I need a plan

This weekend I'm going to take some time to come up with a realistic daily schedule and plan for the week. I've probably chosen a bad time to start this since it is a holiday week, but I can't put it off any longer. I am constantly making schedules that just don't work. They are unrealistic. I plan to get up much earlier than I'm capable of and do way more than I can possibly accomplish in the time allotted. I make a very valiant attempt to follow this 'dream' schedule for a week and then completely give up when I fail and fall back into 'no schedule at all' mode. This is no way to live.

Several things have come to a head this week that have let me know I and my family cannot continue on this chaotic path. Mostly, they had to do with Dylan. His schoolwork is suffering. He is not a natural organizer and he needs help. Because the house is a wreck and our calendar is bursting at the seams, I haven't been helping him the way I should. Days and weeks pass without me really checking his grades online or asking to see his agenda book. He says he doesn't have homework and I just run with that because it's easier and hey, we need to be across town 5 minutes ago so grab your coat and run for the car. I met with all of his teachers yesterday and we discussed ways to help him get back on track. I've known for a long time that we are too busy but that meeting with the teachers was the smack in the face I needed. We need more time to just be at home doing the mundane day to day stuff like looking at agenda books. After that meeting I took a scalpel to our calendar and cut out everything I possibly could for the months of November and December. I haven't started a 2009 calendar yet but the first thing I'm going to do is schedule a weekly family night. If it's on my calendar in ink I won't be lying to people when I tell them I have a prior committment. I'm choosing Thursday because it's my hubby's day off. He will be relaxed and can have part of dinner ready so we can eat shortly after I get home from work. That will leave more time for games and movies.

The second thing that really hit me this week was how badly I need to get this house under control so that Dylan can invite friends over. I'm so embarassed by the mounds of clutter that I don't allow anyone in the house. And then there is the basement. Back in April I pulled everything out of the storage area so I could go through it, throw away a bunch and organize what was left. Well, it's all still sitting there in November. Even though it isn't very nice, the finished part of the basement could be a decent family room. The bookcases are down there. There is a small sofa and television along with the stereo and all of our cd's. The treadmill is currently folded up because the floor is full of junk and I can't unfold it. Dylan's drumset is down there and I'd like to make a music area with his and Kevin's guitars and the keyboard hiding under my bed. It could be a fabulous place for a 12 year old boy to hang out with his friends playing music, watching movies or playing video games. I even have a dream of turning a corner into my office. I have an old computer that I'd like to set up on a small desk. This would be my place for doing Boy Scout and PTA work and paying bills. Right now all of this stuff is in my living room. Ugh.

I need to do this for Dylan. He doesn't have friends over which leaves him sitting in front of the tv or computer all alone. He's becoming a sad little boy. On Thursday night a friend came over so they could work on their science fair project. I managed to get the house into decent shape so that his friend wouldn't think we were truly horrible and Kevin was off all day so he did some more straightening. Kevin put dinner in the crock pot for me (I had it all assembled in a zip loc bag) so we would have a meal other than pizza. When I got home from work, Dylan and his friend were working ont their project and they were having a ball. They were laughing and goofing around. Then something happened that has never happened before. At the last minute we invited his friend to stay for dinner. I realize this isn't huge and it happens in houses all over the country every single day, but for us it was HUGE. I saw how happy it made Dylan. I saw his eyes light up and I saw him smiling from ear to ear. He's a very lonely little boy and it's my fault. I never let him invite anyone over because of the house, and he usually can't accept invitations from friends because we already have other plans. I have taken this very social little boy and refused to let him spend time with friends. Seeing the pure joy on his face at having a friend stay for dinner just broke my heart. Why on earth have I let our lives get to the point that I can't let my child invite a friend over to play, spend the night or have dinner? I want to see that joy on his face all the time. I don't want him to be lonely.

So, the plan. One must be made. I'm going to work on it and post it later this weekend. Today I need to straighten up the house, do some laundry and finish helping Dylan set up his new computer. He has worked and saved for the last year or so to buy this computer. We started setting it up last night but couldn't finish because we need a cable and by the time we figured that out the stores were closed. I can run and get that at 9am, then I'm going to finish the computer setup, straighten the house and put away clean laundry. The rest of the day will be spent in the basement. All day tomorrow will be spent in the basement. This coming Friday and Saturday will be spent in the basement. If I can get through all of the boxes, bags and piles by next Friday, that will only leave the deep cleaning. I can do that in the evenings. My goal is to get it in shape so that Dylan can have a sleepover party for New Year's Eve. He doesn't know that yet. I'm going to wait until next weekend to tell him. That way I'll be sure that I can actually pull it off. It will make him so happy and that smile will make my heart melt so it's a win/win situation.

And now I see there is still an hour and a half before the store opens so I think I'll start the house straightening right now. That way there will be less to do later. Gee, what a novel idea.

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