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Nodding Off

On my current to do list:

1. Figure out new job
2. Finish freelance project for old job
3. Get a chemistry tutor for Mike
4. Do my taxes
5. Lose final 12 pounds
6. Go to 6 a.m. strength training class
7. Walk dog
6. Update blog
7. Help Kate with essay
8. Help Mike get a summer job
9. Maintain yard
10. Pay bills
11. Teach Mike to drive
12. Get oil changed
13. Clean my house
14. Have a garage sale
15. Laundry
16. Get dog to vet
17. Summer camps for Kate
18. Fix home network
19. Laundry
20. Get healthier food in the house
21. Learn to meditate
22. Meditate on the laundry
23. Paint house
24. Figure out house drainage problem
25. Figure out how to pay for house drainage problem
26. Get out on my bike
27. Clean out garage
28. Go through attic
29. Go to Kate's softball games
30. Figure out second reconstructive surgery (who/where/when/how...I know what and why)
31. Doctor's appointments
32. Kids' doctors' appointments
33. Plan Mike's birthday
34. Organize files
35. Read work books
36. Get haircut
37. Change batteries in smoke detectors
38. Wash car
39. Join professional organizations
40. Figure out iPhoto
41. Back up computer
42. Learn InDesign for work
43. Fill propane tank for gas grill
44. Set up compost bin
45. Figure out if I can still afford financial planner
46. Get new sheets
47. Go through file cabinet
48. Finish open enrollment for work benefits
49. Organize work priorities for next three months while my boss is out on maternity leave
50. Put away last of the Christmas decorations

The kids and I for years have held an unofficial contest to see who in our neighborhood keeps their Christmas tree and/or lights up the longest. The longest was April. We would drive by the house, ablaze with colored lights, and laugh. "Ohmigod, can you believe that?" we would gasp. "What slackers!"

Well, it's official: I'm a slacker. While I took down my tree and lights before the new year, the tree globes and lights and glittery kid decorations are still languishing on the window seat. I simply can't make myself put them away.

I think the Christmas decorations have become this symbol for me. I am positively overwhelmed. There is just simply too much to do. I used to pride myself not only on getting things done, but getting them done well. These days? There is so much to do that I sometimes become immobilized.

The obvious omission on the list is my relationships. Nurturing my relationships--with God as I understand Him, with my family, with my significant other, with my friends--is the most important thing in my life. But I didn't give any a line item on the list because they will never be complete; they take ongoing focus and priority. That's another topic, however. For now, I intend to strengthen my commitment to the people in my life.

In focusing on my relationships (and the key items on the to do list), I hope to soothe this anxiety that is bathing my cells with adrenaline and avoid the depression that is encroaching upon my happiness and sense of peace. Life is short. And anxiety and stress shorten it.

So what I've decided to do is to let some things slide. Including my blog. When I can't do my blog well, it makes me anxious. And depressed. I want this to be a place where I can create, express and heal myself. Not a place where I feel pressure. I hope to find the time to check out other people's words in the next few months. I also will be thinking about the words I've already read.

For now, I'm nodding off. And putting away the Christmas decorations.


Much love.

PS: My dog Ruby (aka Rubella), a pit mix who was living her last days at the Milo Foundation animal sanctuary up in Willits, recently died. I can't write about it now. I want to write about it when I can give Bella the tribute she deserves. We love you Bella, baby. You were the best. [postscript: someone asked me if Ruby is dead in this photo. good grief, no, is my answer. she was merely sunning herself in the grass]


KT said…
Jill, I am completely with you on the long to-do list! I am a daily list-maker, but sometimes I put easy things down to give myself a sense of accomplishment. I'm not ashamed of that!

John and I write one up every now and then, for house projects. I found one from 3 years ago and I don't think we could check anything off the @#!$!! list! (pardon my language)

It is so hard to prioritize tasks, not to mention squeeze them in between daily life tasks such as meals and laundry. It will feel good for you to take some time and work on some of your other to-dos. (But add a bunch of easy ones in there, like "brush teeth" and "shave armpits", so you have lots of checkmarks early on!)

Looking forward to hearing from you soon, even if it's just a "hi I'm fine, have completed #4, 12, and 26! Woo-hoooooo!"

Take care! Your blogging breast cancer friend, Katie
P.S. My sympathies on the loss of your sweet dog Bella.
SweetAnnee said…
So glad to see you posting.. I JUST with help , put the Christmas ornaments away on Thursday!!

I am sorry for the loss of your baby..I hope you can find some peace...and I NEED to see your HAIR!!
SweetAnnee said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lahdeedah said…
Katie: I usually do pad my list, but I am definitely putting "brush teeth" and "shave armpits" on the list. What a sense of accomplishment I'll have tomorrow a.m.! As well as a good laugh :) I just read your "Get Over It Day" post. Terrific! And thank you for the kind words about Bella xoxo

Deena: I am so happy to see your name here :) I will put "take a photo of myself and post on blog" on my to do list - LOL! My hair is actually kind of cute these days. You look totally babe-a-licious in your brown and blue hat! (I'll write about Bella next month. She was a big honey baby.)
Okay..I fell off my chair and then ran after reading your list -- it scares me!!! LOL!!

Doing the blog thing when you want, when you have something to say and it feels "right" for you -- that's the time to do it -- as I'm now learning!!

My sympathies about your baby -- our pets are more than pets they are family and your grief is real and heartfelt.
lahdeedah said…
Dear Ms. Herbes de Provence: I am delighted to hear from you, mon ami. I'm finding that taking a short leave is good for the soul. The one thing I miss, though, is momentum with my blog friends. I think I'll just read in the background. Hope life is being good to you!


bella said…
Life is full and we all need to take stock from time to time and let ourselves know what we know, give ourselves fully to our heart's commitments.
So step away from here, nurture those relationships and loves, write only when you REALLY want to write. this is when it is fun, breathes life into our days.
And best of luck on that list of yours! Looks like its time to dive in. :)
I'm sorry to hear about your dog, bella. I know what a loss this is and I hope there has been time for you to remember and honor her presence in your lives and hurt like hell.
Take care of yourself.
Jena Strong said…
Jill - I bet you could get good money for that list on ebay!

I will miss your words here. But you are wise to listen to yourself and recognize that when adrenaline & anxiety become cellular, it's time to back away, to nod off, to rest, or refocus. I am so glad to have found you in this strange online world and know we'll stay in touch... You know where and how to find me, so please do!

With love to you. Be good to yourself.

xo Jena
Jena Strong said…
P.S. I'm leaving your blog on my list of links!
lahdeedah said…
Bella: Thank you. I'll still be reading your posts. I always leave your blog with a powerful new thought :)

Jena: I like your phrasing: when anxiety and adrenaline become cellular. I love how you write. And I'm so happy to have met you, too!. I'll email when I can.

Jen Ballantyne said…
Hi dear girl, I'm so sorry about your dog. Hey I popped over to thank you for your support over at my blog, I appreciate it and now i know a bit more about your story i see we have some in common. Your list makes me feel ill...Hugs Jen B. xxx
lahdeedah said…

I laughed out loud when you said my list makes you ill :) Makes me ill, too. I'm going to check some things off this week (taxes, walk dog) and add one: get some perspective. I hope today is a good one for you and your beautiful boys. Much love, Jill
Chloe said…
Jill- I love the humor and grace in your words, and I will miss them. But I’m glad you are taking care of yourself and making time for what’s important. I’m so sorry about losing Bella. I know how hard it is to let go of a beloved pet. She was beautiful.
Anonymous said…
I got a major anxiety attack when I read your list! Holy Moley! Give it and yourself a rest girl. You are driving your own self crazy!
I learned what is called "chunking it down" years ago while at a seminar for counselors. You don't ever look at the whole picture. You just take the next priority thing and do your best. All the rest you just mentally hand in to the God of your understanding. You just wrap it all up in a ball and say out loud and mentally "Here's the whole deal, please take it cause I can't deal". You would be amazed at what can happen.
I have to go search for some anti panic attack meds right now after reading your list. Oh my gosh girl.
Was anyone out there before blogging? Did I exist before I blogged? If no one blogs by a tree in the forest, is there no tree? Wait, maybe that should be.....;-) church
lahdeedah said…
Chloe, I briefly read your blog today. So much to catch up on! I hope to be back here when the dust settles :)

Church, you crack me up. I hope I didn't cause you any permanent damage. I am actually doing great. Focusing on the essentials only. Chunking it down, as you call it.

Debbie said…
I just found your blog and your list is an inspiration. I don't dare make one -- it is too intimidating.

So sorry about your dog.

lahdeedah said…
Hi Debbie,

Thanks about Ruby. I'll write about my girl soon.

I just checked out your blog. How in the world did you find me?

Hope you have a good weekend!

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