On Tuesday, I began running out to the battery room in the garage at regular intervals to start a diary of when (on sunny days in the winter) the system is acquiring solar gain. I've thought of doing this before, but it hasn't been 'til now, when my power is at an all-time low, that I've actually done it. I know I need to spend a bit more time out there before 11:00 and after 2:00 to get the timing more precisely nailed down, but I made enough progress on Tuesday that I know that those are the three hours (at this time of the year) when I have ELECTRICITY! I was out at 1:56 (and was charging) and then again at 2:36 when the sun had moved too far to the west of the solar panels (that I wasn't). But, it feels great to know that I can DO STUFF within those 180 minutes. I've started a list, too, that includes things like: heat (circulating pumps) on, laundry, air exchanger on, vacuum, charge laptop, charge Coleman lantern, and high-usage things like ironing & using my laminator (for Chicken Mama Designs). Then, at 2:00 (or whenever that magical time will turn out to be), all that stuff goes into cease-and-desist mode. And, the double bonus is that, now that we are past the solstice, each day will bring a little more solar gain. It will be somewhat of a bother to get all the timing detailed in the diary, but once it's done, it's done forever. That is to say, where the sun is today at 1:54 is the same place the sun will be on December 29, 2025. In theory. Until the harm we're doing to Mother Earth throws THAT off-kilter, too. ;) So, point being, I'm excited about that.
I utilized those three hours well on Tuesday, but yesterday was a gloomy, cloudy day (despite the snow) for me, and I'll admit that I was definitely practicing a little head-in-the-sand (non!)defense as far as all my financial woes go. By bedtime last night, I was really disgusted with myself and so tucked myself into bed with this here laptop (which has a TERRIFIC battery life, I'm tickled to say!) to figure out what my problem was . . . why I was avoiding all the things that NEED to be done. This is what I wrote, verbatim:
If I get one unpleasant task done, I can reward myself with . . . what? I can’t watch a movie (electricity). I can’t . . . what would be fun? What would be a treat for me right now that DOESN’T COST MONEY? Hmm. Blank. Can’t think of a damn thing. Okay, here’s something I’ve been wanting to do but not allowed myself the time: work on cleaning out, cleaning up the workshop. Okay, so, if I get one unpleasant task done, I can work in the garage for 30 minutes. Fair enough? Another fun thing I’d like to give time to: New Year Greetings (letter/cards). Another thing I’d like to take the time to do: water, care for all the houseplants, including trim all the dead. Repotting those that need it would be a REAL treaty-type thing! Another fun thing: 2012 calendars. Another fun thing: dairy spreadsheet. And, egg / cottage cheese spreadsheet. Take a shower! Walk up to trapper cabin to find pan for Mom. E-mail Ms. Apple Pie.
After the first "fun thing" of working out in the garage (yeah, I know I'm just a little WEI-IRD!), it was HARD to find any other things. I switched over to my "computer Solitaire until I can sleep" mode but quickly flipped back and forth to my Word document as I thought of more and more things. See, it ALWAYS helps to talk it out, work it out!
So, what are the things I'm avoiding that REALLY NEED TO BE DONE? Now? There were, ugh, 29 of them. I realize most of them won't make sense to you, but they do to me, and that's the important part. And, too, some of them are things that I'll actually really ENJOY . . . it's just that I'm dragging my feet about them for . . . I dunno. Some unclear reason. Simple malaise?
- E-mail D thanking her for interview, let her know I’m interested in other positions.
- E-mail G, same as above.
- E-mail school woman, same.
E-mail TL about interviewing for Trading Post Position. Just got word this AM that that job HAS been filled. Which is just fine - it would have been a thankless and completely exhausting one.
- Prep resume, write cover letter, do any application work for HE position.
- E-mail JS about CH positions.
- Check ads again for help wanted.
- Advertise Chicken Mama’s Web & Graphic Design. Make sure website is ready, first.
- Follow up all work with L – time it. Note 2 hours spent in training at his house. Note time yesterday spent on search engine optimization.
- Respond to cousin M.
- Prep card racks for TB, make plan, inquire about gallery mounts and canvas wraps for walls.
- Call Netflix, follow up with bank.
- Prep all items to send for Chicken Mama Blog. Post new item.
- Prep, assemble T’s pieces.
- Respond to S re Christmas cards.
- Sympathy card to L & C.
- Sympathy card to G.
- Cards to JR.
- Respond to P. Ready invoice, including tax.
- E-mail to CU woman.
- Medical paperwork back to clinic.
- E-mail HDC about bill.
- Post RM ad.
- End of the month / end of the year invoices.
- SL quick edits, check on website, work on brochure, set up time for training.
- Cards, thank you for DL.
- Water batteries.
- Photograph hats for website.
- Litter boxes. ALL!