Creating order out of chaos

9 Nov

I have realized that in order to make my life less overwhelming, I need to clean house. Literally and metaphorically. I need to clear away some clutter, change some things, make things more organized, rearrange the way I do things.  All of this is causing some pretty intense anxiety.  I look around me at all of the things I need to change in order to make my life – well, livable – and the overriding thought in my head is, “Where the eff do I start???”  Just looking at the chaos that is my life makes my palms go sweaty and my heart rate increase. Fight or flight.  No wonder I want to run all time.

Part of the problem, of course, is not having the time to do just that.  To be honest, that’s really what most of this drive to change my life is about.  I want to have time to run without having to pick between that and sleep. Everything else kind of works out. I come to work, groceries get purchased, bills get paid (sometimes late, admittedly, but not very), homework gets supervised. When I run out of hours in the day, one of two things gets sacrificed: sleep or running.  I need both like I need oxygen, so I cannot do this anymore.  I have to get my life together so that I’m not making such ridiculous choices.

So I’ve decided to make a list. First to be sorted out, simply because it’s easiest, will be my physical space. My desks both at home and at work are far more chaotic than they need to be.  Part of it is that I am (I admit it) a naturally disorganized person.  Part of it is my fear of throwing anything out.  Hey, you never know! Someday I might need that piece of paper with squiggles drawn on it!  I’m going to be ruthless.  If I don’t need it, it goes. If I do need it, it gets put away somewhere instead of cluttering up my desk.

Then I will get up to date with bills.  I’m not really behind on this, but I have a small pile of stuff that needs to be paid. I will get it done and file those bills away. One thing I do have going for me is an organized filing system. Any forms that need to be filled in and signed, the photo order for George’s school pictures, the invoices to be completed so I can get my respite funding cheques.  All of the admin that needs to be done will be done.

I have one more year of bookkeeping to do for Gerard’s business, and one year for the non-profit studio.  That will be done. I have set up a quick and easy system for doing this. It will take less than two hours in total. Then our taxes will be officially caught up and all I will have to do is stay current.

I will file away all of the receipts that have been recorded by my friend’s daughter (a real life-saver, that girl – thanks, Megan!).  I will gather together the receipts that need to be done and give them to her. I will come up with a better way of filing the receipts once they have been entered in the spreadsheet.

Starting tonight, I will be going to bed no later than 10:30.  That is a hard target, a set-in-stone rule that only a sick or distressed child will have the power to break. That means that when I wake up at five thirty tomorrow morning, I will have the energy to actually get out of bed and go for a run.

I will work on my daily routines, and find ways to use my time more effectively.  If that means using time timers and putting whiteboard schedules on the wall, so be it. I am even going to take the plunge and find a therapist. This is really something I should have done a long time ago. A few years ago, I went through a number of major life changes in a short period of time. In the space of eighteen months, I stopped working, my Dad died, my younger son was born, and I was hit with George’s autism diagnosis. With all of that plus some pretty intense post-partum depression, it’s no wonder my mind got a little scrambled and overwhelmed. I did see a doctor who put me on antidepressants, but that did not work for me.  The depression and anxiety were replaced by anger, and that didn’t help anyone.

I’m not in as bad a shape as I was in back then.  In fact, I’m pretty happy with the big picture of my life right now. But still. I could use a little help, and I’m going to seek it out.  Just about everyone I know is in therapy – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

As for the running, that will get better too.  I have discovered a running club in my neighbourhood, and this past Sunday I went out running with them.  I had a great time, and thoroughly enjoyed meeting real-life people (as opposed to Internet people) who share a common interest with me. My plan will be to go for Sunday long runs with them, which means I will have to do my midweek runs to keep up my fitness so I can keep up with them!

So, a lot is going to be changing in my life.  And that’s not even counting the fact that I’ll be getting married in a few months!

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