That Damn List

Things to do, people to see, stuff to learn, even more to clean.

My life revolves around making lists, crossing things out, and adding more to the bottom. But here lately my list is not much of a list.

See, to-do lists are supposed to be organized to maximize efficiency and ease the mind of the person trying to tackle the tasks. My to-do list is more like a run-on sentence with absolutely no punctuation, and scribbled handwriting.
Oh, and in multiple colored ink.
But also someone is reading it to me really fast over and over again.

dishes dinner swap the load of laundry feed the dogs change a diaper sweep the floors change the sheets study for your test dishwasher needs to be unloaded grocery shop take the dogs outside did you pack the diaper bag for tomorrow whats that smell coming from the oven take notes from the book where is the baby where are the dogs give the baby a bath hang up wet shirts did you mail that thing yet the phone is ringing take that quiz I need to shower wasn’t there a bill due today clean out the fridge to make room for leftovers did you even eat dinner laundry still needs to be swapped late homework assignment needs to be done go eat something ...

It is easy to get things done when your mental list is well organized, perhaps in order of most importance. My thoughts never slow down enough to organize it in any way, but instead marks everything tied at number one. Combine that along with being sensory overloaded from a crying/whining toddler, dogs who keep licking you and play fighting, Shrek 2 playing in the background for the literal third time that day, a husband who keeps asking for favors from the kitchen, feeling shaky from lack of food, and not having a moment of alone time.

I don’t know what is to blame here. Are my dogs bad? Do I just not give them enough attention? Is my daughter in the terrible two’s already? Does she need more attention? Is my husband expecting too much of me? Is he just tired from work?
Am I not doing enough for my family?
Am I doing too much?

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Why I don’t reach goals

… and how I change that.

I know it is important to sit down and think of all the positives in life. I do that at some point every day, even if it is just one thing I remember to be thankful for. However, I also find it to be equally important to self reflect on why goals aren’t met, so that it can be changed.

I didn’t have ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ goals, or even short-term and long-term goals. When I have my mind on something, I usually get really excited and overly-ambitious. I set one goal, and it was usually pretty far out of reach. I don’t think setting goals like this is a bad thing, but there also needs to be supportive, easy to reach ones as well.
I used to think anything other than my main objective was pointless to focus on or celebrate, and I didn’t get much gratification from them either (possibly due to my ADHD, but that’s another post). However, I have come to really appreciate what they do for the bigger picture.
For example, I have a long-term goal of going to graduate school. My short-term goals are to schedule a GRE, find admission requirements for every school in my area, start the application process, and study for the GRE. Currently, I am starting the application process. By crossing small things off, I can be happy that I am one step closer to the big goal.

I get bored very, very easily. This one is a constant issue that I try to work on every single day. In regards to career choices, this seems to be true for every job I’ve ever had. When I worked at Petco as a dog trainer, I was completely immersed and dedicated for about six months. Though I love(d) dogs and working with them every day, I was so incredibly bored with my every day tasks. Currently, I am working for my father’s business as his bookkeeper. At first, I was super excited to help him get organized and find better solutions for how things were being done. Now, I just feel like whatever he’s been doing for these last 20 years without me is working, and I don’t need to change anything.
With help from self-reflection, I now know that my professional career needs to be in an environment that is constantly changing to keep me interested. I also know that as much as I thought I would like a desk job, I really don’t. And if all else fails, I could make changes myself. Whether it is a different morning routine, changing shifts, or reorganizing my work area.

I lose faith in myself. There could be many reasons behind me losing my positivity. Maybe I failed to complete a short-term goal when I thought it should be done. Maybe something completely out of my control slowed me down (WiFi down, water heater broke, and road blockages come to mind). Even just having a bad day will really take the motivation right out of a person. Regardless of the reason, I sometimes find myself struggling to continue on my never ending journey. In this moment, I have to think about the pros and cons of pushing through the funk and continuing.
For example, if my long-term goal is to get more toned for the summer, and today I just really do not feel like working out, I will weigh my options. I could go home and have a frozen pizza date with Netflix and try again tomorrow, or I could use exercise to get out of the funk (because believe it or not, exercise actually can put you in a better mood). If I choose pizza date, I might be refreshed for tomorrow, but I also might further the funk by being mad about my slacking. If I choose to do exercise, I could potentially feel better when I am done while also maintaining efforts for my long-term goal, or I could feel worse because I know that didn’t try my best.
Sometimes my answer is to try again tomorrow, sometimes my answer is to push through, but I feel it is important for the options to be weighed regardless.

Self reflection is how I keep myself in check. I find it hard to be honest with other people about certain things, and I can be brutally honest with myself. I have also learned how to really listen to myself, as weird as that may seem. I do a mental health check occasionally to catch any potential bad mood that could snowball into something else. No one knows me better than me, and I know now that not communicating with myself has only done me harm.

First blog post

A little background info for those who are curious, my name is Savanna. I am a mother to a sassy 18 month old little girl, married to my best friend, and have two dogs.
I am almost done with my bachelor’s degree in psychology and intend to get my master’s degree in social work. In the meantime, I work for my father’s business as the bookkeeper. This gives me more flexibility with school, and I also am able to bring my daughter with me every day, too.

I am using this blog like a diary of sorts. I am on a journey to living a healthy lifestyle, both mentally an physically, so this will be a way for me to keep track of my progress.