Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm Giving Myself an F in Multitasking

I’m obviously not a good multitasker.

Since school started last week I have opened my computer about 600 times to start a blog post, thinking that maybe someone out there might be missing me. Funny thing is, blog posts just don’t magically appear. Poof!

It would be nice if blog posts magically appeared. I would like that very much. But, as I tell my students, their essays won’t write themselves either. You have to have an iron butt. Sit it in the chair and don’t get up until the work is done.

And so, this afternoon, my butt is firmly planted in my chair with no intention other than to write a blog post.

Back to multitasking. I’m terrible at it. Complete failure.

Oh, sure, I can manage to get some laundry done while reading up for the next class. I can manage to scrape together some leftovers for my family to eat while I’m folding that laundry. But other than that, I’m a one-task-wonder. Maybe I’m ADD; I don’t know. But lately, multitasking is kicking my iron butt.

School is going great. I love my students. I love being on campus. I am energized like I haven’t been energized in a long time. (Just don’t tell my family because usually I come home dragging like nobody’s business. I’m tired at the end of the day!) But teaching energizes me. I love it!

The thing is, I just can’t do everything, and I can’t give everything in my life the time it deserves right now. Take, for instance, my bed that I’m staring at right now. It is unmade and it’s making me crazy, but I left the house at 7:00 this morning and just did not have time for it.

I have to let some stuff go.

Including blogging on a regular basis. I’m frustrated and I’m sad, but writing blog posts on a regular basis just isn’t happening for me right now. My brain is too tired to think of anything to say.

I’m fairly confident it won’t be this bad all semester. I’m pretty sure I’ll fall into a rhythm and my days won’t seem so frazzled. But for now, I’m giving myself a little grace to blog when I want and not worry about the numbers or the comments or the stuff everyone says you need to have to blog well.

I hope you’ll keep checking back anyway. Maybe I’ll surprise you.

If you’d like to suggest a topic for me to write about, I’d be more than happy to give it a shot. It’s just that right now, the topics just aren’t coming into my head. There’s too much else going on in there right now.

Like what-on-earth I’m going to make for dinner now that the leftovers are gone?



  1. Okay, girl, I can tell you're tired. . . you wrote "I Giving Myself an F" instead of "I'm Giving Myself. . . ." And this is YOU, so I know it's not a grammatical error! Bless your sweet single-tasking heart.

    I have a couple of suggestions for you. Why don't you write about what it's like on a college campus "nowadays"? It might be that some parents would love to know what you see that's different from when you were in college and what you see that's the same.

    Also, why don't you write about what you DO scrape together for dinner? You're such a good cook, but sometimes really great cooks like you can be intimidating to us mere mortals. What do you, a foodie, fix for your family on a day when you're dragging? I'd love to know!

    Take care of yourself. And don't worry about your blog. We'll be here when you have a chance to check in!

  2. Ditto what Richella suggested - we will be here waiting, whenever you are ready to post! I would love to know what is happening in the reading world - what is on your night-table for reads and plans for the fall and winter?

    xoxo michele

  3. Richella, I am so embarrassed. Mistake has been fixed. :) And I love your post suggestions. I'll work on those.

    Michele, you are so sweet. I actually have a book in mind to review soon. I'll probably finish it this weekend and write about it next week. Great suggestion!

    Thanks! Any more??

  4. I always miss you when you're gone. Just so you know. :) And I am SO HAPPY to hear that you're loving school! I'll be here to read whenever you're here to write. :)

  5. Don't give yourself an F, give yourself a break!

    You're in a new season. Let yourself get used to all the changes and then you will be able to "do" your new lifestyle.

    I agree with Richella. I especially am interested in hearing about the differences in college campuses (campi?) since I have a college student.

    And don't even tell ME what you scrape together for dinner. My kid and I have been living on frozen pizzas and fast food a LOT for the past 2 weeks of single parenthood.

  6. Linda, I have to say I'm relieved to hear that. I hit a personal low this week when I fed my family leftover hot dogs and mushy fruit salad. Yuck.

  7. Your friends are your friends whether you "perform" (ie post) or not. You are awesome. Be good to yourself during this adjustment!

  8. It IS tough to squeeze it all in! I like to cook a nice dinner, but some times we have whatever I can find - as long as everyone is fed, I'm happy! I love your posts, and hope you can keep them coming - but you may just need to find your new stride first. The older I get, the harder it is to multitask - I try to focus on whatever is right in front of me, be it a work project, a conversation with the husband, or time with the kids - whatever is right there gets my (mostly) full attention!
    I would love to hear your opinion on the value of a college educations. I hear so many sad stories of smart, well-degreed graduates who just can't find work in their field. What are you seeing from your vantage point?
    In the meantime, take a deep breath and don't be too hard on yourself!

  9. Thanks, Kelli and Beverly. Both comments are so sweet and so appreciated.

    Kelli, that's a great question. And one I do have an opinion on, so maybe I'll try to tackle that one too. I might make some people mad, though. :)

  10. Hey Shelley, just relax. Do what you'd tell someone else to do...don't set the bar so high that you klonk your head goin' under it. I think you should ask US for some dinner ideas/recipes that you could use in this new season of yours. I'll go first. My newest fave go-to - Slow Cooker Chicken Curry. I get the ingredients together/mixed the night before, and get someone to dump it in the crockpot the next morning. Shazaam. Here's the link: Life will get into the different routine - just give yourself time.

  11. Hey Shelly,
    Blog when you can, because I really like reading it... but if there are pauses, then you just create anticipation for the reader, which is a pleasant emotion! So by blogging less, maybe you'll be giving more.

    You could ask your family for dinner suggestions OR to step up and cook a meal or two! I bet they could even find their way to a grocery store or take-out place. Children and dad's these days are pretty advanced.

    Those students of yours are fortunate to have you!

  12. I wrote myself a little note that you were gone until August – and I didn't see it until now – so sorry I missed your August. And don't worry about having to write posts – people who want to read your words will keep coming back – and I can tell from the comments that everybody understands anyway. You have some awesome minds to teach – a terrific opportunity. And to be a mom too – you get an A+ in my book. God bless and keep you – and I'm glad that your words are available for me to read again.

  13. I completely understand, my own blogging life remaining intermittent at best. I am helped when I remember that blogging is a hobby, not an obligation, one I can pick up or lay down as whim (and time) allows! That being said, I am so glad our blogging paths crossed and though I'm as consistent a reader as I am a blogger, I always enjoy reading your posts!

    Enjoy your fall!

  14. We will miss your more frequent blogging but I know you will be inspired to write as you're off on this new venture. And inspired writing is so much easier to do than agonizing over a topic.

    Congrats on giving yourself grace!

  15. Ah, dear Shelly, it is not like you added "be a college professor" to a quiet life. No, your life was already full.

    I bet it will take a few weeks to settle in and see what works. I really was happier when I cut back my blogging. For me right now, 3 days a week is working. Even if I come up with the ideas and write the post, I make myself wait.

    You may find just one day or two to work well. We will wait and read with joy.

    some ideas - funny stories from your students (annonymous, of course.), quick meals you discover,
    what is refreshing you as you enter this busy season, a list of things we could pray for you, a list of the best chocolate you can eat for a quick lunch break.

    OK, it is time for me to be quiet.:)