Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Organization Queen

So, I decided to take holidays for these next two weeks, but not to go to Ontario for Christmas. I mean, I really enjoy seeing my family at Christmas, but trips to Ontario are *exhausting* because I have so many people to see and it ends up being a lot of scheduling, running around to see people, entertaining, more running around and I end up coming home 10x more exhausted than when I left on “vacation.” Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and friends, but knowing that I’m about to start school in January, I decided it that it made a lot more sense to spend my time off at home getting rested and organized for what is definitely going to be a busy new year1.

So, what is it that I plan to do with my time off?

BusyMy first priority is to organize my apartment. For example, I need to turn my desk from its current state as a piece of furniture buried under a giant pile of papers that “I’ll file later” to an actual functioning workspace. As I see it, my organizational tasks this week are:

  • sort through massive piles of paper:
    • all unnecessary papers thrown in the recycling (I’m looking at you, research articles from my PhD that I completed 5+ years ago)
    • all necessary papers filed in the appropriate file folder
  • organize my bookshelves, donating any books that I no longer need/want
  • fix clothes that need fixing2, purge clothes that don’t fit me3 and shoes that are worn out (to the landfill, sadly.)
  • review and update my budget
And speaking of organizing, I know that I’m going to need to be *very* organized in order to handle a full-time job, plus school, plus having some semblance of a social life. I’m thinking that the main things I’ll need to do are being ruthless about my schedule – setting aside time for homework, exercise4, and date nights – and getting an effective routine going. Things that I’ve found to be effective in keeping me organized and efficient, when I actually do them, include::
  • planning out my outfits on Sunday night for the the following week – it’s unbelievable how much trouble I have deciding what to wear in the morning!
  • cooking for the week on the weekend – I love having leftovers for lunch and especially for weekends when I have classes, I’m going to need to have prepared food on hand so that I don’t end up spending a fortune on, and gaining 50 lbs from, restaurants
  • going to bed at a decent hour – I am really bad for getting too little sleep during the week and then sleeping in on the weekends5. This won’t be an option on weeks that I have class at 8 am on Saturday and Sunday!
So I figure that after organizing my apartment, I’ll get my other systems set up – organize a spot in my closet for setting out my outfits, ensure my kitchen is appropriately set up for maximum efficiency, setting up my calendar with spots for homework time, times for going out for a run, etc.

I’m sure this sounds like the worst. vacation. ever. to most of you. But my nerdy nature is actually a bit thrilled to have some time to remove the clutter from both my apartment and my mind! Also, there will be plenty of time for fun – as I mentioned above, I’ll be spending Christmas with Devon and his family on the Island, so there will be family festivities, plus a chance to visit the Bard & Banker which has the beer that is so delicious that I want to marry it. I also hope to get to La Belle Patate, a Montreal-style deli where I can enjoy a Montreal smoked meat sandwich and, if their Facebook page tells the truth, a spruce beer!!!

This shaping up to be quite a nice vacation!

Image Credit: Posted by A. J. Cann on Flickr.
  1. Happily, Devon has offered to share his family with me this Christmas, so I will still get to enjoy family festivities! []
  2. I have a few items of clothing with loose buttons or ripped seams that I can easily put back into the rotation with a few stitches. []
  3. By donating them to a thrift store. []
  4. Exercise being my most effective way of de-stressing and rather non-negotiable for a public health nerd such as myself []
  5. And yes, I know that you can’t truly “catch up” on missed sleep, but I do at least “recover” from the sleep deprivation of the previous week. []

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Routine

So, after being a complete delinquent with respect to things normal day-to-day living (things like packing my lunch/making dinner at home/going to bed at a reasonable hour) over the past couple of months, which – did I mention? – I completely blame on the Vancouver Canucks for being so awesome as to make it to the Stanley Cup and making me spend all my time watching them, followed by a whirlwind trip to visit the fam & friends in Ontario, I’ve decided it’s high time that I get back to my routine.

To that end, my lunch is packed and waiting for me in the fridge, as is my breakfast; my coffee maker is set up to make me coffee upon my waking; my dishwasher is loaded and ready to turn on in the middle of the night1; and I’m going to bed at 10:30 p.m., meaning I will actually get a full EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP and still have plenty of time to get to the office bright and early.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go floss!

  1. I use the “delay” feature so that I comes on after I’m asleep. Otherwise the noise drives me crazy when I’m trying to sleep! []

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My Plan

So this whole getting up at 6 a.m. to start work in Surrey by 8 a.m. thing sucks.  Now, I happen to *love* working 8-4 compared to the 9-5 that I worked at my old job – I’m home before 5 and I feel like I have *so much more time* in the evening.  But the getting up at 6 a.m. – boo-urns!  I keep telling myself that I will go to bed at 10:30 p.m., giving me a respectable 7.5 hrs of sleep.  And then I keep failing.  I usually end up going to bed around 11:30.  Or midnight.  Or… later. And then I’m sleepy as all hell the next day.

My problem appears to be that although I tell myself “I’ll go to bed at 10:30p.m,” what actually happens is that 10:30 p.m. rolls around and then I go “oh man, I should go to bed.  Right after I finish reading this blog posting/writing this blog posting/sending these emails.” And then it’s 10:45 p.m. Or 11:25.  And then I get sucked into the brush-teeth/wash-face/put-on-PJs/prepare-tomorrow’s-lunch/set-up-coffee-maker-for-the-morning/holy-crap-I-forgot-to-do-my-pushups-&-situps-I-better-do-them-now vortex and suddenly it’s 11:57 p.m.  And then I just check to see if I’ve received any emails in that time, because FSM forbid I might not see that email ’til morning.

So I now have a new plan!  And the plan is mine and this is my plan.  It’s a good plan and I created it and it’s mine and it’s a plan1. My plan is this: when 9:30 rolls around, I drop whatever I’m doing and get ready for bed.  Once I’m all ready, in whatever time I have left over before 10:30 p.m., I can geek out all I like. But that’s it.  Lights out at 10:30 p.m.!  Tonight is my first attempt at this – as I type this, my face and teeth are squeaky clean, my lunch is packed, my coffee maker is ready for the morn and my body is pajamaed.

I predict I’ll last two days.

1100 points to the first person to correctly identify where that’s from!