Sunday, August 8, 2010

Making a Genuine Effort is Being a Superhero

Hello, I'm Jeanne & I'm a recovering perfectionist. Hi Jeanne!

Anyone who knows me may not believe the above statement...for several reasons.  The biggest one is that my life has never seemed organized and orderly. I'm ambitious.  I set high & lofty to do list is a mile long, my life list includes items like "be an iron man triathlete" & "hike the Appalachian trail" & "publish my memoir".  I throw caution to the wind and don't really worry about the fact that I have no arts background -- but I want to go back to school for a Fine Arts Degree.

I get really excited about things really quickly. My mind fast forwards through several steps and I have another time consuming goal on my to do list. 

I'm a huge fan of putting yourself out there.  You wouldn't have most of your life experiences if you didn't say things like "why not?" or "what if?" or "let's see what happens when..."or "I'm going to try...My problem is I spend so much time thinking about these things, that I'm way too distracted to wipe my counters down or make the effort to put all the toys in the basket each day. It's a bad combination because I'm too much of a perfectionist to not verbally berate myself for not keeping a clean house.

I read an article on Adult ADD a few months ago.  I read the opening and the first of 10 symptoms.  The first was "excessively long to-do lists".  I read it out loud to my husband and he confirmed that was me.  I skipped forward and read the recommendation to make several to-do lists: a daily one, a new daily one, & a long term one.  So I wrote out my morning & evening routine. I put everything on that I ideally would get done every day.  I put "clean kitchen" in the evening routine & "take vitamins" in the morning one.  I put everything on including: coffee, brush teeth, feed baby, dress Lily, etc. 

I made them pretty colors and printed out my two pretty lists and hung them up in my kitchen. This has worked wonders for me.  I don't look at my daily lists every day, nor do I accomplish every task every day.  The magic is, that I no longer get angry at myself for not keeping things up.  I usually get most of what needs to get done most of the time...which a LOT more than I used to. I still get annoyed at my tolerance for clutter, but I clear out the clutter about once a day now instead of watching it pile up. 


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reaching out to another person, even if it means being late...

Living in NYC means you can find a kindred spirit anywhere.  For me, this means running barefoot through Central Park with other barefoot runners 6:30am...on a Tuesday.  Yes, such a group does exist in this fine city.

I'm an early riser, just as my kids are. My husband...well, let's say he'd rather never rouse.  So, I'm stuck with this daily dilemma -- should I get up early & exercise, or should I let my husband sleep?  Did I mention my kids are 3 yrs old & 10 months?  Yeah, so from the moment they wake up until they go to sleep, they require at least 80% of my attention (they really get close to all of it all the time, but phone texting is an awesome way to have a conversation in sporadic 7 second increments. Once they sense I've been a less than captive audience for 10 seconds the dynamic duo quickly conspires to get my full undivided attention once again).

This morning I woke my husband up to let him know he had the conn so I could go out on previous mentioned adventure.  If I'm not meeting anyone, my husband usually gets to sleep --- this superhero has a tendency to want to make her husband happy.

My 3 year old decided it was too much to separate from me -- so I just walked out -- like all moms have to do from time to time.  As my elevator arrived --the tears stopped and I heard her say -- "Can I give mommy a hug & a kiss goodbye?"  My heart melted and I went back inside to get my hug and kiss -- she said she couldn't wait to see me again.  I promised waffles and syrup when I returned. 

Needless to say, this extra good bye time meant I got to our meeting spot late and my group had already left (we have a strict 10 min policy).  I was a tad disappointed, but I as I began running around the reservoir and enjoyed the early morning shade, my disappointment melted away.  I was a superhero to my daughter.

I left with a warm, teary hug and kiss and was going back home to one real soon, hopefully less teary this time.