Don’t call us, we’ll call you

January 31, 2012

Speaking of . . .

Filed under: Family, Personal, Videos — llcall @ 3:00 pm

Her cute talking:


January 30, 2012

Mommy update: 32 years

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal — Tags: , , , , — llcall @ 6:58 pm

I mentioned in my 18-month post that the months of August through mid-December were not all cuteness and fun.  In fact, there were some downright traumatic moments, including a 30-minute screamfest on my birthday.

Those trying months seemed to start out with just a bit of defiance.  It was clear she had good comprehension when she started smiling adorably and doing the exact opposite of what we were instructing.  Then she transitioned from that still-cute boundary pushing to what I considered your run-of-the-mill tantrums.  She did not want to be away from us, but she did not want to be with us.  She did not want to be in a wet diaper, but she did not want to put on a clean diaper.  She did not want to be in the car seat, but she didn’t want to get out of the car seat . . . you get the idea.  I felt pretty prepared for this type of thing, after having been a nanny for two toddlers while living in DC as well as studying some of the current child development literature on the topic.

What I was not prepared for was how fierce the tantrums would get (I never saw anything like them from the cuties I lived with in DC) and how her vitriol would be directed so squarely at ME.  She had been a mama’s girl for the first year-plus of life (thanks in no small part to breastfeeding, I’m sure), and even though she had slowly morphed into a daddy’s girl since then, I never expected such outright rejection.  She was suddenly screaming “NO, NO, NO!” almost every time I entered a room.  She did not want me to hold her or pick her up or take her anywhere.  I could barely change her diaper since it was usually a full-on wrestling match.  (I kept telling myself, I’m bigger and stronger than she is, but somehow she was like this fireball of energy, and energy is not my strong suit.)  She was hitting and kicking at me frequently, and I felt banged up physically and emotionally.  More than a few tears were shed, by both of us, in the month of October.  I hated feeling like we were battling every day, over every little thing, but there just didn’t seem to be any other way.  She gave Neal plenty of grief too, but it seemed to be less personal, less directed straight at him.  And that hurt, a lot, coming from my formerly-sweet little one.

The two days before I left on vacation were the real low points.  I literally had never had harder days with Addison, even when I was in the throes of postpartum depression.  We had to pin her down just to get the basic necessities of life taken care of and she was angry at me pretty much non-stop.  (In hindsight, there’s a very funny story that came out of those rough days.  I had just arrived home from a shopping errand, during which Addison staged huge protests at every turn.  I was running late for a Relief Society event because of her meltdowns and she refused to come into the house.  So I ran inside to get Neal to come down and take her so I could leave.  Just at that moment, my Mom drove up to find Addison all alone, sobbing on the front porch.  My Mom and I parent differently in a number of areas, but I’m pretty sure she’s never been more horrified than she was at that moment!)

The fact that I spent the next three nights away from Addison was definitely a godsend.  I had never been away longer than a night before and I was really ambivalent about the whole thing, but in the end, I really needed the respite and the time with such amazing friends.  And Addison needed to remember that she misses me when I’m gone, which she did.

Of course, our happy reunion could not last forever.  She was back to the intense tantrums and NO, NO, NOs soon enough, but the break helped me put things in perspective.  I reflected on something my buddy Cory (who, despite being a total goof sometimes, has actually given me some of the most significant advice of my life, especially during those dark, difficult times) had told me a year earlier: “Whatever stage they’re in, whether it’s good or bad, it will be over soon.”  I started reminding myself of that every day, This is a phase and it will be over soon.  Just as soon as her cute “Lub bu”s (love you) and “Misshu”s (miss you) will be.  And I’ll probably look back and miss it all (except for those two days in October — I know I will never miss those).

Thankfully, the phase had seemed to pass by mid-December (I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it would be to have a permanently oppositional child).  Looking back, I can see a lot of unsurprising correlations.  I was having a tough time with the move, and I think Addison was too.  She missed her Grandma (and was ecstatic to be briefly reunited a couple weeks ago).  She missed her best bud Grayson, our Provo babysitter’s little boy.  She missed her familiar (baby-proofed) surroundings where she could run free.  And she was cutting a lot of painful teeth to boot!  And even less surprising, when Addison started to adapt and calm down, I had more energy to be a fun mom (for three days at least)!

I am so grateful that those few months were just a phase.  By December I was really enjoying our time together, probably more than I had since she was an infant.  And we learned a valuable coping mechanism for the next time that wild phase comes around.  She has always been really into emotions, so I started to record her crying and screaming.  And then coax her out of her mood by letting her watch it.  When the camera wasn’t handy, we could sometimes take her to look at herself in the mirror.  She would examine herself and begin to say, “Sad baby.  Sad baby.”  It wasn’t a sure-fire method, especially during her fiercest moments, but it did produce a lot of video like this, which is also good.

January 29, 2012

Baby update: 18 months

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal — llcall @ 11:11 pm

I thought I better finish this one up too if I’m going to post about two years (which is right around the corner — crazy!) in a timely manner.


23 pounds, 3 ounces (she was 20 pounds, 7 ounces at 12 months)

31.25 inches (she was 27.75 inches at 12 months)

From 12 months to 18 months, she stayed around the 40th percentile for weight but she shot way up in the height percentiles — from 11 to 40+ (I lost the handout from the doctor so I don’t know the precise number).  She may top my Grandma Larson’s 4′ 11″ after all!


Let’s see . . . what are 18-month milestones?  Truthfully, all the “firsts” that are coming to mind are tantrum-related.  We moved right around the 18-month mark, and although at the time we were not sure what was causing so many temperamental changes (she was also cutting a lot of teeth in very short order), in hindsight I think the move affected her quite a bit.  She had one very-large, very-inconsolable tantrum in July, but by the time we hit late August to early September, she was tantruming frequently.  It was traumatic enough for this mommy that I have another post draft devoted to the topic, so for now let’s stick with the cute stuff!

First reading:  She started to point out any writing she saw and carefully “read” it: E-C-C.  Neal couldn’t figure out why E-C-C, but I suspect it was her version of A-B-C.  (Funny side note: our local NPR affiliate is KPCC and every time Addison hears them identify their station, she shouts out, “E-C-C”!)

First time saying all the colors:  Her pronunciation was actually pretty accurate, except for yellow (ye-yow), orange (ange — it’s impossible to communicate how cute her pronunciation is via the written word, but this is my favorite), and green (gee or een or ree — she likes to switch it up).  My mom, ever the doting grandmother, thinks she is remarkably gifted at color identification (she’s certainly the most gifted child I’ve ever had).  But I’ll admit, we owe most of her color recognition to the “Colors of Passover” page from the My First Passover Board Book we checked out from the library.

First time actually contemplating her responses to questions: Maybe one of my favorite things was that she started to sometimes ponder the answers to questions before just blithely responding.  We started to get a lot of “Um, um . . . yeah.”  Even simple questions like should we change your diaper? suddenly seemed so existential.

First conversations:

L: Are you my Cutes McGee?

A: No.  Add-son.  Add-son.  [patting her hand on her chest for further clarification]

L: Are you Sneaky Trickerson?

A: Yes.

She’s very earnest about who she is and who she is not.  Also, sometimes when she says her name it sounds like “Awesome,” which is awesome.

Kaila (a good friend who came to visit): You’re getting so big!

A:  No.  Yittle. [pause and then pointing to Kaila]  Big.

She also claims the right to self-identify.  Don’t even try to put her in a box (unless it’s an actual box).

First olives:

First time taking off her diaper while supposedly napping (the diaper is up by her head):

First time getting good and messy at mealtime (seriously, Neal was very strict about eating etiquette — he wouldn’t have anything to do with this scene):

First beach day:

Favorite words and phrases:

  • thank you (deet doo — did I already say something else was my favorite? Because this is really my favorite!)
  • how are you (my Dad taught her this one, and even though she mostly articulates it correctly, sometimes it sounds hilariously similar to Corky’s Cockney accent in the final scene of Waiting for Guffman)
  • Daddies-san and Mommy-san (this was a cute, but short-lived phase of emulating Mr. Miyagi)
  • SELF! (in addition to shouting SELF frequently, she was actually learning to do a lot of things for herself, which can be scary and exciting and more than a little time-consuming)
  • ME!
  • TWO! (this is her version of again, said with a finger raised for added emphasis; we heard it a lot, especially at the end of every ride on our trip to Disneyworld)
  • sad baby, happy baby (sometimes when she’s supposed to be napping, we hear her instead repeating this phrase, acting it out herself and with her stuffed animals — she’s just really into emotions!)

And now for a picture dump:

Favorite places:

Under my grandparents' coffee table

In the washer

On the back patio, usually pants-less

At our ward party

Around the house

And there you have it, caught up to the present day!  (I mean, except for those 100 other post drafts.)  Phew.

January 28, 2012

Getting Things Done: Processing, part III

The culmination of my “git ‘er done” year is that I want to fully implement the  Getting Things Done system in my life.  So I’m going to document the stages I’m going through over the next few weeks (before 2011 really ends).  I previously posted about CollectingProcessing, part I, and Processing, part II.

Our Disneyland adventure yesterday turned in to a migraine a few hours later.  But getting in bed at 8:15 and sleeping soundly (thanks to a healthy dose of medicine) from 10:00 to 8:00 worked wonders.  I woke up with enough mental energy to keep processing, although I’m opting for email processing so that I can stay in bed and rest.

(By the way, if you think that processing is taking me a ridiculously long time, you’re right.  In the GTD book, he talks about making the business executives he works with clear out their schedules for two or three days to get the system set up.  Now granted I don’t have full days to set aside because processing definitely does not work too well with Addison around, but still it seems like a much longer process than two or three days to me, especially if you consider the emotional aspects of it.  Business people have emotions too, right?  Or am I wrong, Elizabeth?)

(Second by the way: Thanks for all the comments and emails after my last processing post.  You all gave me such great food for thought — I’ve been asking myself a lot of new questions as a result of the different perspectives.  The only thing I  have decided for sure is that now is not the time to make a final decision.  It won’t hurt to keep the box in my parents’ attic for another year.)

So my goal for the day was to take my inbox from this:

15,206 emails in my inbox, with 1,463 of them unread . . . down to zero.  I have taken my unread emails down to zero before, but obviously, it has never stuck. So this time I knew I needed to be more systematic about it.

  1. I started to unsubscribe to feeds/email lists I don’t read (as well as those that are sent to me by another Lindsay that thinks my email address is actually her email address, which is really strange and a long story) to minimize my unwanted email.
  2. I also took the time to research some Gmail features that I was not familiar with to figure out how to handle things better.  Now I am archiving all my emails after I note the next action or event I need to remember.  (I know archiving is probably pretty basic, but I just never took the time to figure out how to do it or where the emails would be stored.  And since I’m not a major techie, thankfully, it’s elegantly smooth and simple.)
  3. It seemed like there was going to be a third thing, but now it’s lost.

So after about four hours of processing, I’ve got my inbox-zero:

But more importantly, I’ve got an above-average chance of keeping it looking this neat and tidy if I stick with it.

Next up, email drafts dating back to October 2007 (pretty sure whoever was waiting for that email is ticked!).

January 27, 2012

Um, so Disneyland might have been a mistake . . .

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal — Tags: , , — llcall @ 12:24 am

Do you know how freaking huge that place is?!  I pretty much thought I was going to die about 5 minutes after we got into California Adventure (since we parked at the free Downtown Disney parking, I had already walked the entire length of Downtown Disney).

I guess I forgot that I have not been to an amusement park without my wheelchair for almost 15 years (I think our year passes were the last time, Ishkhanoohie!).  That’s not for the faint of heart, people.  (And we were only there for about two hours.)

In other news, Addison LOVED it.  And passers-by loved watching her LOVE it.

January 26, 2012

Not-so-lean times

2012 is going to be the leanest year financially that Neal and I have ever spent together.  Although we hope to have a new income stream established by year’s end, we will probably have no income for most of the year.  Living off savings is a psychologically difficult state for me.  Even though we have planned this for awhile, I can’t help mildly freaking out about it every few weeks.  I have never NOT saved money.  Even when I was living in DC on $10,000 per year.  I always found ways to bank a little money for the future.  But this is the future.

While I want to spend as little of our savings as possible, I don’t want to make the mistake of not enjoying some of the unique opportunities we have while living with my parents.  Like babysitting.  It will be a monumental waste if we are so frugal that we don’t go out on dates or weekend getaways while we have built-in babysitters.  We are aiming to carve out some kind of balance where we live lean, but also enjoy some of the things that So Cal has to offer (which is A LOT!).

The deal we hit on is that for all the activities I want to do, I need to sell something personal to make the money for it.  I’m not a huge purchaser of stuff, but I am definitely a keeper of stuff, AKA a pack-rat.  Since I know that experiences bring me more happiness than material possessions, I have started giving up things that I have long thought I would never part with.  My test question has been, would I rather have this or go to Disneyland?  If you know nothing else about me, you should know that Disneyland trumps almost everything.

Here’s the tally so far:

  • Sold items: $507
  • Birthday money from my aunts: $30

So all that is to say, I’ve made enough money that I’m going to Disneyland today!  Addison and I are off to buy my annual pass (thankfully they have a $199 So Cal resident pass) so that we can enjoy a year of Disneyland fun before she turns 3 and costs money too.

If there’s one thing that’s sure to boost my flagging spirits, it’s a roller-coaster!

January 23, 2012

Baby update: One year (it seems absurd, I know)

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal, Videos — llcall @ 7:09 pm

So it turns out I’m really bad at these baby updates (though I feel strongly about writing them, I think it is a testament to the fact that this blog is mostly an outlet for my developmental process rather than hers).  But since she’s not even two and certain memories are already hazy, I wanted to go back and finish this post I started months and months ago.


20 pounds, 7 ounces (she was 18 pounds, 5 ounces at 9 months)

27.75 inches (she was 26.25 inches at 9 months)

From 9 months to 12 months, she stayed in the 40th percentile for weight but she inched her way up to the 13th percentile for height (from the 11th).  Way to go, baby!

It’s kind of crazy to think that we ever talked about her cankles.  She’s thinned out so much, I can barely remember the glory of her fat-roll days.  Gone are the height and weight-related nicknames (Shrimp, Rudy McCankles, etc.).  Now Neal most often calls her Scabies and Monkey Bones, while I usually call her Sneaky Trickerson or Sweetness, depending on (surprise!) whether she’s being sneaky or sweet.


At 12 months, it was all about walking.  Neal mentioned it in his guest post, that on her first birthday she strung together 8 steps to reach him — and really, she never looked back.  She had a few weeks of drunk walking, but by 14 months, she was full on sprinting.  And I haven’t caught up since . . .

Her verbal repertoire was also growing, though she still relied on her expressive mannerisms, gestures, and facial expressions for a lot of her communication.  I did manage to keep this partial list of the words/sounds she was consistently making at the one-year mark (usage notes or pronunciation in parentheses):

  • dog barking
  • annoying laughs (not that they were actually annoying to us, but we were trying to get her to mimic annoying sounds a la “the most annoying sound in the world” from Dumb and Dumber — she was pretty good too)
  • douche (she used this one A LOT for a host of things, including her parents and Jesus — should I admit that?)
  • dog (pronounced: “do”)
  • kitty (screamed)
  • eye
  • hi
  • hello
  • strawberries (pronounced: “baba”)
  • apple (pronounced: “ba pa”)
  • mama
  • dada
  • no (she got MUCH better at this one over the next several months; now it is definitely one of her greatest hits, but mostly like this now: “NO, NO, NO!”)
  • nien
  • socks
  • shoes
  • keys (pronounced: “e”)
  • teeth (pronounced: “tee”)
  • baby (this sounded the most like the actual word)
  • glasses (minus the gl — oops!)
  • more (pronounced: “mom”)
  • Grandpa (pronounced: “bah pa”)
  • cheese (pronounced: “hee”)
  • cup (pronounced: “up”)
  • MINE! (it was always exclaimed)

Two anecdotes from that time period that I never posted but actually recorded:

We’re all about dental hygiene around here, so we started with the teeth brushing as soon as Addison had teeth.  She got into quite a routine with it — a freaking weird routine.  When Neal says, “Ready to brush your teeth?” Addison says, “Ah,” turns to the mirror, and licks her reflection. It’s the only time she does that.  Ever.

By the time Addison was in that 14-month-old, running-everywhere mode, church was getting to be quite a headache.  Sometimes if I got to Relief Society late, the only seats left were in the very front, which meant my failure to keep up with her was on full display.  She would be in people’s purses (she’s all about the touch-screen phones; I’m pretty sure more than one sister was horrified to see her iPhone/iPad in Addison’s hot, little hands), other kids’ boxes of Teddy Grahams, and running up the aisles before I knew what hit me.  But this one particular day really took the cake.  We were sitting at the front when Addison bolted away, up the aisle, and straight out of the room.  But when I followed her path out, she was nowhere to be seen.  I quickly looked down all three nearby hallways and couldn’t find her.  Thinking she must still be in the Relief Society room, I walked back in and looked around.  Still no sight of her.  I asked a friend sitting by the door where she went and she said she went into the hallway, but when I went back out, I still couldn’t see her.

At this point, I was getting worried.  There was an outside door nearby; surely she was not strong enough to get it open on her own, but maybe someone walked in at the wrong moment.  When I started walking toward the door, I finally caught a glimpse of her — sitting completely still in a corner with her arms at her sides, as if she was a statue.  When our eyes met, she started laughing like she was the funniest person that ever lived.  The whole experience was shocking for me on so many levels:  How could she run so fast?  How could she find such a great hiding spot so quickly?  How could she hold so perfectly still for at least two or three minutes when in most of our daily life, she couldn’t do it for three seconds???  There’s a reason she earned the name Sneaky Trickerson so early in life!

And for sticking with me through all that, even though it’s hopelessly late, you get some pictures.  Can you believe I didn’t manage to take a single picture on her actual first birthday?  (If that’s not coming up in therapy in 20 years, I don’t know what is . . .)

But I did capture some shots of her day-after-birthday lollipop, courtesy of Grandpa and Grandma Horton.  Since we were pretty strict about sweets, my sweet-toothed Grandpa waited a long time for this moment!

A few days after Addison’s birthday, my friend Kirsten came to stay while Neal went on a business trip and we made Kirst’s favorite dessert — lemon jello cheesecake.  We pretended that we made the cheesecake for Addison’s birthday and got the obligatory messy-baby photos:

This picture says it all -- her daddy did not teach her to get her hands dirty!

I took a bunch of video in between these shots that somewhat explains the transition to messiness below (spoiler alert: she was assisted by her mom).  But the videos are too long to upload in a reasonable amount of time, and shot sideways with no hope of turning them (I’m an amateur), and in the background I’m talking to/berating Neal about wasting time on his business trip (you can’t hear Neal’s responses, but at one point I say, “What do mean by ‘doing nothing’?”), so no video here.

Addison wasn’t that in to the dessert — she maybe took two licks — but that meant more for us.  Cute pictures/video + more dessert for the grown-ups = success!

And if you’re still with me, you get my second video posting ever.  Some of her early walking, taken the day after her birthday:

That’s it for one-year-old Addison.

Bye, now!

January 22, 2012

Lists: Baseball Stadiums

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , — llcall @ 11:11 pm

I rather like the way my friend Sara blogs.  I have a tendency to write long posts, which is probably why I end up with 121 (and counting) drafts when I don’t have time to complete such lengthy thoughts.  I like Sara’s long, thoughtful posts but I also enjoy when she posts lists and brief snapshots from her life.  It’s probably creating a more well-rounded personal history than all my angsty, middle-of-the-night musings.  So here’s my first list.  

Watched game(s):

National League

  • Dodger Stadium — Los Angeles Dodgers (too many to count)
  • Wrigley Field — Chicago Cubs (2)
  • Nationals Park — Washington Nationals (2)
  • Veterans Stadium — Philadelphia Phillies (1)
  • Coors Field — Colorado Rockies (1)
  • Jack Murphy Stadium — San Diego Padres (1)

American League

  • Angels Stadium — California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels (too many to count)
  • Fenway Park — Boston Red Sox (4, maybe 5)
  • Camden Yards — Baltimore Orioles (3)
  • Yankee Stadium — New York Yankees (1)
  • US Cellular Field — Chicago White Sox (1)
  • Metrodome — Minnesota Twins (1)

Just toured (meaning my visit to the city was unfortunately in the off-season):

National League

  • PacBell Park — San Francisco Giants
  • Busch Stadium — St. Louis Cardinals
  • PNC Park — Pittsburgh Pirates

And now I can throw away a bazillion ticket stubs.

January 20, 2012

Getting Things Done: Processing, part II

The culmination of my “git ‘er done” year is that I want to fully implement the  Getting Things Done system in my life.  So I’m going to document the stages I’m going through over the next few weeks (before 2011 really ends).  I previously posted about Collecting and Processing, part I.

So, I need advice.  I mentioned that I was humming along with my processing, until, BAM, I hit up against this big emotional barrier.  I think, nay, I know one or more of my blog readers can help me move forward and make a decision.

First, a little background.  Neal and I are, and have been, in the process of paring down our life.  Not that we had a huge life to begin with, but if I haven’t mentioned it before, we want a tiny life.  A tiny life that will fit in a tiny, 320-square-foot home.  One of the reasons for moving in with my parents for awhile was to work on this paring-down process, since I still had a sizable chunk of stuff from my past life housed here.  So I’ve been doing that.  And mostly it’s been fun.  Going through my old high school/junior high stuff is pretty entertaining.  But last week I came across a big box of stuff from my two-year baseball mission, AKA the lost years, 1998-2000.  The summation of the lost years is that after my freshman year of college I had to quit school for two years, was mostly bed-ridden, started therapy, learned to hate doctors (except psychologists, I like most of those), listened to a lot of sports talk radio, watched a lot of baseball, and wrote.

All that writing is my problem at the moment.  See, I kept it all, every bit.  Letters to and from me.  Journal entries.  Two novels I started.  A ridiculous number of poems.  And HOLY HANNAH, it’s depressing stuff.  I was facing my own mortality at 18 years old, and the combination of adolescent angst and clinical depression and potential death are just overwhelming.  It’s been 12, 13 years and it’s still absolutely too painful for me to read any of it.  “Across the Catwalk” and “Untitled,” which I only wrote after I knew things were getting better, are just about the only things I can tolerate reading from that time in my life.  In my efforts to go through stuff, decide what to keep and scan, what to toss, I tried to start by reading some of the letters other people wrote to me.  I thought that would be easier, but man, I couldn’t get through more than one or two.  Even though I’m not still that horribly ill (mentally, physically, emotionally) teenager, I can’t help but feel all that pain still resting there.  And when I read the letters people sent to me, which seemed safer than reading my own writing, I can feel them grappling with that pain and not knowing what to say to me or about me.

It’s such an important part of my life.  Absolutely defining.  I remade myself under the tutelage of so much suffering, both external and self-inflicted.  I thought someday I would want to look back on it all, like maybe there were still lessons for me there.  But I’m beginning to doubt that day will ever come.  Maybe living through it once, and still coping with chronic issues that connect me to it, is enough.

I’ve pictured gathering it all and setting the box on fire.  I love fire (in a slightly pyro-type of way) and I love the symbolism of letting it all go.  But then I worry that I would regret that, for me and for my daughter.  For me, because I don’t want to pretend it never happened and I don’t want to ignore something that could teach me more of what I need to know.  (After all, Joseph Smith once said, “Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God.”) And for Addison, because perhaps she could avoid some of the mistakes I made during those years or at least feel less alone when she makes them.  Maybe I should just seal that box up, mark it carefully, and tuck it away for her to find some day.  She’ll learn things about my past from that box that I will probably never be able to tell her.

Neal thinks I should scan them without reading them and then get rid of the physical items.  But I’m not sure that would be less painful.  I would still catch glimpses of the words, and like I said, it just feels like that ache is still present.  Should I do something that has the potential to keep me in my depressed, too-contemplative mode for a couple weeks more?  (By the way, this all came to head on that same Tuesday.  I thought getting things done (!) would help me feel productive and stave off the depression, but unluckily this was the box I came upon — since there was no Box 8.  :))

So, here’s where your advice comes in.  Burn it?  Seal it?  Push myself to go through it?  What would you do, or what have you done in your life?

January 19, 2012

Getting Things Done: Processing, part I

The culmination of my “git ‘er done” year is that I want to fully implement the  Getting Things Done system in my life.  So I’m going to document the stages I’m going through over the next few weeks (before 2011 really ends).  I’ve already covered Phase 1: Collecting.

After I got done collecting, I was feeling so energized and POWERFUL.  And then I looked around at all the stacks I’d collected and told Neal, “I just want to stay in the collecting phase.”

But eventually I pressed on.  To processing.  Processing the GTD way can be summed up with this workflow diagram:

From David Allen via this 7PProductions post

It’s really all about the next action decision, which is another thing that I like about this method.  I am notorious for jotting down a quick to-do/reminder like this one (that has been at the top of my tasks list since 2010): Roth IRA conversion.  But have I converted my old 403b to a Roth IRA yet?  No, because that’s not really an action item.  It’s more of a multi-step project that I know will take time, so I keep putting it off (although from a financial perspective 2012 is going to be the best year for me to do this, so my procrastination has actually been beneficial).  Now that I have “processed” that item, it looks like this on my list: Call Vanguard rollover specialist at 800-523-9442 to discuss next step for Roth conversion.  It’s specific and actionable (even though I still don’t want to do it because I hate the phone).

Once I got into the processing mode, I was really going like gangbusters for awhile.  In fact, I got my main inbox to look like this:

I don’t think I’ve ever had a surface in my room look that clear and uncluttered (as many old roommates can confirm).

But I’ll tell you, I hit a snag.  Maybe snag isn’t the right word . . . it’s something more like a HUGE emotional barrier.  Which is why this is only part one of processing.  It’s a work in progress — I may need more counseling before I’m through :)!  More on that later.

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