Day: August 9, 2013

Time’s Up

It feels like time’s up. The schools have begun calling and emailing me with announcements for the coming year. Howard’s departure for GenCon is mere days away. I still have things to do to prepare for the oncoming events. Summer feels over even though we’re still in the first half of August. I suppose that is the natural consequence of school starting on August 20, summer vacation ends a full month before summer weather does. There is no time left for me to take the kids on enriching outings. Or for me to do a better job of summer gardening. I must let those intentions go and move forward to supporting them in school and trying to do a better job of fall gardening.

Today I perused the calendar, very familiar activity.
Look at this week: almost gone.

Click: next week has postage printing, shipping, Howard leaving for GenCon, watching my sister’s kids for a day, and hopefully a last family outing with the kids.

Click: The week after is when the beginning of school unfolds over three days. Monday, Gleek’s orientation day. Tuesday, First day of school. Wednesday, I drive Kiki to college and leave her there. I assume that Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will be divided among reactions to the previous and preparations for Worldcon.

Click: The week of WorldCon. Quiet at home.

Click: Return from Worldcon followed immediately by Salt Lake City Comic Con.

Most of my calendar perusals have stopped there. Surely that is enough. I can’t be expected to think of anything beyond all of that. Yet today I clicked onward and the weeks that follow are …empty. No events, just regularly scheduled days all the way into October. I am not so foolish as to think that emptiness is actually empty. We will be busy, but for the moment the illusion of being less busy is nice.

I really thought my kids would have meltdowns before the beginning of school. I braced for it. Then I was the one who had a big emotional reaction to the beginning of August, because it feels like we’re running out of time on this summer.

Back in June when I looked ahead across the hot months, I pondered what I should do for my family during that time. What should we set our minds to accomplish? An answer came to me clearly: Rest. So we rested instead of pushing. The kids played nearly endless hours of their favorite video games. The ones who love to read, spent time with books. The ones for whom reading is a chore touched none. No math was practiced, no skills worked on. Howard and I focused mostly on the work that we had to do. It was nice to let some of the things go. I don’t regret it. I only have the vaguest sort of guilt that perhaps we should have done something else. Instead we rested. I can only hope that we rested enough, because whatever comes next is coming in about a week.

Stress is not Logical

I woke up this morning stressed. I was stressed yesterday, but not at a drive-all-my-thoughts-and-actions level. Somehow the fact that it is Friday and I have almost run out of week tipped me over. There are all these things I need to do with various due dates.
Contact the GenCon hotel and arrange for pre-payment
Count invoices and boxes to make sure we won’t run out of anything on Tuesday

Before Monday
Design flyers
Prepare house and yard for clan home evening (guests in the house)
Do all the laundry
Pack Howard for GenCon

By Tuesday
Set up the new 4G iPad, hopefully it’ll arrive in time to make the trip to GenCon. (Except I may need it here to set up Worldcon Point of sale system. Make a decision.)
Transfer my old iPhone to the Kidphone number (Maybe? think about it. It could be a credit card terminal at GenCon.)
Restock from the storage unit
Fill some wholesale orders of books
Ship the wholesale orders
Prepare the paperwork for GenCon (informational papers for on site folks)

Before WorldCon (Aug 27)
Sign up for the point of sale system
Buy peripherals for point of sale system (in time for them to be delivered and tested)
Set up point of sale system
Test point of sale system

Very important, Do as soon as possible so you don’t forget, no specific deadline looming
Weekly accounting
Finish setting up my phone (I need those contacts back)
Email people regarding the Jay Wake Book
Work layout for the Jay Wake Book
Call Adobe and shake a license number out of their customer support personnel because there is a snafu with Kiki’s product registration

In writing this post I am able to sort and categorize, but this morning all of those things were pounding in the front of my brain and jockeying for position. It seemed like I should start with the Must Be Done Today things, but my brain wouldn’t settle. So instead of trying to figure out what should come first, I asked myself which of these things was causing me the most stress. The answer was Accounting. We’ve spent a lot of money in the past few weeks between convention prep, a new HVAC system for the house, various medical expenses, and the college tuition/housing payment. My rough math told me we were covered, but my brain would not let it go. So I sat down and did the accounting. This is when I discovered that yes we are fine, BUT I really needed to make some payments to the credit cards today because while we have funds to cover things, both cards were nearing their limits and nothing would be likely to cause more stress in the next couple of weeks than the temporary inability to use a credit card. Logically accounting could wait until later, except for that one piece. Bills are paid, all is clear. And now I’m able to look at tasks by due date and proceed.

Interestingly Howard was feeling similar levels of stress this morning. It was also because a lower priority item was the one causing him the most stress. Brains are weird.