String on the Finger

Teacup

So, just for the record? My resolutions are not going so well. I feel like, overall, I’ve made about one step in the direction I’m wanting to go with my life. On step towards just being the better person that I so want to be. Which is still – you know – one step. So, I should be proud of that one step. But, the fact that I’m not moving faster means that the bad crap that happens because these changes haven’t been made? Because my priorities are still askew and my life is still unorganized and chaotic? Those annoying things are still happening.

LIKE…Let’s count how many things I’ve forgotten to do for my kids/family in the last week or so.

  • Return a report card signed to LilZ’s school. Which, for the record, was actually lost by me. So that’s worse than just forgetting to sign it. I actually lost it. And then had to write a note telling his school that I lost it. Which is uber-humiliating. I thought about trying to fake like it had been stolen, to make me feel less stupid, but LilZ seemed to think that would be obviously a lie.
  • Order chili for chili night at NikkiZ’s school which was last night. They were volunteering to cook dinner for us at the kids’ school, and I forgot! What the hell? Someone offers to make you dinner? You sure as hell better turn in the forms to actually get some prepared for your family. Instead, I had to cook. BAH.
  • Wipes. Wipes. Wipes. Do you know how many days I’ve forgotten to send wipes to my son’s daycare now? MANY MANY DAYS. If I don’t remember today I’ll be putting them in the awkward position of deciding what to wipe his butt with. Which is not an easy decision when you have a kid as sensitive-skinned as he is. MUST NOT FORGET WIPES.
  • Class choice forms for HIGH SCHOOL. Although, in my defense, I’m still a little bit in denial about the whole high school thing. I mean, LilZ’s not ready for high school yet, right? He’s only…like 12. Or 10. Or something, right?

My point? I need to try new techniques that allow me to organize my life in a way that – you know – actually helps me remember things. As opposed to just allowing me to purchase really cute To Do list pads of Etsy. Because, while cute? Completely useless if you think they’re too cute to actually write on.

24 thoughts on “String on the Finger”

  1. Oh give yourself a break. I’m pretty sure that not one thing on your list today is hard and fast requirement for being a better person overall or even just a better mom. At least I HOPE not, because if any of it is, you are SO MUCH the better mom than I am.

  2. I am the queen of post-its they are everywhere for that reason of my brain leaking out of my ears with each passing year. It took me a year (not kidding) to remember to buy the clorox mop pads so i would not have to keep gorilla gluing the swiffer ones onto my mop…

    i also put super important things no matter what that is on my outlook calendar so it gives me a reminder!!

    Hang in there and don’t beat yourself up!!!

  3. Dude. I am NOT even kidding when I tell y’all that a friend called me on the way into work to point out I missed a big High School Orientation meeting last night. I was all, “I JUST BLOGGED ABOUT THIS.” BAH!

    Post-Its would be a great solution, especially if I could tack them UNDER MY EYELIDS.

  4. My life has become so organized with my new iPhone. I wasn’t into the last one, so I said skip it. But this one has me on time everywhere, I send my self notes, calendar and I even get reminders. It also could be a shameless justification for buying it. No more sticky’s and lost to-do lists that I think are too pretty to use.

    Plus I also started flyladying my 15 minute nightly routine. It’s working like a charm for the last 27 days.

  5. I consider goals for 2009 to be a year long project and we’ve just dipped our toes into this year, so give yourself a break and keep working on it.

    If not for my phone, I would be lost. I know that you love real calendars and pens and I can’t let go of my beautiful mint green organizer, either, but it won’t jump out of my purse and announce my appointments or remind me that there are six To Do or To Buy lists in the notes section. My phone’s reminders let me know loud and clear that I have something to remember.

  6. Have you ever tried the Flylady? http://flylady.net/

    She’s pretty alright. You start small and gradually add. (It’s waaaaay easier to spin plates on sticks when you add the plates one at a time instead of all 50 at once.)

    And if you don’t follow it to a T, you don’t. Just start again the next day. And don’t beat yourself up about it.

  7. I do keep a list on my PDA (or try to), but when it’s something short-term, I write it on my hand. Say you write on your hand when you pick AndyZ up (because then you’re probably thinking about how you forgot that morning) PACK WIPES. Then when you get home you see PACK WIPES on your hand and you do it. That’s the key, that you do it as soon as you read it (before it smudges too badly). Then you can move on to the next thing.

    I know it sounds positively Cro-Magnon, but it (usually) works for me.

  8. ha! I signed and then lost my kid’s progress report. The worst thing was I kept blaming it on him. I was all I gave it back to you! You need to be more responsible, blah blah. And then I found it on my desk buried under a months worth of un-filed papers. d’oh.

  9. Well…putting a list up here might help!! You need like a calendar in every room, bathroom, living room, kitchen, bedroom with everything written down on it.

  10. the solution is easy my dear. you need an iphone!!!!

    then you can get mobile me which synchs it with your computer whereever you are. so if i’m at work and make an appointment i just plop it in ical with a reminder a day, hour or minute ahead and then BAMN! It appears in my phone and reminds me not to forget the goddamn cauliflower for vegetable day at school, or you know TO PICK UP MY KID!

  11. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but when I really, really, really need to remember something, I write it on my hand. Yes, like a 12-year-old girl. It’s humiliating because all day people keep asking, “What’s on your hand?” But it works because of it’s constant presence in front of my face ALL DAY LONG. But I have no memory at all, and I lose/disregard to-do lists, so it’s the only thing that works.

  12. I keep one of those pads with the magnet on the back on my refrigerator. I sit down Sunday evening and list things I need to remember to do and then put it right by the handle to the refrigerator. All week I have to look at and I update it. It took a few weeks to get into the routine but it works for me and didn’t cost me an iphone!

  13. I have several things that are currently forced to serve as extensions of my brain:

    1. Two magnetized clothespin-type things on the refrigerator, one for each school kid. That’s where I put things like slips that need to be filled out.

    2. A small nicely-framed white board in the kitchen. I use that for stuff where either I mean for my husband to do it, or stuff I need to remember but not do right away: car registration, replacing furnace filter, taking child to store to spend gift certificate.

    3. Dude, I have a mouse pad that’s a PAD OF PAPER. Each page is a week (undated). I bought a whole stack of them at TJ Maxx or Marshalls (maybe some at each?) for $2 each on clearance. I use it for things I need to remember to do on my computer: “call dr” on Monday, “Milk and Cookies post” on Wednesday, “tell Zoot the Velveeta coupon arrived” over on the non-weekday note-jotting side.

  14. Dude, I totally feel you one this. But life’s never going to stop being chaotic, and you’re never going to stop forgetting things from time to time. What we can change is how we react when challenges arise. I like the concept of “hero flow” — vowing to stick to your core principles and values and applying them gracefully to whatever happens to cross your path in the course of the day. A perfect life where everything is under your control and nothing ever goes wrong is unattainable.

    Also, I want you to vow RIGHT NOW to stop being so self-deprecating! I know it makes for funny blog fodder, but in my experience at least, it can get in the way of creating a more positive self-concept and moving forward. NO MORE ZOOT-BASHING UP IN HERE!

  15. The ONLY way I can remember to get things done is Post-It’s… Seriously, I have a problem. Right now I’ve got 2 stuck to my wallet (one for things I need to buy and one for things I need to do), 3 in my car (stuck to the dash board right in front of the RPM indicator – because really, who needs to see that), One in my bathroom, one on the basement door, and one on the back of the front door. It’s getting kinda scary at my house.

    It’s just a good thing I get them for ‘free’ at my office (don’t tell the supply cops please).

  16. This is why i don’t even bother to make resolutions. That way, I don’t feel all schlumpy (i think i just made up that word) for skipping out on something I was supposed to do. And when i DO do something cool, I’m all like, “Damn…and i did that WITHOUT a resolution.” :)

  17. That is a short list. Think about all the things you do do.

    You might try a small week at a glance calendar. You can treat yourself to a new pen or two when you buy it. :-)

  18. I write on my hand as well. It works though people look at me strange. Hey, I’d rather remember crap than have people think I’m cool. Besides, I know I’m awesome.

    Give yourself a break. You can expect changes to happen overnight. The fact that you know there is room for improvement is half the battle. Now just figure out which tactic is best for you.

    And Zoot, thanks a lot. I am now the proud owner of an Etsy to do list. And recipe cards. And a pair of earrings.

  19. I understand how you feel! I’ve tried so many different “systems” that I forgot to actually do anything because I was so busy figuring out how to keep track of what I was supposed to do.

    My favorite online tool is Remember the Milk. It integrates with Gmail and Twitter and Google Calendar, plus you can send yourself text message reminders.

    Offline, I use a plain old notebook. The plain part is important; it can’t be too cute or too pretty or too nice to use. (You have to be able to cross things out and staple things to the pages without feeling like you are “ruining” it.) I get a thin one with less than 100 pages because when it gets raggedy I know I will be able to get a new one soon, rather than feeling like I need to keep it nice. Then I just write the day/date at the top of each page and write what I need to do that day. If I don’t do something I copy it onto the next day’s page. I clip forms and appointment cards right onto my current day. If I have a dentist appointment in two weeks I don’t flip ahead fourteen pages, I clip it right in front of me and look at it and move it EVERY DAY until it happens. It is always current and I never have to flip forward or back to find something. Not very efficient, of course, but it works for me.

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