Saturday, July 13, 2013
Sometimes things just don't add up right
Math has never been my strength, and maybe that's why some things in life just don't add up. I was thinking about this life math earlier in the week, when I was trying to figure out where my time is going on this current work schedule. I seem to be losing three or four hours a week. When I worked 3 to midnight, I was able to go to prayer time at church on Monday, a 12-step meeting at noon on Wednesday, and also to choir practice on Wednesday because of scheduling that allowed one 4-hour day and four 9-hour days. I also could find time to pet the kitties at Second Chance at least once every two weeks, plus fit in haircut, doctor appointments or car maintenance if needed. Working 10 to 6 every day now, I miss the prayer and 12-step meetings. I realized that going in. What I wasn't as sure of was what I would get back in my off time. As of Tuesday, it seemed like I'm only losing time. I'm in bed less and also probably at work less. But I'm getting much less done in my time not spent at work or in bed. What gives? I think I finally figured out and am coming to terms with two big challenges. The first involves what I already knew: that I am more self-motivated in the morning, but now that time is focused on getting to work. When I get home, I'm ready to wind down rather than start anything. But if I start doing anything -- and sometimes even when I don't -- it's hard for me to get to bed by 11, which is my goal to go with the 7 a.m. alarm. So I'm often also getting less sleep. The second thing I realized is that where I gained time is on Saturday mornings. But that only works if I get up at 7 instead of 10. So, now I need to do what I did when I first shifted to the night schedule. I had to very intentionally plan each day and to find a workable, productive routine. I found one then, and that's what I need to do now. I haven't figured out the new routine yet, a structure to maximize motivation and energy for relationships, prayer, socializing, service, chores, exercise and whatever else. But identifying the need, and reflecting on how well it worked in the other shift, helps me move forward. It took discipline to not waste time when I worked nights, and it will also take discipline during the days. (An important insight I had today in talking with someone is that, before I went to the night shift, I was in the tendency I am now, which is to not get much done after work. But I'm pretty determined not to let that become the routine this time. Also, an important note about today is that some timing worked out amazingly and unexpectedly well as far as a chance meeting with someone I'd been trying unsuccessfully to schedule time with. Part of my response was to go with my heart to pet the kitties afterward even though my mind told me I really didn't have time today. And I'm pretty sure it's all going to work out.) Thinking about things that don't seem to add up, this completely unrelated thing also come to mind: A week after Toby Keith's Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert, I've still heard or read no educated estimate on how much money was raised. What is up with that? All that talent and such a big deal -- and no one is saying they raised at least a certain conservative amount of millions? After Johnny-come-lately-and-far-more-humble country superstar Blake Shelton's televised concert, which Toby essentially dissed as being too soon after the tornadoes (which I also thought as it was planned, but not when and after it was carried out), donations were tallied quickly and continued to be updated (the last update I saw was more than $6 million in donations and pledges). For that event, even people who couldn't get tickets could watch and feel a part as they donated. At Toby's event, meanwhile, they encouraged people to donate even if they didn't get tickets and couldn't share at all in the show. Wasn't that nice of them to encourage that!!!! How this relates to my math theme is that it just doesn't make sense to me. That could lead to a whole other essay on costs and values and priorities. But that's for another time. Right now, I'm out of time, if I want to keep moving toward that transition to going to bed earlier to go along with awaking earlier. So this is all for now.