Pre-Order Busy

I’d forgotten what pre-orders do to my brain. On the surface it looks simple. We open ordering and quietly collect orders until the time comes to ship books. Except I have to track and double check those orders. I have to print invoices and make sure that I pull out the regular orders so they don’t get stuck in limbo with the pre-orders. There is also customer support email for people who need help with their orders in some way. And the influx of income brings with it some accounting tasks. We’ve had bills piling up in the expectation of having that income and now is the time to pay those bills. The result is an influx of dozens of small tasks which flood into my brain and fill up all the available spaces.

Since last Monday I’ve barely had time to take breaks. Sometimes my brain would give out and I would end up watching a show for a while, but even then I was aware of the press of Things Which Need to be Done, but Which are Not Getting Done Right Now. I flow from business task to parenting task to household management task. It does not help that the household tasks have sprouted a bunch of fall deadlines. If I want flowers next spring, I have to plant bulbs before the weather gets too cold. If we want pear butter to eat over the next year, I have to cook those pears on the back porch before they rot. There is a tree branch that scrapes our roof in storms, we need to get out and trim it off before the weather gets cold. My mind catalogs and tracks all of these things. Some parenting things also have deadlines this week. The term ends on Friday and Link has some scrambling to do in order to make sure that he passes a couple of his classes. He is discovering the consequences of letting things slide earlier in the semester. I’m biting my tongue on “I told you so.” Even though I did. Repeatedly. Experience is a better teacher for this than any lecture I can give.

Some time on Saturday I realized that I’d passed a threshold. I started being actively resentful when I had to remind a kid of a chore more than once. I also resented any additional requests which I’d not already slotted into a space in my brain. Fortunately I recognized these resentments as a sign of overload. I went to Howard and let him know that I’d hit the overload point. This means it is time to adjust. In the next weeks I’ll be knocking things off my schedule. I’ll be bowing out of some responsibilities and warning people that between now and the end of December I become flaky. I have so many things going on that I will inevitably forget some of them. I feel less guilty about that if I warn people in advance that it will happen.

The good news is that some of this will settle out by the end of this week. The new term will reduce parenting and homework pressure. I processed several batches of pears over the weekend, eventually I’ll run out of pears to cook. Once the fall gardening tasks are complete I can ignore gardening until pruning season in March. So, hopefully I’ll have a brain-busy week followed by some lull time, followed by the crazy-busy of shipping in the early holiday season.