Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Time for Time Management!

I'm having a bunch of trouble with time management lately, that is, figuring out what my real obligations are.

It took me five days past my mother's birthday to finally get around to sending her a card,* but I do wish random college friends "Happy Birthday" on Facebook.

I should have gotten little gift cards for the Duchess's teachers for her summer session ($5 to Dunkin' Donuts), but instead, I went to a meeting with a friend of a friend about possible work at her start-up company that I know perfectly well I don't have time to do because I already committed to do volunteer work.

And I was so excited to contribute to this blog, but I keep waiting until I have something to say, and then it is two weeks since my last post...

The worst is that I have become obsessed with birthday parties. I had a cookout for Honey's birthday that got rained out, so instead of having 15 kids running around outside in the fresh air and sunshine, I had all of them in our condo. At the end, it looked like some rock stars had been partying in there, although there were fewer beer cans (just the dads) and more chocolate cake.

The Duchess's birthday party is coming up and through a complicated series of events, I rented out a space and booked an activity that is causing me no end of puzzlement, and that is what I ruminate upon when I wake up two or three times per night to put the Duchess's blankets back on her (surely her middle-of-the-night wake up calls are not party related!). I can't cancel either the space or the activity without losing a lot of money, so it's no way out but through.

Currently, my main challenge is the invite list. There are the obvious folks (Mommy Esq, who reads this: Holla!) and then there are the others I wonder about:

1) People whom I will see a lot in the fall for one reason or another
2) "Friends-in-law" whom I nonetheless see fairly regularly
3) Nice people whom I would like to get to know better
4) Crazy people who angled for an invitation to a three-year-old's party (I know there will be free drinks, but really?)
5) My BFF flying in from Washington, DC because I never go visit her there

Although I can certainly squeeze in more adults, I have a hard limit of kids who can participate in the activity, so I am stressing about whom to invite from school. The teachers have been helpful and the school doesn't have a policy, but I feel rather churlish having the first party of the school year and not inviting everybody.

And then there is the question of gifts. Normally, I don't like to see "no gifts" on a party invitation but I sort of asked around and looked at it on the internet, and it seems that there has been, in recent years, an Emily Post Institute-approved loophole for children's birthday parties. So I wrote "Please don't bring anything but yourselves" on the invite, which I thought had the bonus of also discouraging potluck bringers.

See how thoughtful and detailed this is? I am turning into an insane lunatic.

I remember having to read the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in business school, and sitting around with grids and special calendars and goals and whatnot figuring out what is Important But Not Urgent and Urgent but Not Important, but it is a lot harder when it's not real work with a clear business objective.

There's got to be a thought process that normal, orderly folks go through to separate the wheat (or in our case, the gluten-free waffles). What do you do?

*I did call her, though - what kind of person do you think I am? Also, when she next comes to visit I am sending her to my hair colorist for a makeover.

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry about the guests, invite those that will cause you the LEAST hassle and be the MOST helpful. I promise no one will hold a grudge (including me if you want to pass over the Esqs) and if they do then you don't want to be friends with them anyway (and imagine what they are teaching their kids!). I think the thing you do best is handling the allergy situation - I'm very impressed with how you've "trained" Duchess and think you should post about that!