Saturday, February 09, 2008

There is Hope After all

I just read an article at about the upcoming tax rebates. There is a chance that we will get a rebate. Yippee!! I didn't realize that the rebates are based on "adjusted gross income" - which will help. The goal is to get our tax return done and filed so that I can put this one to bed. Not to mention, I need to do it in order to fill out the FAFSA forms for our 2 college boys. That's always a fun day. It takes hours to pull all of the information together and fill out the numerous pages - which usually results in a message stating that we can afford to pay $30,000 per year out of pocket for each kid's college tuition. Um...right. That's more than we pay for our mortgage at the end of the year - and yet somehow we're supposed to have that kind of disposable cash available. It's important to keep your sense of humor intact at times like this.

Yesterday I was telling a colleague at work that this entire week I have felt like I was running through mud. Expending lots and lots of energy, but not getting very far. I realized last night that I have felt "stuck" like this both at work and in my life outside of work. Lots of activity, but not a lot of progress. Definitely not much time for reflection or appreciation. And perhaps it is the busyness itself that has left me feeling stuck. I am motivated by production. I like to look back on a day at work and be able to say I got something done today! I like to feel that way at home too. Whether it's laundry, cleaning the kitchen, preparing a nice meal, or tackling a project. I feel better if I've accomplished something. I think where I get into trouble is when I lose focus. If I have an endless "to do" list but nothing is prioritized, I become overwhelmed. I really think I need to create a priority list and then approach each day with a single focused goal in mind. If I get that goal completed and manage to tackle others - BONUS!

Of course, there are days when I need to achieve NOTHING in order to feel good. Those are good days too. Sleep in, spend some time reading for pleasure, maybe watch a movie with my kids, go for a walk, work on a puzzle. No deadlines, no expectations. I NEED those days to recharge my batteries - and I think I have finally recognized this and embraced it.

I'm tackling the day today with a new perspective and a more focused plan for moving forward. There is, indeed, hope after all.