Sunday, November 25, 2012

HTW Days

It's confession time.

I like to think I'm a pretty motivated person. I definitely don't see myself as lazy. For me, as for many of my readers I think, I tend to take on too much and have to really consider another activity or get-together before saying 'yes' to it.

For the most part, I'm very efficient. Jenny often can't believe how much I get done in a day. Sometimes others have communicated to me that they're impressed with what I do, especially when they find out that we homeschool.

What Jenny and the others don't know and what even Jason didn't totally understand until today is that I have HTW days. Let me explain . . .

I have a productivity cycle. (Don't worry. This is completely different than a reproductive cycle. While I am sharing some of my secrets in this post, I will not be heading in that direction. Phew!) In this cycle, I go, go, go without much of a break. This week was like that. As soon as one event or item was checked off the list, I was preparing for the next one. This is how I function most of the time. I like to be prepared and organized; meal planning and grocery shopping for two weeks at a time, getting clothes out and bags packed with necessary items for the next day's events the night before, getting the coffee maker prepped for the next morning at night, etc, etc. My brain seems to always be asking, "What else can I get done? What's next? How can I get more prepared for it?"

But of course I can't keep that up. No one could. So after a certain amount of time, I have an HTW day. What's HTW? Hit The Wall. The amount of time between my HTW days varies, depending on time availability, what my productivity level has been, stress levels and I'm sure, hormone levels. So yes, when I'm pregnant, there are definitely more HTW days.

In more detail, an HTW day looks like this: I find some minute discomfort and exaggerate it to myself and to others. A slight headache becomes so bothersome that I just can't do my life that day. Everything that I planned to get done that day gets put on hold. I watch too much TV; often movies and sitcoms that I've already seen ten times--Harry Potter, Sex and the City, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Gone With the Wind, Overboard and Everybody Loves Raymond are some of my favorites. I eat crap. I don't exercise. The dishes stack up in the sink. The laundry piles up. Meals consist of the easiest possibility; leftovers, cereal, popcorn, cheese and crackers, whatever. I'm less patient and interactive with my children. I read more. I write more. I'm on Facebook more. Anything I don't feel up to doing, I cancel.

For instance, this morning when the alarm went off, my stomach felt just slightly upset. In my half-asleep state, I exaggerated this to myself and to Jason, saying that my stomach was really upset and I couldn't go to Church. After I took a TUMS, listened to Jason taking a shower and woke up some more, I decided to rally and join the family for Church.

But when we got home, I got back into pajamas and again blamed my upset stomach for why I couldn't take the dog for a run and asked Jason to take Kahlua and the kids out for a walk so that I could rest for a bit.

Sometimes, I'm even a productive rester :) While resting, I got real. I knew that my stomach was actually fine and that I wasn't being honest with myself. I realized that what I was feeling was just that I had HTW. Hit The Wall.

When Jason returned, I explained this to him and more. I often feel guilty for taking the day off like this. It's never planned. So in order to justify it, I will blow up a small headache or some other minor thing as a reason why I can't be productive or do what I had planned. Furthering my guilt is the dishonesty, small as it may be. And what's more, it is so needless. If I just told Jason that I had Hit The Wall, he would completely understand and would offer to help out all on his own.

In the past, I've felt that I needed a better excuse and thus the exaggeration. But after some reflection today, I've decided that I'm going to just skip the excuses. I'm going to just own it and be honest with myself and Jason about my productivity cycle. I work hard. And eventually I need to rest hard.

Today I am resting hard. While I can feel like this is irresponsible and lazy, it really is a good choice. First of all, I can. I absolutely can sit around in my pajamas today without much consequence and get back on top of my life tomorrow. And secondly, it is needed. It is needed because of everything I've done in the past week or so. It is further needed as preparation for the coming weeks.

Am I the only one who does this? It feels like I am. It feels like everyone else lives their productive lives without ever hitting the wall. It seems like everyone else makes wise, mature, healthy food choices all of the time. It seems like everyone else sticks to their exercise routines without fail. It seems like everyone else pops out of bed when their alarm goes off. It seems like everyone else joyfully plays with their children all day and enjoys every moment of it.

I realize that's not true. But it's the way it seems.

So that's it - Now you know a secret of mine. HTW Days. And now I will continue with watching the Kardashians :)


  1. I believe the words I've used to describe your productivity are: inhuman, super-human, not normal and freakishly productive. As your bff, I will mandate HTW days for you at least weekly...I also plan to have sympathy HTW days whenever you have one!

  2. I love that you think I'm a superwoman, as I do you. Let's make Friday an HTW day, without actually hitting the wall, eh?


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