-2 nights working a bit later per week (like an extra hour or so)

I was listening to a podcast discuss a ‘shutdown ritual’ where everything was neatly tidied away by the end of day on Friday, and that time spent planning the next week.  I spend that time frantically calling people (clinical) and doing what seems most catastrophic if I ignore it (residency), and always leave unsatisfied with the state of my work affairs only to start things up on Monday with a hectic clinical day.  I don’t know what the answer to this is, because I do not really want to spend more time on work during the weekends (seems like it would defeat the purpose of my part-time status).  I’m continuing to hope that everything will improve once pumping is out of the equation, since it seemed more under control before!

I also would like to READ more clinical literature.  Right now, I tend to just look things up as they come up, but I’d love even an hour weekly of systematic journal perusing.

Teaching the kids.  Josh came home early (6:45 pm) last night and we were able to give a lot of more attention to A’s homework than usual.  I am torn between the attitude that it’s HER homework (and hello, it’s first grade . . .) and not mine to do, but reviewing it is an opportunity to see what she is learning and reinforce concepts (she had “13 – 8 = 4” in yesterday’s packet).  Cameron seems to be really interested in writing letters and learning basic words but between A’s homework and G’s overall needs, he just isn’t getting that much focused attention.  I’m not saying they will be damaged because of this (and I happen to think they are pretty lucky kids!) but I just wish I had more time to devote to teaching the big kids.

Things I feel like I am doing enough of:
Reading.  Because I read while I pump, and good books beget more reading time in some magical way, I have read more this year than perhaps ever (aside from childhood, when I would churn though a literal stack of library books every weekend).  This renewed hobby has brought me so much joy this year!

Attending to this blog, and I am proud of myself for finally outsourcing a site makeover and move (I am working with Amanda)!  Truthfully, posts like these do not take up all that much time (I’ve written the above in the last 18 minutes) and writing here truly helps me sort out my thoughts, so I guess I am fairly satisfied with the amount of time I devote to it.  So hey, there’s something.

Spending time with friends.  I don’t have a crazy social life, and my typical Friday night ritual is pumping on the kitchen floor while reading.  HOWEVER, I am in 2 book clubs, and we have plans most weekends, and I am friends with other parents (making birthday parties + school drop-offs fun social occasions), and that feels like enough for me.  I’d like to see family a bit more (parents who are overdue for a visit, I’m talking to you!) but at least FaceTime helps with that deficit.

So . . . .what’s the answer?  I recognize I’ll have basically all the time in the world in approximately 18 years (if I am lucky enough to be healthy / still here / not foraging to survive in a post-apocalyptic world), but until then I likely need to spend time making peace with the finite nature of time, and also strategize to make sure I am using my precious minutes in the best ways possible.  I am hoping to reclaim earlier mornings once G is sleeping through the night, and getting some more focused work done (on writing, the podcast, my own projects) on my days off once she doesn’t need me every couple of hours.  Ideally, on my days off, I could spend 4-5 hours working on my own things and the rest of the time with G & the big kids.

I am also really really hoping that I can fit the work I do mostly into the confines of a) the work day (with perhaps 1-2 days staying a little later at the office) and b) weekends when I am on call.  We will see how things unfold over the next 6-12 months.

Weekend in brief:
Summary: Josh had to do surgery (even though he was technically off) and I did not take it well.  However, according to my photos, there were some happier moments, so we’ll just leave it at that.
my Fri-YAY
RFES Pumpkin Pancakes (so good!  And we use whole wheat flour instead of hard-to-find teff flour, though I’d like to source & try that someday!)
pancakes = a  hit
4 mi beach run (in heat)
new TBR stack!
basically a big kid already 
C = essentially a blur
impulse buy!
matching pajamas I found on sale at Bedhead (confession: I have matching ones too!)
cutest little nugget ever
Coming up:
– List of light candy fluffy podcasts that I use to self-soothe on my commute
– Planner Review #3
– Friends/social life post


  • Reply Zenmoo March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    No shame in having matching pjs with your kids. No shame at all!

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      heh heh heh, I just couldn’t help myself! All 3 were on sale probably because they are summery in fabric/cut but I live in the land of eternal summer (for the most part) so I just had to!

  • Reply 500 March 10, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Oooh, I want to know about the podcasts you like! Confession: I have never actually listened to yours, although I’m sure it’s great. I just much prefer podcasts with a story/narrative. So I hope you’ll include some of those on your list!

  • Reply Lee March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    THIS: ". . . .I recognize I’ll have basically all the time in the world in approximately 18 years (if I am lucky enough to be healthy / still here / not foraging to survive in a post-apocalyptic world), but until then I likely need to spend time making peace with the finite nature of time, and also strategize to make sure I am using my precious minutes in the best ways possible."

    YES. I’ve recently begun to think of this a lot, since my oldest started high school. I only have 8 (!) more years with them both living here (presumably), so the precious minutes are ever more important to savor and plan and enjoy together. The past few years I’ve been very focused on using any free time I can for self-care — my early weekend mornings with coffee on my patio are sacred — but this paragraph makes me think it’s time to bring the kids into it, to spend it well, with them, while I have them. <3 Thanks.

  • Reply Regan March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Please share which light candy podcasts you listen to!

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      I’ll do a whole post 🙂

  • Reply Omdg March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Ooh! How do you like that Kristen Hannah book? I really liked Nightingale.

  • Reply jjiraffe March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Sooo…I totally laughed about the “foraging in a post-apocalyptic world.” I mean, the news is not great on climate change, the current administration”s policies, etc. Or, maybe Station 11 just stuck with me. In the meantime (ha!) let”s get the most out of life 😉

  • Reply TAS March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Don’t worry Sarah! We’ll take care of the foraging and exchange useful scavenged items with you in exchange for medical care 😉 And this is how I know I’m reading way to much post-apocalypse fiction…

  • Reply Christi March 10, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    I didn”t read all of your comments to see if this is covered, but you can get ref flour on amazon!

  • Reply Katie March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I deleted Instagram and my email from my phone a while ago… and my phone usage went down from 2 hours/day to 20-30 min/day.!! It started because I couldn’t stand how sad our kittens looked when I was scrolling on my phone and petting them at the same time (pathetic, I know). I love this post!

  • Reply Kaethe Ward March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    I just read "Small Animals"! I’m anxious to hear your take on it. It would be an interesting podcast topic too.

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      It’s for the Parenting Book Club I’m in! I am excited to dive in.

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