Thursday, January 14, 2010

Days 13 & 14: One Big Blur

Forget finding a pause button for my life, I just need some sleep! It occurs to me, in my slumberless stupor, that I need an action plan for these sorts of episodes of life. There needs to be a minimum-effort-with-as-much-visible-results-as-possible plan because there are just going to be stretches of time that I have to be in auto-pilot -- no thinking, no planning, no guessing, no original thought required.

This Auto Pilot Action Plan (henceforth known as the APAP) needs to have a basic, easy to make meal menu for one to two days. It needs to spell out a basic school day with activities the kids can actually do almost completely on their own (think multiplication tables, writing a paragraph, doing the next geography lesson, reading to younger siblings/self, etc.). The APAP needs to have nap times listed, bus schedule and dates to remember (like payroll taxes are due on the 15th of the month). In short, the APAP needs to be saved someplace safe in case my brain self-destructs.

In some ways, this APAP already exists in pieces. I have a contacts list with phone numbers. I often (but not always) have a weekly menu posted on the fridge. Due dates for things like taxes are listed on my computer calendar (but that only works if I remember to look at it). The schoolwork ideas exist in my head... not the safest place, but I do have a minimum standard. The kids have laminated chore lists (and yes, "play outside" is actually one of their chores). The trick is going to be finishing what I started. I like FlyLady's idea of a family notebook or a FLYing manual - all of this stuff should exist in one spot. I am so close to having this done. This is a project that must wait until my office is put back together... but it's next on my list.

The Auto Pilot Action Plan is a gift that should bring peace of mind to a disturbed, tired and overworked mind. It's not a permanent mode or state of being, but it is intended to get me through the inevitable rough patches. Sure, there will be things I miss or mess up anyway, but there will be far fewer mistakes made if I at least plan for things I know could be in my control. I am worth having a plan.

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