Posting of Daily Goals for Decluttering/Organization – my Flight Plan

Posts tagged ‘planning’

Flight Plan on Hold? or FLYing through Surgery

E’s hemiplegic hand before surgery

I had mentioned upcoming surgery for my daughter.  Well, it happened last Friday and my life has been crazy to say the least.  Did this put my Flight Plan on hold, or did I FLY through surgery?  Well, let’s just say, I was not adequately prepared with a Flight Plan for surgery.  I mean, how many times in your life (I hope not many) do you need a packing list specifically for an overnight stay at the hospital?  And what exactly do you take?  Also, keep in mind that you’re accompanying your 10-year-old daughter who will not be able to carry anything for herself following surgery, leaving you as the sole person responsible for everything.  Throw in details like sleep deficit and the stress that comes for teachers at the beginning of every new school year with the overwhelming number of details to attend to even before the first Teacher Workshop days, and my Flight Plan faltered.  I panicked, became overwhelmed, and screamed at my husband who appeared to be living a normal, everyday life that I couldn’t have.

Cast from fingertips to about two inches from her shoulder after quadruple tendon transfer to lift her wrist and fingers into a useful grasping position

In the end, I did come up with a manageable amount of baggage to bring into the hospital and carry back out again.  I did keep things organized by things to do during the waiting time before and during surgery and clothing and toothbrushes etc for the overnight stay.  I actually considered using my wait time during surgery to write up the plan for the presentation I’m scheduled for during teacher inservice days next week.  I know, right?

What I really did during surgery was eat breakfast (so I wouldn’t become a patient later by fainting in the recovery room with my daughter), post updates to friends and family, nap (so I wouldn’t look like I might faint in the recovery room and so I could intelligently ask and answer questions), and eat lunch (to have the energy to care for my daughter after surgery, especially not knowing when I could get away again).

Yes, I really wonder what I looked like when the admitting nurse, while asking me questions about Emily’s medical history, made a point of telling me that I was welcome to come to the recovery room within 30 minutes of her arrival there but that I certainly didn’t have to if I didn’t want to.  What?! my tired brain protested, trying to make sense of this.  WHY would I not want to be in the recovery room with my daughter?  Are there actually parents who think they have better things to do or what?  At another point, the nurse asked me if I was okay.  “Oh, yes,” I said brightly!  Do I look that bad?  Yes, I guess a couple of nights of 5 hours sleep will do that.  I need at least 7 hours to really feel good.

Cast on right arm from surgery, brace on right leg due to hemiplegia (one-sided weakness or paralysis), bandaged knee from surgery to halt growth on left to facilitate evening of leg length, and crutch for left arm – Oh, and dinosaur surgical cap on head

So I guess it appeared that my Flight Plan may falter, but I flew (FLY = Finally Loving Yourself) when I took care of myself during surgery.  After all, what good would I be if I didn’t?!

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Flight Plan – Goal for today – Do not PANIC

The goals I’ve made for myself  –  I feel like if I don’t accomplish them quickly, they won’t happen.  That happens too many times around here.  But, on the other hand, I need to not run myself into the ground.  I’m been spending a lot of time the past couple of days in front of the computer, whether it’s writing this blog, reading inspirational/motivational posts and e-mails, and searching for the perfect to-do/list apps for my  new IPhone.  (I had great ones for my DroidX already, so why did I switch?)

Today I’m tired.  But my kids are away this week.  This is my time to accomplish goals.  But one of those goals needs to be to learn how to relax and enjoy.

Today I inserted “Exercise, eat” between steps of my to-do list at least 3 times.  I will go step-by- step through the list which includes the things I need for me and things I will enjoy, mixed in among the hard-core organizational goals.  I will also remember to do only one-step (15 minutes each) at a time, and the whole thing will be manageable.

I have to start with dishes.  Aaawww! I whine internally.  Then I remember the movie I want to watch on our kitchen DVD player as I clear the dish drainer and wash the next round.  Oh, and I get to finish clearing the magnets and miscellaneous whatever collected on the refrigerator.  We’re getting a new fridge tonight!!!  Yes!  And I have a system in mind for organized use of the side of  the fridge as a magnet board for daily routines.  Again, yes!!

The side of our refrigerator – You should have seen the front. All good, usable stuff, of course! Just too much of it! Then no one sees ANY of it!

Aaawww!  I don’t have near enough dishes or magnet clearing to do to keep me in the kitchen for the length of a movie.  That’s okay!  Take the DVD upstairs later and continue it while you fold clothes and empty baskets in the bedroom!

Yeah, that’s the plan!

Flight Plan – FLYing while on vacation

CHASA (Children’s Hemiplegia & Stroke Association)

Over the past week my family and I road tripped to Arlington, TX for the annual CHASA retreat for families of kids with hemiplegia or one-sided weakness.  CHASA = Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association.  I might have mentioned in an earlier post about our youngest child, Emily age 10, who has right-sided hemiplegia.  More to come on that…

Okay, the best I can say about our family organization on our recent week-long vacation is that we did indeed have organization!!!  Did I feel entirely organized?  Well, no.  But I’m still working on why and what to do about it.

I coded my 4 lists all in purple for CHASA (hemiplegia awareness) so I could find them all easily in Color Note.

I had 4 different lists in use while packing – one for the cooler we use to avoid eating out all the time, one for the bin of general supplies for picnicking and living away from home (including pool toys), a small first-aid bin, and the general packing list we use for any overnight trip (you know – socks, underwear, toothbrush, etc.).  I always knew what was in each bin.  Yes!!!

I did not personally pack the coolers or decide which items went in each one – one large on wheels, one medium-sized, and one smaller.  That was a problem!  The drinks and snacks that should have been accessible while traveling were not!  We had to dig out a drink from a hidden cooler during a rest stop and decide right then what we wanted to have for the next few hours.

 

The bins and coolers worked well when we stayed in one place for 4 days.

My bin system worked well.

 

I really appreciated the organization of my bins during our hotel stays, but we really needed some kind of system for placement of the bins in our rooms.  We stayed in two different hotels on the way to Arlington, one room at the retreat hotel for 4 nights, and one more hotel on the way home to MN.  I knew what was in every bin and learned what was in each cooler, but the order and placement of the bins and coolers varied from one hotel room to another.  I had to look right to left and back again each time to decide where the one I wanted was placed.  I guess my brain needs a pattern to follow from one place to the next to keep my sense of order.

Hotel desk or “flat surface”!!!

More hotel desk or more flat surface!!

 

As you can see from the pictures, my family followed their usual pattern of placing random objects on flat surfaces.  It didn’t take long before I felt like my brain was on overload with all the visual clutter around me. Aaaahhhh!  Where do you put random objects in a hotel room?

So, organization was improved over trips of the past.  I had my lists and I used them religiously.  But there’s definitely room for more improvement.

On return home at 10:00 p.m., the first thing I did…  swept and mopped the kitchen floor, dirtied by shoes coming in and out and sorted the mail accumulated over a week’s time to make it easier to deal with in the morning.  15 minutes!

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