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Fog. January 15, 2008

It's super foggy outside -- can't even see the hill where I walk the dogs. I'm drinking my tea. It's weird, I lost my taste for coffee about three or four weeks ago, something I do every once in a while. My acupuncturist calls it liver stagnation. I call it coffee-tastes-bad. And I love coffee, so it's quite strange when that happens. But I'm loving my tea, and I really need a tea cozy for the pot. Wish I would just make one, but there are so many other things demanding my attention today!

For example, today I would like to:

1. Go for a run with Clara
2. Clean the house
3. Do laundry
4. Make oatmeal-raisin cookies
5. Grocery shop
6. Dye my hair/cut bangs
7. SPIN!
8. KNIT!

Those last two things are the things I want to do most, and I want to do them while watching stupid TV. But what will happen, what always happens, is I will put off doing the fun things until all the chores are out of the way (and many more chores will occur to me as I'm moving through the house) and then it will be seven o'clock, and I'll be tired and rather grumpy from being So Busy on a day off.

So what do I do? Combat it by spinning right now? Watch a little TV? I know, logically, that if I do that, I will be happy and content, and then I will move easily into house-cleaning -- a little here, a little there. But I have such a stubborn streak about "getting things over with" that I always feel like I should do the icky stuff first, then have the reward. Although like I said, the reward is always moving away as the day slips by.

So yes. I will compromise -- I'll put in some laundry, and maybe clean the couches of dog hair and THEN spin for a bit (not with the dog hair! No! With the luscious camel/silk I'm dying to play with). And maybe knit a cozy later.


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Girl, I do that almost every Sunday . . . I put off the knitting and spinning to get done with the laundry and groceries, etc, and then it's the end of the day and time go to to bed. This must change! Knit and spin first, then do the chores!!

Yes, it's very foggy here in Berkeley too. I'm having similar "what to do" issues. I have just a few hours to spare this morning...my house is a royal mess...I have homework...and I really want to start a new sweater! So, I feel your pain, though I wish I had your problem of wanting to get the cleaning done first--that's the thing I usually leave 'til I'm too tired to do it.

I'm more like Cordelia - knit/read first, then realize I really should have cleaned the bathroom in the morning when I had energy. And what am I going to cook? I don't want to go the store now, it's too late. I need to pay attention to the kid, but I need to finish my book.

We had fog in our back yard today! I like being socked in with fog.

I feel the exact same way about chores and homework, and I usually end up making a similar compromise. At least for today, though, I've put the "knitting and reading blogs" part first, so I won't resent the homework too much when I get around to it later this afternoon.

Every once in a while I declare it to be "Do What You Want Day!"

Giving yourself permission once in a while to do only what you want is very luxurious.

Ah, yes - the precarious balance of busy and lazy. I wrote about it on my blog just yesterday. There must be something in the air.

I like to have one lazy day off (Saturday) and one busy (Sunday) and if they get out of order even, I am discombobulated. Old age?

Oh my gosh, I think I have that coffee-tastes-bad thing!! I've been trying all different roasts, from all different regions, different grinds, different measurements, different water -- I can't seem to make a decent cup! Maybe it's just me. Imagine that!
; )

I actually bought myself a timer. First of all I need it for my paid work -- if I don't set the alarm I forget to take breaks away from the computer and I suffer for it with tired eyes and a sore back and tension headaches. Too, because I work at home, I need to balance paid work with unpaid work and fun all in the same arena. I just KNOW when the balance is off but I'm bad at transitioning from one thing to another. I get caught up in whatever I'm at! So, when I'm behind at work or feeling as if there hasn't been enough fun for a while, I decide at the beginning of the day how I'm going to portion the play/work/work ratio and set the timer for hours or minutes. Not very spontaneous but my 100 minute timer is one of my favourite office tools.

OK. Future Life Coach here... WHO says you have to get the chores done first? Where is that coming from? What is the origin of that programming?

I am of the firm belief that it is my life, and my programming, therefore I decide what comes first. If it makes you feel better... if doing something fun right out of the starting gate sets you up for being more inclined later to do chores, then... do the fun thing first!

Chores will wait. They'll still be there later. Life is not about chores. It's about LIVING it.

Of course, I had to respond because your post resonated with me. It's the same programming I'm trying to change within myself. :-)

I'm a fan of getting the crap out of the way at the end of the last work day, then having the free day really free. Since I almost always work 6 days/wk, this is key :)

Also, realizing that the 4 inch deep layer of Legos throughout the house is totally worth it, and won't matter 15 years from now, helps. Same applies to pet hair.

Hah! I put off both the super-fun stuff and the rewarding chores and just fritter away time on the Internet instead.

I'm the opposite of you. I put off the cleaning to do the fun more often than not. So now, I've decided I'll do first the thing that I most likely would not do. For me it's cleaning. I do "reward" myself every half hour or so by reading or net surfing. I can't reward knit because I don't stop and get back to things.

Liver Stagnation? OK.then. It happens to me about once a year. I have coffee once a day, every moring a double espresso, soy milk and sugar.Then one morning ...BAM..even the thought of coffee makes me feel wretchy....so the Peets "Assam" comes to my rescue, then at some point coffe sounds great again. Now I have a reason .... Liver Stagnation. Who knew?
You have no idea how much I miss FOG....in Reno we have haze, zero on the romantic,snuggly scale for weather.

Another chime in for the timer method! I give myself 15 or 30 mintues doing the fun stuff (video games usually) then I putter - a load of dishes, changing the laundry, vacuuming a section of the apartment, then back to the slack. I actually get more done this way than if I try to just focus on chores. I don't burn out on anything but I'm still doing what I want. Plus those persistent repetitive stress injuries never get worked up if I'm changing up what I do.

Liver stagnation? I usually lose my taste for coffee when I am pregnant, but I'm guessing that's not your situation :-).

I'm with Anne -- I tend to fritter away my time on the internet and don't have time for chores or hobbies. So I've made a deal with myself that I must start doing housework by the time my kids get home at 2:30p. Then when my husband gets home at 5:30p, dinner should be done and I can knit or whatever while watching TV with him.

I've also used Rachel T's idea, too. It really is easier to make yourself to do that dreaded chore list if you have given yourself permission to take frequent breaks.

Rachel - go to Goodwill - find terribly lovely Fair Isle or other all-wool sweater in need of a home - hopefully from the men's section so you get more volume for money. Go home. Felt sweater twice in the washer - taking out and giving it a yank and a snap between and after washing. Throw in dryer. Cut out tea cozy shape plus enough for a seam allowance. Cut out matching pieces from shrunk and pressed cute fabric. Sew both together separately, including felted I-cord or tab on top of sweater one. Grade and press seams. Insert fabric one inside sweater one and sew hem edges together. Tack inside top of fabric one to sweater one. Presto - recyled love and tea coziness.

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