I had a few minutes before we had to leave this morning, so I added a few lines to a post I started last night about my efforts to be more organized. I wrote the smug little humblebrag, "A friend and I have been talking about how relentless and complex the remembering becomes once one's children are in school, but I think maybe I'm wired for keeping track of all these ridiculous little details. My natural multitasking abilities are coming in handy, for certain" and then headed out with the kids. After dropping Nico off, I decided to take Elliott for a walk to burn our before-preschool time. We had a great little stroll. The fall leaves were gorgeous, the weather was nice, and a lady walking her dogs gave Elliott some bread to feed the ducks. Our perfectly-timed arrival got us to preschool at 8:55, just in time to walk in and realize that preschool does not start at 9:00. Preschool starts at 8:30. Preschool has always started at 8:30. Music class on Mondays starts at 9:00, but this is not Monday and we were not going there. Thoroughly un-smugged, I slunk off to work.
In truth, I have made some progress toward being more organized since writing in August about my need to get my life in order. I'm still not using my personal-life planner as much as I should (mostly, I think, because I don't have a dedicated desk-type space at home to leave it open and accessible), but I've been really good about keeping and keeping up with to-do lists in my little work planner. I still live and die by to-do lists written out on notepads and scraps of paper, and probably always will. I still put things into my phone as needed, but it feels like I'm not as constantly-besieged by reminder alarms as I was before. We are busier than ever before, but I'm doing a decent job keeping track of all the moving parts. Last week I managed to remember every single special add-on for Red Ribbon Week (crazy socks day! school colors day! superhero T-shirt day!), plus class snack and party treats for Elliott and a field trip for Nico. The Halloween costumes got done on time, Elliott showed up for school picture day wearing a picture-appropriate shirt and with his payment envelope, Nico's class got the extra snacks the teacher requested, and I only forgot to remind him that he earned a stuffed animal pass on Tuesday. Probably I need to just keep on working at it and not brag about it.
One thing I definitely can recommend - or at least tell you works for me - is keeping a chore calendar. I have a hard time remembering how long it's been since I've done regularly-repeating but spaced-out tasks. I always think, surely I just vacuumed the stairs last week...and then notice they're gross and realize it's been a month or more. I still find myself moving to-do list tasks from one month to the next, but the other stuff is mostly getting done on time. It has also been a big help to have a bulletin board dedicated to Nico's school papers. Previously they'd get put somewhere in the hopes I'd see them, then moved around, then stacked up, then end up under a pile of other stuff that I'd declutter weeks later. Elliott has a board, too, on the small section of wall by the back door. (Our house has lots and lots of windows and thus lots of great light, but it's seriously short on wall space.)
Anyway, feeling good about being organized. Mostly keeping up with juggling kids and work and home. Need to not be so smug about the times that I'm on top of things, because inevitably I'll turn around and totally biff something. The circle of life!
Reading: (listening on audiobook) I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett. I stalled out on reading the final Tiffany Aching book, then realized I really wanted to re-read the other four first. It turns out I spend a lot of time in the car each week, and have made it through two full books and part of this one since the beginning of October.
Playing: the radio, if I'm not listening to the book