So Many Balls in the Air

I have way too much going on right now, way too many things I’m trying to accomplish. There are simply not enough hours in the day for me to get all these things done; I need to prioritize, and push some projects to the back burner. I keep reminding myself that I can come back to them some day, that I’m not abandoning them forever.

{Except so many things I’ve pushed to the back burner HAVE been abandoned forever…}

The things I’m trying to do right now (with one goal outlined for each thing):

Improving my Spanish. If I want the scores (from that test I hope to take) to help me get a new job next year, I need to take said test by mid-winter (so I have the scores during application time). That means I don’t have much time to make big gains in my Spanish. It would be easy to push this because I won’t reap the rewards immediately, but improving my Spanish so important to me finding a new job next year. I truly need all the time I can get, so I have to find a way to build intensive Spanish practice into almost every day. Right now I’m doing it before bed, but with my son waking up somewhat regularly around 7am (huzzah!), maybe waking up early is the better answer. My goal is to study for 30 minutes in the morning or evening every day for the next two weeks (in San Diego this can look like 2ish hours of speaking to my kids in Spanish).

PTA President responsibilities. The National PTA office sent me a massive “new president packet” last week. I finally opened it today. It’s width gave me a bit of a panic attack, reminding me of exactly how much I still need to know about being in this leadership position. I am not letting myself get sucked into their shiny messages about how great it would be to accomplish X,Y, and Z at our school site this year, but there are some procedural details that can’t be overlooked lest we violate our non-profit status and lose our PTA charter. I’m think I have a very basic understanding of what those essentials are, and am focusing on a few personal PTA projects that our boards wants to execute in the coming months. I need to find a good system for managing the dates and to-do’s associated with PTA. Creating that system is high on my priority list right now. My first goal is to share an email with the other parent group leaders by Thursday and send that email out the PTA membership Monday of next week.

Decluttering the house. It would be so easy to not focus on this right now–a huge part of me wants to just look past all the crap and go on my merry way–but I recognize that the state of the house (and garage!) is causing me enormous stress, and decluttering at least our most used spaces would allow me to be more productive in all other areas of my life. I hope to get a lot of this done after our San Diego trip, when my son’s in daycare and my daughter’s home. I have also resigned myself to not purging (which requires more time but is also much more effective), and will instead do some organizing. I already bought two storage drawers for under my son’s bed. Getting some of the lesser used toys into one of them (and the 5T clothes we’ve been given into the other) should help with the state of things. My goal is to have the living room and the kids room decluttered  before the start of the new school year.

Spending quality time with husband. We are both stressed, and exhausted, and so, so tired of dealing with our kids. I’ve been traveling for most of July, and we’re finding it harder to reconnect now that I’m back. Most of the time it feels like we’re mad at each other, or we would be if we had the time and energy to care. I know what I can do to make it better, but I’m so sick of being the one who always extends that conciliatory branch. Ugh, I’m finding it hard to prioritize this right now, so hard that I haven’t managed it yet. I hope San Diego helps the situation instead of exacerbating it. My goal is to connect with my husband in a positive and meaningful way at least once before, during and in the week after San Diego.

Learning New Teaching Method. I got two books that introduce a new teaching method, one that I builds and extends on the method I already use. I think if I read one of them I’ll be ready to get started with the new method, and I can work through the other books as I need suggestions and support. Reading that one book is totally doable, I just need to make sure I also make time to take notes and map things out for the first month of school. My goal is to have the book done by the time we’re back from San Diego.

Helping daughter transition to new school year. We’ve been working on math this summer (she can already add two digit numbers and regroup!), but I’ve let reading aloud fall by the wayside, mostly because she reads alone a lot (and I do think she’s actually reading because she’ll ask me what a word or phrase means). But reading aloud continues to cause friction, and I know it’s important, so this past week we’ve been asking our daughter to read us a book or chapter before we read to her at night. This has mostly been in English, which is easier for her, so we need to up the Spanish reading too. My goal is to require my daughter read to me in Spanish for at least 10 minutes every day (even if she has already read aloud in English) and to do 10 minutes of math every day (after San Diego).

Seeing those prioritized goals definitely helps me to feel like accomplishing some of this might actually be possible. It’s officially August, I have two weeks until my first staff day, five days of which I’ll be in San Diego (or driving to/from). I CAN DO THIS!


  1. GIANT expectations on your part! And I can see why you feel all of them are priorities; but managing time on all of them is really challenging and exhausting.
    I remember when I was your age, single parenting, working 70 hrs a week, and I remember the pressures, compromises, and issues. I don’t know how I did it nor how you all are doing it today; it is not easy. Sending you good wishes and thinking of your readers who are also in such pressure boxes.
    Lots of admiration for all of you.

  2. I laughed at your statement that you and your husband would be mad at each other if you had the time or energy to care. Not because it’s funny, but because I feel the same way so often. We don’t fight because it takes too much energy. I know we’re not alone, and neither are you, but it doesn’t make it much easier.

    And your reading goals for your daughter do sound ambitious! I can’t get J to read to himself at all, although he’ll occasionally help read C a bedtime story.

  3. Ah, that’s so much! Things are crazy at work right now, school just started, and my goals are currently just keep everyone fed and clothed and get them to school.

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