Last week, I blew it out of the ballpark. I was so on top of everything I amazed myself. House clean: Check; Kid’s homework: Check. I kicked butt writing 22 articles in 7 days. I edited, I judged (contest entries) I blogged and wrote Examiner articles and an Ehow article. I weeded and planted, rearranged and cleaned, did laundry X5. Every minute was used and I was on it. There wasn’t even a moment of leisure time that wasn’t planned. (translate that into 45 minutes of reading before bed)
While waiting for the coffee to heat up in the microwave, I did the dishes in the sink. Watched cartoons with munchkin while folding towels. Waiting for the hot water to heat up for a shower = enough tine to scrub a sink.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a multi-tasker. From elementary to high school, I used to try to see how many things I could do at once. Walking and reading… yup. Doing dishes and reading… works if you have something to hold down the book. (see a pattern?) There was that one incident where I was cooking and reading… and that burner didn’t look like it was still hot, but… I digress.
Last week I was on a roll. This week? Not so much. Starting on Monday, which consequently was March 1st, I felt like I was walking through molasses. The to-do list got done, barely, but by Tuesday I was exhausted. I felt as though I hadn’t slept at all. Normally, I force myself to do something and by the time I’m half way through it, I’ve loosened up enough to enjoy it, or at least enjoy that I’m getting it done.
Not today. Today it took me twice as long to write a blog (for my super secret pen name) and twice as long to write an article so that’s all I’d done by the time I had to pick up munchkin. I folded laundry while watching Dora, but still, no energy. I dragged myself and a cup of coffee to my computer, thinking I’d finish my work, but stared at the screen all the time longing for my bed and a warm blanket. It didnt’ help that ehow would load, the computer was slow and I was having trouble with formatting, but it was more than all that. I’m familiar with the feeling of burn-out and this came close, so what was the problem?
Do I only have one week of productivity in me? I hope not because 19-22 articles need to be written weekly to pay those pesky bills. And besides, am I that lazy?
Then I wondered if it was a hormone thing. I mean it is getting close to that time… but I’ve never let hormones rule my life.. (well, except for that one time. ; ))
Then the thought hit me: Could it be working 7 days a week?
I’m thinking… yes. To test my theory, I gave in to the call of the blanket, put on the movie Crash and cuddled with a cup of coffee for the duration of the film. I finished a few other things on the to-do list, but not all and I called it a day off. I’ll have to make up for it on Saturday, but I’m thinking maybe one day off a week is a good idea.
Writers work around the clock, any spare moment… mothers work around the clock…. Combine them and you have… a lot to do and not enough clock.
I think I have discovered one of the pitfalls that I’m sure many stay-at-home-working-single-mothers have discovered: The need to recognize the need to take a break.
I’ll let you know how it works out.