Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer To-Do List

First of all, Happy Birthday to Da Man! We keep birthdays pretty simple around here. We don't do presents but just focus on a sincere card and a dinner out. About the card, it has gotten much easier to find cards. Someone should do a study (if it hasn't already been done) about the changing language or greeting cards. There were hardly any that said "For My Husband From Your Wife" like I saw a decade ago. The one I bought said, "For My Guy," and there were several saying things like, "For the Man in My Life" or just not saying anything gender-specific at all. And the passages often don't mention the gender of the giver, either. It's nice having a lot of relevant options. As for dinner, we have reservations at Braza, a Brazilian churrascaria in Hartford. It'll be a meat fest!

But knowing that it's his birthday reminds me that the summer is at its halfway point. Yikes! I've done a lot already, and I'm going to do my best not to pressure myself to accomplish anything other than what has to get done because of already established deadlines (probably one of the best post-tenure privileges). That said, I don't want to get to the end of the summer and feel like I've wasted time. So, today I made the to-do list I've been thinking of making since May. Daily, I now commit to:

30 min. of academic writing,
30 min. of creative writing,
30 min. of sabbatical prep,
30 min. of academic reading,
30 min. of personal reading, and
30 min. of organizing.

Yes, cry me a river. I'm committing myself to three hours or work a day (though that doesn't include administrative tasks and such). But on days I've done some serious reading, I've often forgotten the writing. And there are some things piling up around me, literally, that I need to address. In a few weeks, I'll add class prep to the list, too.

And, yes, I'll often be setting a timer for much of this. I like the timer thing; it helps me focus. And, I'll certainly be allowed to work longer when I get on a role. I just can't forget the other things on the list. Oh, and I'm allowing myself two days a week not to do any of these things, either full days where I do nothing or days when I do half the list on one day and the other half on another.

I just have to find some balance between pressuring myself to work and not getting anything done at all.

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