The Helter Skelter and Back Edition

I had my week so carefully planned out. I even used my color-coded-by-project Google Calendar with its handy email and text reminders to keep me on task.

Monday went really well, and Tuesday started out even better. I got ahead of the game for awhile when I woke up at 4 a.m. and was in the gym by 5:30 or so. That cleared up a whole hour later in the day that was supposed to be spent reading a fun little mystery, but instead got eaten up when my little contract job ran 1-1/2 hours long and resulted in more work to be done at home. By the time I left the worksite, I was feeling like my temporary office mate:

brown bear

Seriously. That thing is in the corner of the office I sometimes work in, and it gives me the willies. Some friend of the client assassinated it many years ago and has nowhere to house it. Should have thought of that before he went for the thrill kill. That bear could be running through the forests, terrorizing innocent hikers and squirrels, instead of standing in the corner of an office terrorizing me!

But enough about the bear. This post is supposed to be about Poor!Me! and my tattered schedule.

Today was consumed by one appointment, Christmas shopping, and an Excel spreadsheet that’s eating my brain. (Truly, if anyone here knows how to correctly use a SUMIFS command, I’ll…figure out something really nice to do for you if you’ll help me figure out what I’m doing wrong.)(I figured it out using my own tired brain! Yippee!) I spent almost the entire afternoon working on this monster and completely lost control of time and my scheduled tasks, including my workout. I didn’t even get my afternoon break until 5:00 p.m.!

break time

Cheap coffee, an apple, a caramel, and a fun little mystery. That was an exciting 10 minutes! :)

And then I came home and am preparing to attack all my non-spreadsheet to-do items. I don’t have another engagement until early afternoon tomorrow, so I should be able to make a good dent in the backlog. I hope so, because Friday is fully booked.

I don’t share this sad, sad tale only to gain sympathy (however, a few “poor Cammys” are entirely welcome), but also to remind myself (and anyone else who has days/weeks like this) that…there will always be days/weeks like this. Accepting that and learning how to rebound are two key tools needed for long-term weight management. And for continued sanity.

My rebound plan looks a little like this:

  • Stop for a break. (see: photo) Just a few minutes of breathing space can do a lot to stop the overwhelm.
  • Write out my frustrations (see: this post). Just getting it down in black and white helps me sort out the petty from the important and the controllable from the uncontrollable.
  • Review pretty schedule and dump all non-essentials. There went two items to the Saturday schedule.
  • Identify missed essentials (see: workout) and find a way to get them done the next day. My first order of business was to move my Thursday workout to my first task of the day on tomorrow’s schedule. That way I don’t run the risk of looking up to find that the entire afternoon passed without me noticing. hello, early gym people!
  • Identify what tools weren’t used and how to use them in the future. I came up with two: 1) setting boundaries with client, and 2) keeping my iphone handy so that I can actually hear the schedule reminders. (I can still choose to dismiss them, but I won’t have the surprise of glancing out the window and seeing that it’s flipping dark outside.)
  • Make a list of good happenings. I’m truly blessed with lots of goodness in my life, and taking a moment to be mindful of that is always time well spent for me. Today’s positives include 1) finding both a penny AND a dime, face up (which means good luck), on PowerBall drawing day; 2) buying two gifts on my list at local shops; 3) getting in two really good workouts so far this week, despite missing today; 4) getting my hair done and only two weeks past the time it started really needing it; and 5) eating fairly damned sparkly for a scattered week. And then there’s all the roof-over-my-head, food-in-my-pantry, people-who-care-about-me usual stuff that needs to be remembered.

And suddenly, I don’t feel so frazzled and helter skelter anymore. Taking a few moments to sort things out, even in a rambly kind of way, helps me regain at least the illusion of control. And that’s really all I need.

Well, dinner would also be nice. :)

What do you do when your schedule goes kaput? Or when life gets to feeling all helter skelter?

16 thoughts on “The Helter Skelter and Back Edition

  1. Poor Cammy!

    My schedule also went kaput this week and it is frusterpating me a bit. I don’t always follow a plan when I get surprise stuff thrown at me or when I am very tired (both of which occurring at this moment).

    Thanks for the reminder to think of all the good things!

    • Sorry about the schedule wonkiness, Lori! Thank YOU for the reminder that I tend to over-snack when I’m tired. I need to be on the lookout for that. :)

  2. Oh Cammy you poor thing! Did that help in the sympathy department?

    You know an attitude of gratitude is a centering activity. My schedule this week has been derailed each day. Monday we had to attend a funeral. It turned out to be a beautiful tribute to an amazing womans life. It was also a lesson in unconditional love. Her husband of over 50 years continued to care for her through her illness and treated her like a queen. It was a good reminder to pause and be grateful.

    Yesterday and today I ended up having to be a life coach for someone dear. Very little on my to do list was crossed off. Instead of fretting about it, I put on the tea kettle and set about the ritual of being kind to myself. A little down time with my feet propped up and a cup of hot tea, a fresh apple sliced and my lap top for a little blog reading. After that I felt like I could tackle a fews things on my list.

    Tomorrow is another day and although I didn’t get done in the past three days what I had planned, I did help honor someones life here on earth and I helped someone sort out a difficult life situation sp they can move forward with life.

    Sometimes God puts us right where we need to be at the right time.

  3. Poor Cammy! That bear might just take that client off of my to-do list! Ick.That would give you some more free time, right. Oh, what’s that? You LIKE to eat?

    Anyway, being retired and all, I haven’t had too many over-booked weeks for the past few months. I find that I get tired and can’t really physically finish all the chores I set out for myself in a day. Its a little frustrating, but then I just go with it. What’s left will get done tomorrow. And sometimes I need to re-evaluate and maybe eliminate something entirely from my life.

  4. Noooo, I will not work in an office with a stuffed bear towering over me! You have all my sympathy!

  5. First, you mentioned the cheap coffee from McD’s — and isn’t it high quality coffee at a low price? I find their coffee to taste just as good, though different, as SBUX.

    Second, when my schedule feels totally frazzled, the first thing I usually need to do is give up the Internet. I tend to lose time on it; so, when things are super busy, I schedule my Internet time… 15 minutes here and there. That way, I can get a lot done and still feel like I’m not missing out on the Great Internet Adventure either.

    After that, breathing is always something that helps me when frazzled, overwhelmed, angry, or just generally out of sorts. A few deep breaths center me fairly well.

  6. UGH Cammy!! Craziness & that bear – WTF! Man, that would just creep me out!

    You always come up with the best attitude about things though & your pointers are great! Since the 24 hour gyms, I have always done my workouts EARLY! When I was working & even those 60+++ hour weeks, it was off to the gym EARLY no matter what & yes, if I had to switch around days, I would do that.

    Sounds like you are on track BUT I do understand & weeks like that can drive one crazy – with me, crazier than I am already!

  7. That bear needs a huntin’ cap, orange vest, and a pop gun just to scare the crap out of whomever put it there!

    <— This is me sending comforting keyboard strokes in your direction in an attempt to soothe away the hectic-ness of the day.

    My life is rarely helter-skelter, except internally. I usually soothe myself with a bath (when that is possible) accompanied by candles and a good book. Music is my other method of getting my mind back in the right gear – sometimes its classical, sometimes good ol' rock & roll or even dance music. Sure, meditation would be good, but it makes me nervous… Go figure.

  8. When my schedule goes kaput… I put my helmet on backwards and go for a ride! :)
    I am REALLY hoping things are better today!

  9. I’m just glad that fella is terrorizing you and not somewhere on a trail terrorizing ME! However, a closer look assures me the he NEVER terrorized anyone on a trail east of the Mississippi! The claws are a dead giveaway.

    I never know quite how to say this because I always feel as if it sounds like I’m rubbing it in which I most certainly am NOT because, believe me, I can remember these days/weeks oh so well. But like Debby said, now that I’m retired, I don’t have to deal with this very often as most interruptions can be rescheduled with no problem and I’ve come to view (as Tami said) the aggravations sometimes as “divine” appointments to do something good.

    But I loved your list and I think with a strategy like that you’ll be back in control soon if you aren’t already.

  10. Well, sometimes when my schedule goes kaput, I just take a nap. Fixes everything. Until I wake up.

    P.S. That bear is freaking me out. And I also now have the Helter Skelter song stuck in my head, thanks to you.

  11. There is a BEAR in the corner! That would frrreak me out!

    Sorry things are super hectic! I’m in the middle of my exams now and I know that feeling all too well. Too much to do, and too little time. I guess the comfort is knowing that we’ll get through to the other side eventually. 😉

  12. oh I need this.
    Im all wrapped up in the helterskelter and fearing the inlaws, err, December will exacerbate my condition


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