Life, in 15-minute chunks

The last few days have been long and endlessly busy. Kelly is down with some kind of bug–a stomach flu perhaps–and has been mostly bedridden. She is a much better multi-tasker than I am, and she makes it look easy, too, but these last few days have required me to step up and try and fill in for her. It’s not an easy job. The Little Man’s school was closed earlier in the week and I stayed home–there was no way I could work and take care of him at the same time. I took advantage of those snaps of time when he was preoccupied with some activity to prepare for later in the day: washing bottles, straighten up the house,taking out the trash, you name it. With Kelly still down, that has continued. And it has been complicated by the fact that I haven’t been sleeping too well. I was up at midnight last night and didn’t really get back to sleep until almost 5am.

What I’ve found is that I am living life in 15-minute chunks. I take 15 minutes to keep the Little Man entertained, and then dash off for 15 minutes to empty the dishwasher or clean out the cat litter. Then it’s back to 15 minutes with the Little Man, and then 15 minutes preparing dinner. Occasionally, I find 15 minutes to read a few pages of Astounding. Or 15 minutes to read a a few pages of a story for the writers group. Even once the Little Man is finally asleep, I can only seem to do things in 15 minute stretches: 15 minutes writing a blog post for the next day; 15 minutes responding to accumulated email messages.

This has been true at work lately, too. My list of projects and my to-do list has grown so long, and there is such a backlog, that I jump from task-to-task in 15 minute quanta. It doesn’t make for the most productive environment. And it leaves me tired by the end of the day so that I am often in bed just after 8pm with the intention of being up at 5am to get in some writing–something that hasn’t worked out too well these last couple of weeks.

I realize these things come in phases. Kelly will get better and things will gradually get back to normal–at least at home. At work, it seems, there is no end in sight.

It’s a little scary how quickly you can get used to living life in 15-minute chunks, however.