Waking the Walker

A mother's quest to survive her son's "zombie" years – aka his teens.

Tag: to do list

Be Prepared – Plan Ahead


Life can be unpredictable, so having a plan and a willingness to be flexible can be the keys to survival. Yes, there are times when it’s important to live in the moment, but being prepared allows those moments to be even more memorable.

Having a plan or at least a rough outline, especially for long-term things, keeps life more fluid, even when you run into obstacles. This can apply to everything from your chores to your retirement, or in my Son’s case, his homework.

Be Prepared

Some people work best under pressure, but living your life that way is not healthy. And when it comes to schoolwork, can reflect poorly on the end product, which in turn will hurt your grade.

Another piece of the “be prepared” puzzle is time management, which is one area my Son can struggle, especially when it comes to long-term projects. The whole concept of taking advantage of free time to get ahead doesn’t even enter his mind. When the work that’s due tomorrow is done, it’s time to play. This is not just poor planning; it’s just not smart when larger projects are looming on the horizon.

I constantly remind my Son that even though there might be an extended period of time to complete a project, in that time, other things can get in the way of completing the task successfully. So, when one has time, one should get a head start on said project. Or, at least plan out a certain amount of time daily dedicated to the project, not just wait till the night before it’s due.

18818008 - vintage conceptual illustration of time is running out

This is something I feel my Son isn’t completely grasping, although his recent comment in regards to how his English teacher has structured their term paper writing process makes me believe it’s starting to sink in. He noted that he feels the teacher is having them compose the paper a paragraph at a time as homework because if not the bulk of the students would put it off until the night before it was due.

I almost fell off my chair. Does this mean he would not have been one of those procrastinators?

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Time is a Walker


Why is it, the older I get, time just seems to fly by at the blink of an eye? And this time of year it feels like it’s moving at warp speed and all the things that need to get done are speeding by like a big blur.

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My “To Do” list changes hourly, not daily, as I cross tasks off and revise. Tackling tasks based on due dates, like if it needs to get shipped, when is the latest date I can ship and still have the package arrive in time for Christmas.

Since my Son hit high school and is part of the marching band, my free time is even more limited during the football season. If the team makes the playoffs, which it has every year, the time I have to accomplish holiday tasks is seriously compromised. Add to it my hospital stay the beginning of November (see my post Dealing with Sudden and Unexpected Change https://wakingthewalker.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/dealing-with-sudden-and-unexpected-change/) which ate up the last of my vacation days and I’m more than strapped. Forced to only having weekends to get the big tasks done was been daunting.

Early in the month, as I contemplated all I needed to accomplish before Christmas Day arrived, I realized it felt like a horde of Walkers, adorned in ratty, blood and guts covered, extremely ugly holiday sweaters, was chasing me down. I didn’t have a tank to climb in, Daryl to swoosh in on his bike to rescue me, a walker guts poncho to mask my smell or a dumpster to crawl under. It was just me, armed with my list and the Walkers were getting closer no matter how fast I moved.

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Even the best time juggling, multi-taskers can fumble and look like Andrea handling a gun for the first time. The safety is on and the Walkers have broken through the front doors. It’s time to panic, OR get resourceful and creative, just as the gang on “The Walking Dead” does when they are pinned into a corner.

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The Magic of Mundaneness


VacationOh the joy of Summer Vacation! I don’t mean the whole summer off our children get, but that one week, we as adults get, with no rules, alarm clocks, rush hour and the daily routine that turns us into robots. It’s that time when anything goes and play is the name of the game. The much needed break allowing us to recharge our batteries, reconnect with our soul and just breath.

It doesn’t matter where you go or even if you go anywhere, as long as you disconnect from the structure imposed upon us daily and go with whatever the day may bring. For me this year’s vacation was not just about disconnecting from the rat race, but about healing after the loss of my Mother. Not having time off after her passing made the stretch between her passing and the actual date of our planned vacation seem endless.

Right after my Mother’s passing, being able to go into “Robot Mode” was a huge help. The grind of the day-to-day structure was a saving grace. I didn’t really have to think. As the weeks wore on though, I longed for an escape from the daily shackles. I found myself counting down the days to freedom.Atlanta Campsite

As my patience dwindled the closer I got to my release date, I couldn’t help but think about the survivors of “The Walking Dead” who find solace in just a shred of some sense of structure and routine. Being on the run a large portion of the time, the TWD survivors have on multiple occasions attempted to plant their feet in one location for more than a night, in hopes that they can establish roots. Soon after the apocalypse started they set-up camp in the hills above Atlanta, and for a time felt someone safe. Trying hard to keep some sort of daily order, particularly for the children. They created daily tasks and divided them up.
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Zombie Robot Mode


As March ended and April started, I found myself sinking into “Zombie Robot Mode.” Going through the motions with little emotion. Running on autopilot. It’s that “stuck in rut” mode with no clue how to brake the cycle. I’ve been in this place before and it usually ended up with me making a major change like a new job, or even picking up and moving to a new state. That was before becoming a Mom. Roboat Woman

I will be at my present job for 14 years this December. The closest I ever came to staying at a job longer than 2 – 3 years was a 7 year run at an ad agency, which ended with me leaving my husband and then moving to the beach. When I needed a change, I would go for it. (In the world of advertising that was actually the only way to really find advancement, so it helped.) Unfortunately, that doesn’t work so well when you’re raising a child. We have moved, quite a few times, till settling into the beautiful home we are in now, thanks to my sister, but each one of those moves was based on what would be best for my son. As was my decision to settle into my present job. When raising a child the key factor is always security. Emotional, spiritual, physical and financial.

As a creative person at times I have felt myself stagnating. Resurrecting my writing 6 years ago has been my saving grace. I may not be writing full-time, which is my ultimate goal, but I am still writing, which sustains me when the day-to-day ends up sucking the life out of me. So, why are things getting to me more now than any time before? Could it be facing another birthday, knowing I’m not getting any younger and my dreams are just as far away now as they were 20 years ago? Maybe, but, I try hard to be a glass half-full kind of girl, and can usually pull myself up and out of a dark mood. Something more was at play, but what?
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