with Lynne and Leslie
Tag Archives: time management

It’s all about ME: Jealously guarding your time to yourself, no matter what

by SweetMidlife


Getting to the root of the matter

This is Leslie, and this is a picture of me getting my highlights done. It is not the cutest photo in the world, nor would it ever see the light on my eHarmony or Match.com profiles, if I had not run fleeing from those sites because they have produced not a daggone thing for your girl. But there is something very vital, even beautiful happening here. See that smile under all those ridiculous and lovely foils? It’s the look of a mom who’s getting to sit in a chair for a few hours dedicated only to making her a more gorgeous, happy version of herself.

There was also day wine. But that smile was mostly because of the Me Time.

Me Time is important. I don’t think I really understood that when all of my time was Me Time, when I was single, and even after I got married, before my son. In a weird way, even my job is sometimes Me Time, at least the times when I’m writing first-person columns about my life or opinions. But it’s not really Me Time, because I’m on the clock, with parameters set by someone else on just how much Me I share, and when. Even still, before my little Brooks was in the picture, the time when I wasn’t at the office was mine, focused on what I needed and wanted. I could get up at 5:30 a.m. and go to Boot Camp, and as long as I was done in time for my next interview it was cool. I didn’t have to feed and dress another human being, look for something semi-nutritious to throw in his lunch bag, wipe the syrup off of the tablet I thought I told him not to use while eating waffles but am too tired to walk across the kitchen and take. Picking my battles. Deciding whether to count the calorie or two in the syrup I just licked off the finger I wiped the syrup off the tablet with.

I know I am not telling any of you who are parents, or other sorts of caretakers, anything about the lack of You Time, of really focusing on yourself. And I don’t mean painting your nails while you make lunch, or scarfing down an extra bag of Cheez-its while you wait for your conference call. I’m talking about taking at least an hour to get your own nails done – no returning work emails! – or taking yourself to a lunch and keeping your laptop in the bag. I’m talking about having a conversation that you’re not watching the clock during, or watching an episode of whatever you want without interruption from someone demanding “Paw Patrol.”

And not feeling guilty about it. And not making excuses, or cutting it short for anything less than an emergency. And knowing you deserve it.

You do, you know. I do. Even when I think I don’t. So there’s the story behind that smile, goofy under the foils. It’s the look of someone who was, before this photo, fighting the urge to check my email or do something about my grocery list. And guess what? Work went on without me. Nobody starved. But me? I got to breathe. I got new hair. I got to have a fun talk about pop culture and random conspiracies with my stylist who is also my friend. I spent hundreds of bucks on myself and I didn’t mostly feel bad about it. (I did for a few seconds and then was like ‘Thank you, New Hair!)

I can’t do it all the time, because then no one would eat, or have anywhere to live, and I’d get fired and don’t nobody want that. But in this moment, with all the shiny foils, I was all about Leslie. Because she deserves that.

The Allure of the Bright and Shiny

by SweetMidlife

Hello there, friends. So, so sorry that it has been several weeks since we have updated this here blog.  And it is appropriate to mention that because it’s the point of this post.  Daily, Leslie or I have had every intention of writing something, and every day, something else has come up. Now, there are times when it’s made sense: we’ve both been juggling lots of stuff, like impending baby (for me) and sick family members (which Leslie has dealt with in person as our representative) and the like.  And some of these things are not also draining of time, but also of energy and emotion, and we have had nothing left with which to write.  It makes sense that those things would take precedence. But there have been other times, and I speak for me and not my esteemed sister, where I have simply gotten distracted by other things that are fun on their own, but, at the end of the day, not supposed to be where ALL of my energy was spent.

Yes, I am easily distracted. By the phone. By Facebook. By “The View”.  By wondering what other people on the internets (yes, I added the s on purpose) think about who got kicked off of “Dancing With the Stars”.  Everything I mentioned has a time and a place.   Sometimes you need to set aside time to catch up with friends, and you need to check Weather.com to see what you should wear that day. I LOVE Tivo time, that delicious period before work or after you get home, or between errands, or just in time you set aside, where you watch whatever television you recorded the night before.  But it is a problem, when you realize that you are basing the time you leave the house not on when, well, you need to leave, but on how many minutes are left in this episode of “The Good Wife”.  And it’s never that it makes you hours late. It just crashes your schedule enough that you didn’t realize you didn’t have time to pack a lunch, so now you have to buy one, and you get outside and realized you left your cell phone in the house, and now you are leaving 15 minutes later than you planned, and there’s an accident, and you get to work about 10 minutes late. Not 30 minutes. But late is late, and none of it was helped by the fact that instead of fitting the Tivo into your schedule as you could, you are fitting your schedule into the Tivo. And unless you are Leslie, who gets paid to review television for a living, that ain’t good.

Yes, friends, sometimes the things that are meant as background noise, or as an accompianment to our lives, become so inviting that they have taken time away from what’s supposed to be the main course.   Checking Facebook is great, but that is different than spending your life there. If you regularly aren’t getting to most of the things on your daily to-do list because you have gotten distracted, don’t be embararrased. It happens to a lot of us. Realize that everything has it’s time, and everything has it’s place, and adjust. So while I am NOT giving up Facebook or Tivo Time, I can’t justify those things taking away from what I really NEED to do.  Like updating this blog, because we like writing it, and you tell us you like to read it.  Yes, there will be times when important stuff takes over. But I will commit to not letting myself get distracted by bright, shiny, wonderful things TOO often.

Bride at 35 Challenge New Year’s resolutions: What are yours?

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here! I’ve been on vacation all week, which has given me some time to catch up on movies and TV I haven’t seen – “The Adjustment Bureau!” Who knew? – and think a lot about things I need to do better next year. Some of those things are obvious – this gut, and not sleeping in my makeup – and others are things I don’t always think about because I don’t have the time. But I’m on it now. Here are a few things I’m dedicated to being concerned with in 2012. Of course, resolutions get broken all the time. But I want to be a better wife, daughter, friend, employee and caretaker of my body.

So I promise, publicly, to be about these things. And I want accountability! How about you?

I resolve to:

– Not use my job as a professional eater and drinker as an excuse to be fat. I can eat healthily, and stick to my workouts, on those days I’m not work-sipping.

– To get regular facials. I have great genes, and everyone in my family looks like they’ve got ugly old photos hanging in their closets, because they’re 10 years older than their skin. But I can’t take that for granted. Can’t be the only Hagatha in my family!

– To stop over-scheduling. One of the reasons my life is so hectic is because I overbook myself, and because I forget that I did and then try to make everything. Pastor David Pinckney once told me that it’s Godly to say “no.” God doesn’t want you stressed and crazy, and certainly not in his name. Can’t argue with that.

– To shut up sometime. Ever have one of those conversations with your significant other where you can mentally see the giant Stop sign floating in your head, telling you to let whatever they just said go and walk away? Me too! But I can’t drive 55, and I can’t stop that tongue from flapping! And then it just gets stupid. I can’t control every misunderstanding. But I certainly can take a beat, and I can stop myself from proving I’m right all the time. Even if I am. Which I am. Ha ha.

– To call my grandmother every other day. This is a no-brainer.

– To not leave dishes in the sink.

– To put my shoes away so I’m not tripping over them, and to put my laundry away as soon as it’s folded.

– To finally schedule that dinner with my pastor, who is busier than me!

– To get serious about saving.

I’m sure I have more. But that’s what I feel is important right now. How about you?

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