There’s Always a Time to Die, Rarely Time to Live

There’s Always a Time to Die, Rarely Time to Live

“I’m dying!?!  Wait, is he sure its brain cancer?  Is there anything else it could be?  I need to see for myself.  OK, time to get on WebMD.  What symptoms should I have?  What symptoms am I displaying?  Heck is there even enough symptoms to be sure I have it and not something else?”  These are all things that I need the answers to before I can count on the doctor telling me anything viably…

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Time Management is Productivity

productivity, Google, calendar, time, management

Google Calendar increases my productivity and provides better time management just by helping me organize my days and sleep schedules

I’m a self diagnosed workaholic, so time management and productivity are vital for me. My workaholic attitude comes from years of watching people around me dump themselves into their work, be it helping family after work and on the weekends, or having multiple…

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Time Management is Productivity

Naanad
productivity, Google, calendar, time, management
Google Calendar increases my productivity and provides better time management just by helping me organize my days and sleep schedules

I’m a self diagnosed workaholic, so time management and productivity are vital for me. My workaholic attitude comes from years of watching people around me dump themselves into their work, be it helping family after work and on the weekends, or having multiple jobs. It just seems like a natural behavior to get ahead in life.

But I’ve found in having more than one job, one must have the ability to manipulate your time effectively so you can balance home life, bill paying, maintenance of that place you see rarely, feeding and spending time with your family/pets, and getting those hours in without costing yourself sleep and health.

How to Manage Time:

So to do that, I use Google calendars. And I have to stress that I use multiple calendars.  I layer them to give me the ability to do time management in blocks based on what I am doing and what type of work it is.

As my calendar display shows above, I have calendars for just about everything, such as housework (Cleaning Schedule), devoting one day a month/week to tasks/high traffic rooms that need tender care. When using it for example, I marked the every other weekend that my son is home, those Saturday’s are the days all the bed sheets get washed. (Yes I make my teenage son help with the laundry, I’m a mean mom.) Because it’s a routine day that fits the needs of what can be done to share the load, no pun intended, making the schedule more balanced and the work load easier to manage.

Then there’s the “Bill Schedule”. This lists the amount, the name, and if it’s an auto withdrawing item, a multiple day time window of the days preceding when it can no longer be canceled/changed for that months payment. That way I know when it is going to come out ahead of time and can visually plan out when my pay checks are coming in versus what is going out. (Another reason I like Google calendars is the color coding options within the individual calendars is also a nice feature for seeing “red” and “green”.)

Then there is the individual work calendars, where each company gets their own. These are either propagated by their RSS feed of my scheduled tasks, or by my manual addition if the company does not provide that type of service (such as my full-time third shift hours). Having these turned on and displaying overlaps provides me better time management and displays for me when I might have conflicts and allows me to never over book myself and start pushing into other vital things.

Time with friends and primary calendar use:

Which brings me to the most important thing of all, my social and sleep schedules. These stay on the primary calendar as a “Busy” items at all times along with any friend hang outs, doctors appointments, and day-to-day one time activities. And yes, I did just suggest scheduling sleep on your calendar, because lets face it, you can’t have productivity without sleep and a reason to be working so much, or eventually you WILL GET SICK!

Now, as that I am a mom but work third shift during the week (Sun through Thursday) I have opted to flip to first on the weekends so when my son is home at least one day I get to spend with him. People think I’m crazy, but I’ve been perfecting this art since 2005.

For those who might not know, I work third shift volunteer at a convention but for years I would need to be back to first in 36 hours after it was over for work when we got home. What I learned is when flipping between a first and third sleep schedule, always give yourself more sleep rather than less.

So on weekends when my son is home, Friday afternoon I take a good nap of about 3-4 hours, get up and then drive to pick him up. I spend Friday evening with him and then sleep Friday night. Saturday is a first shift day and then again Saturday night I sleep. On Sunday I take a 4-6 hour nap before work in the afternoon and I’m ready to go 10:30 pm back on third shift.

This process gives me the time and ability that when I want to schedule something, I turn my calendars all on and there you go, conflicts reflect, I can shift some items around for better time management. And then as you need, you can make sure you get it all done, but remember the most important thing, more sleep is better than less.

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Time is of the Essence

I can’t shake it. It’s been 12 hours since I woke up from the worst nightmare I’ve ever had. I just can’t get the images out of my head. I wanted to DIE it was so terrifying. I was so horrified and didn’t want to go back to sleep but knew that it’s root was in my waking hours. I couldn’t stop shaking.

For those unfamiliar with it, black holes are suspected to slow down time. I don’t know how or why, but in my dream, a black hole must have opened near my home where I lived with my spouse and my three children. Now for most of you who don’t know me. I am a mother of one 12 year old boy. Now if this expresses the twistedness of my dreamscapes as is, I was married to a woman and I was “genderless” for lack of better terminology, but the children were of my genetic make-up. Now I’ve always been the one who “took care” of everyone so it makes sense I had a wife, and I’ve lost two children so it makes sense I have three. But my problem with the sense of time comes from a VERY REAL and disturbing life event I suffer every hour of every day and it came to head yesterday. 

I LIVE 5-7 days each day in my mind. My sense of time has been morphed and made routine life nearly impossible. Have a near impossible memory to overcome and always get lost at what day or what I haven’t done. Eat? Don’t know if I did it. Drink? Maybe? Shower? Lord, knows if I did.  I have to keep detailed records but normally as long as I have a job I can keep track of what day it is or maybe think I’m a day ahead. But yesterday, I thought, hell I was convcinced, to the point I even ARGUED that it was NOT Wednesday; was Tuesday. It made me nearly cry knowing my sense of time was so distorted. 

Anyway, my dream was long story short, escaping from the time distortion and going back to save my love while my children continued to escape. Only to get closer to the black hole and watch as my beloved ran from me and the black hole, slowly aging with every inch. By the time she reached the door she looked as if 5-10 years had passed. 

Loosing everything I love has always been terrifying to me. BUT LOOSING it as I watch and can do nothing but hope they escape. That is my greatest fear. That was my nightmares as child as my locked away secrets of being molested were hidden and tried to “creep free” from my memory. It’s been almost 20 years since the last time I had that nightmare. But this was worse. It wasn’t the man in dark coming out of my closet. It was something I couldn’t fight, couldn’t see at all, couldn’t even PUNCH or KICK to stop. It just literally ate away at my world, my love. Everything that mattered to me. 

Anyone have any way to help it stop.

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There’s Always a Time to Die, Rarely Time to Live

“I’m dying!?!  Wait, is he sure its brain cancer?  Is there anything else it could be?  I need to see for myself.  OK, time to get on WebMD.  What symptoms should I have?  What symptoms am I displaying?  Heck is there even enough symptoms to be sure I have it and not something else?”  These are all things that I need the answers to before I can count on the doctor telling me anything viably true.  I’m not unfamiliar with the capabilities of doctors making misdiagnoses.  “OK, let’s see, if I have fewer than 50% of the symptoms, it’s time to visit a second opinion.  Heck, even if I only have 50%, I’m going anyway.  Anymore than that; I’ve got to think.”

After spending the rest of the afternoon reading, understanding the causes, the treatments, and the likely side effects of treatment or no treatment, I decide on comfort care.  I’ve never liked pain, at least not inflicted by outside forces.  I have always had an amazing pain tolerance to my own bodies pain, just not to needles or treatments delivered by doctors unless I’m put under.  The treatments the doctors are offering are going to just be too much for me.  I mean a chance for survival is a nice thought.  But even if I recovered from this, the pain I would go through would likely still leave me debilitated because of the RSD.  Not to mention what it would put my children through, my loved ones.  I just don’t feel that the chance of recovery from this outweighs what I’m likely going to have to relive daily if the cancer doesn’t get me.

I spend the next few hours thinking, “How am I going to tell Joe?”  I get to thinking of how he has dealt with others deaths.  At first he did so well, and the depths to which he feels the sorrow of their being gone.  Heck, we have spent hours we discussing death, and what happens, and even my own death.  I choose to go somewhere special, somewhere we some great times and give him a way to try and enjoy this.  When I was pregnant I used to go to the park where his dad takes him now regularly in his home town, but unfortunately I can’t handle the drive anymore because of the pain.  So I decide to go to the park here in Cedar Falls on Franklin.  He loved the one just north of Main and First Streets, but the floods of 2008 really did it in.  For Joe’s sake, I ask his dad to come down to help Joe through this with me, because with me gone, Joe is going to depend on him a lot more now.

I break it to Joe gently asking him if he remembers swinging with me and I tell him about what I did that fall before he was born.  I talk about how we all are born and remind him that we all die.  That is when I let him know that the doctors feel that I am going to be leaving him soon and that I want to spend extra time with him doing things he enjoys, like when I went swinging with him all those years go before he was even born.  Dave’s trying to soak it in.  He has known that with my RSD so much has happened to stop my ability from doing things, but it really hasn’t him that soon Joe will be in his care for the rest of his adolescent and teen life.  My being able to be alive was the last thing he thought RSD would stop me from doing.

I express to Joe that as I get sicker, dependant on how his dad feels, any schooling he needs to do might be best done at his dads.  I want to see him every waking hour I can but he knows that we all have to make our mark in history and life, and it’s much easier to do that if we are educated.  But I make it very clear that if he wants to stay with me, he must promise me to do his homework and not try to take care of me all the time because there will be people to help with that.

I also take this time to explain that my body won’t always look like I do now.  I will get tired more often, my skin’s color will most likely change, and I will still hurt, maybe even more so.  But no matter what I am still myself inside, even if my body limits me.

Many times Joe and I have discussed that life only ends when we let it, and that as long as he loves me, then I will live forever.  In the past, I have known some very vivacious elderly and some very dead youth.  Our family and our friends keep us alive as long as they remember what we taught them and gave them throughout the time they spend with us.  It would be now that I would finally become more honest about what I believe, because what do I have to worry about, someone killing me for being too outspoken?

Personally, what little faith I have has led me on a path to learn about belief and religions in general, to try and find answers according to whatever omnipotent being there might be and to live life that way.  One of those things I have come to believe that the way we are, we act, we think is bound to the soul/spirit.  And one of my greatest fears is of being trapped, my spirit bound to my body in which I could no longer do the one thing I live for.  I desire to bring a genuine smile to someone’s face every day.  Being in a place where I could not interact with others; that would be worse than any torture hell could devise.

After telling Joe, I break the news to my father and mother; they try handle it as best they can, but I can tell it hurts them deeply, especially my mother.  I let them choose to break news to the rest my family, I let my brother and close friends know.  It is these people whom have been there through the rough times, standing by me through the pain of the RSD, that I owe them the information in person.  So I ask them to come over for dinner to discuss the philosophy of life for an opening break it to them.  For those at a distance, I attempt to at least do it over the phone so I could comfort them in some small way.

Time moves along and I start to become weary of life, the pain would steepen, amplified by the RSD.  At points I feel life is worth living and again consider suicide again or even assisted suicide.  As I have so many times before, considered them both for present and future means, I remember that even if we don’t enjoy my life, we are going to die, so why rush fate.  Even now I still believe everything has a reason it happens, even if it doesn’t make any sense now, those events have a place in history, unknown to future generations or not.

I try to keep a diary from the day of diagnosis till my death of the love, the joys, the pains, and the tears.  I want my family to know the depths I love them and this book gives that to them.  I have already “died” once, the second time around isn’t so scary.

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