Archive for January, 2018

Snow JAN 2018Greetings! I have successfully tracked my time for another week even though the week was fraught with difficulties due to the unexpected snow that visited on Tuesday evening. Thankfully, my pipes and family survived the extremely cold temperatures. Needless to say, I have made some observations in my log that I would like to share with you; however, for this post I am only focusing on the most important one.

Observation: I stink at getting up at the same time every morning.

Monday: 6:00 

I dealt with some financial matters prior to working in my classroom. It was the MLK holiday, but I had a few items I needed to take care of before all of my students returned on Tuesday. I worked from 10:25-2:50 with a 1/2 hour lunch break which I used to read an AR book while eating. I left early because my BFF asked me unexpectedly to sub at her mom’s Pokeno that evening.  From 3:50-4:25 I did a couple of school items at home. I was in bed at 10:05 that evening.

Tuesday: 4:15

This was my first day of school with all of my students since December 21st. I was looking forward to seeing them all again and beginning some new material. Unfortunately, inclement weather was quickly on its way. My school dismissed at 11:30 and Andrew’s school dismissed at Noon.  After stopping to get gas and buying a book at Books-A-Million for Andrew’s English class, we finally made it home at 1:00 that afternoon. I was in bed at 9:10, but woke up at 11:10 to check on water running in the bathroom and to make sure the dishwasher was set to come on early in the morning when the temperatures were really low.

Wednesday: 4:20 (checked on water running; went back to sleep)

I woke up again at 5:30 (checked on water running; went back to sleep). I woke up again at 6:30 and finally dragged myself out of bed at 6:45. We did not have school because everything was covered in ice and driving would be dangerous. It was also 16 degrees outside. I had a restless night because I worried about the pipes freezing, especially since my hubby was out of town for work. I worked on school work throughout the day for a total of 2 hours and 55 minutes. I was in bed at 9:46, but woke up at 11:16 to check on water running in the bathroom and to make sure the dishwasher was set to come on early in the morning when the temperatures were really low.

Thursday: 4:55 (checked on water running; went back to sleep)

I dozed off and on until 7:04. Again, we did not have school because of the weather and road conditions. It was 20 degrees outside. I worked on school work throughout the day for a total of 2 hours and 34 minutes. I was in bed at 9:32. Thankfully, I did not wake up around 11:00 as I had on the two previous nights.

Friday: 4:00

I had morning carpool duty and a full day of school. After school, I took Andrew to his dermatology appointment, we ate dinner at my mother-in-law’s house, and my hubby and I went grocery/pet shopping. I was in bed at 9:32.

Saturday: 4:00 (reset alarm)

I woke up at 5:30. I had to work in my classroom (7:19-9:36). My hubby, Andrew, and I went to NOLA afterwards to go furniture shopping for Andrew’s bedroom. We visited two unfinished furniture stores. Afterwards, we met my Daddy at PJ’s for coffee and conversation. I was in bed at 9:36.

Sunday: 5:30 

Andrew wanted to go out somewhere together, so I woke up early to proof CSW essays for school. When he woke up this morning, he informed me that he was going to hang out with a friend from school. This actually worked out for me because I had some other school work to do, and I had to buy some classroom supplies at Wal-Mart. I worked a total of 6 hours and 40 minutes today. I will be in bed by 9:30 if not sooner tonight.

Lesson: Despite going to sleep at a consistently appropriate time to awaken at my goal time of 4:00, I could only wake up one morning out of the entire week at 4:00. My motivation was having to return to work after having 2 1/2 unexpected days off and morning carpool duty. I did wake up on Tuesday at 4:15 and stayed up, but it was because I had to go to work. It is incredibly hard for me to wake up at 4:00 if I do not have to be at work for my normal reporting time. The dark and cold combination is partly to blame. My Questioner tendency is partly to blame. Daylight Saving Time is seven weeks away. Staying daylight longer in the evenings and warmer weather are game changers for me. Until then, I must keep striving to wake up at the same time each morning.

Tomorrow marks a new week for me to track my time. Hopefully, this upcoming week will not have any unanticipated snafus. The only challenge I foresee for the week is transportation to tennis practice for Andrew. Both of his practices fall on the two days that I have afternoon meetings at school. Somehow, it will all work out. Dear reader, may your week be awesome, productive, and closer to you reaching your goals. Happiness!

“He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.”   ~ Victor Hugo







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Time Log ExampleExcept for today, which is not over yet, I tracked my time all week. As I mentioned in my last post, this week was an unusual week at work because the majority of my 8th graders were visiting Washington, D.C. Although my work schedule was very different, my morning routine was pretty consistent Monday through Friday. Weekend mornings are very different. My evening routine this week was consistent with how I spent my evenings; however, they were unusual in a sense because of my work schedule.  So, what did I learn about how I spent my time this week? I made three observations from my time log which I am keeping in a small notebook.

Observation #1: I spent an average of two hours each evening watching television/playing games with the exception of Friday evening (attended a wedding in New Orleans). The majority of that time was watching television. I admit that I love watching television and movies. I watched two movies (A Monster Calls and It Comes at Night), a new episode of the X-Files, and several episodes of Parks and Recreation on Netflix. The games that I play are Trivia Crack and Words with Friends. Generally, I play these games while waiting somewhere, eating, during commercials, or riding in the car. I spent 1 hour and 5 minutes this week playing these games when I could have been using that time doing something more productive: reading, exercising, organizing my master closet, reconciling my checkbook, downloading pictures, etc. Lesson #1: I have control over the choices that I make about how I spend my time. I need to prioritize my time better this year in order to achieve my goals and pursue my interests.

Observation #2: During the work week, I get up anywhere between 4:00 and 4:30 in the morning. It depends on my day and if I need to leave home earlier or complete an additional task before leaving the house. I wake up later on the weekends or during the holidays when I am off of work. Generally, I get up anywhere between 6:30 to 8:00 on weekend mornings or when I am off of work. I admit that I am not a lark and despise getting up early. I would much prefer going to bed later and getting up when the sun is coming up. Unfortunately, my work day begins between 7:00 and 7:20. It depends on if I have morning duty or a meeting prior to morning assembly at 7:35. Sleep experts will tell you to wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. If for some reason you stay up later than your normal bedtime, you still set the alarm to get up when you normally get up; however, you go to bed earlier the following evening. Lesson #2: As long as I am teaching, I have to choose one time to get up in the morning and stick to it, even on the weekends. Although this will be hard for me initially, especially on the weekends, I definitely need to make this adjustment in order to feel better mentally and physically, and  it will create more time to accomplish my goals and pursue my interests.

Observation #3: I tend to multi-task by using the Strategy of Pairing. This strategy written about by Gretchen Rubin in her book Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, pairs an activity that you need or want to complete with one that you may not really want to complete. Looking through my time log, I realize that I do it quite often. For example, while I am cooking breakfast or dinner, I will also unload the dishwasher. While I am eating breakfast, I am checking my email or creating a to-do list. I also listen to podcasts while exercising or completing household chores. Lesson #3: Pairing can be effective, but only if it does not contain bad habit formation or distracts you in any way that could be dangerous to you or someone else. Pairing allows me to get many tasks completed more efficiently which will free up more time for me to accomplish my goals and pursue my interests.

TeamIn other news this week…I had a birthday on Thursday. I am officially 49 years old which means this year is my last year in my 40s. Despite having to work on my birthday, it was still wonderful. I received cards, texts, phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages from friends and family. My awesome team at school surprised me with sweet treats and a birthday card. My friend Terri who was chaperoning my students in Washington, D. C. face timed me, so they could sing me happy birthday. And, my hubby unexpectedly made it home that evening with take-out and a slice of birthday cheesecake. It was a simple yet satisfying day.

I will continue tracking my time this week. As you can see from my observations and lessons learned from this week,  managing my time more effectively will open up the time I need to be successful this year in all areas of my life. I hope, dear reader, that you are accomplishing your goals or pursuing your interests. If you are tracking your time, please let me know. I would love to know what you discover about yourself and how you spend your time. Happiness!

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” ~ Michael Altshuler




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ClockI struggle with time management and hope 2018 will be the year I can tame the beast. Therefore, I decided to sign up for Laura Vanderkam’s  168 Hours Time Tracking Challenge which begins tomorrow, 08 January. Time tracking is #17 on my list of 18 for 2018. Vanderkam’s challenge is only for one week; however, I am planning to track for a few weeks to get a truer picture of how I spend my time.

Tomorrow will be my first day back at work and Andrew’s first day back at school. He has been off of school since 15 December, and I have been off of work since 21 December. Except for spending a few hours in my classroom during the holidays working on my classroom library, so Andrew and Claire could earn service hours, neither one of us have done any school work since we got out. For once in my teaching career, I took completely off during Christmas break. Honestly, I needed the brain break.

This first week back will be an unusual week for me because most of my 8th graders will be in Washington, D.C., and I will be chaperoning the Hammond trip for the 8th graders who stayed home. Consequently, my work schedule will not be typical. That is fine because I’m tracking all my time which includes my personal time. I feel like I spend too much time working; therefore, the main objective for tracking my time is to figure out how to carve out more personal time to achieve my goals for the future.

I’ll keep you posted on this challenge, dear reader. Have a blessed and productive week. Happiness!

“Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you.” ~ Carl Sandburg




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My happiness project this year is to simply complete 18 objectives throughout 2018. I’ll keep you posted as I cross them off my list. Here is my 18 for 2018 list:

  1. Order two birth certificates for myself (contact vital records in California).
  2. Figure out Instagram.
  3. Create a Google Photo account.
  4. Lose 18 pounds.
  5. Blog at least once per month (of course, more would be better).
  6. Plan a trip to New York City with Andrew for 2019.
  7. Interact with a sloth.
  8. Buy Andrew a reasonably priced and reliable used car.
  9. Visit a museum.
  10. Try a voice (singing) lesson.
  11. Update my LinkedIn account.
  12. Organize my master bedroom closet.
  13. Make an appointment with my eye doctor.
  14. Watch Stranger Things.
  15. Complete a 5K.
  16. Read Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days by Chris Guillebeau.
  17. Keep track of my time.
  18. Plan my 50th birthday celebration.

Other Plans for 2018:

  1. On Goodreads I joined the Reading Challenge, and my goal is to read 50 books. I surpassed my goal of 50 books in 2017 by reading 55 books.
  2. Andrew and I will be attending Comic Con in New Orleans this weekend, so he can meet Stan Lee.
  3. I will be attending my annual scrapbooking convention with my gal pals May 31st-June 3rd.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Fleetwood Mac will come to New Orleans this year for their farewell tour. Seeing them perform again would be awesome and a giant boost to my happiness. So, dear reader…how about you? Have you made resolutions or have goals you would like to complete in 2018? If so, please share. Happiness!

“Clear visions and positive goals, leads to positive actions and purposeful life.”     ~ Lailah Gifty Akita, Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind



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2018Happy New Year’s Day, dear readers! 2018 is a new year, and I am feeling optimistic about it. RE-ENERGIZE. That is the one-word theme I have chosen for this year. Since this is my last year in my 40s, I want to complete this decade of my life on a high note. I have also decided to attempt another happiness project even though I failed miserably last year. It will look a little differently from the one I’ve done in the past; however, the goal is the same…to increase my happiness. I am looking forward to a new year with new possibilities and opportunities. New Year’s Blessings to you, dear readers. Happiness!

If you could choose a one-word theme for this year, what word would you choose?

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” ~ Oprah Winfrey


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