A day. Or two. Or a whole week. Where I realise I've taken on too much work and I'm never going to get it done before the dead line and how can I be that stupid because this was the year that I was going to be in control.
I'd decided on some strict rules for this year to stop all the usual craziness from happening. I wasn't going to take any individual orders. And I haven't. I even told my sister that I couldn't make a costume for her daughter. I know - that possibly makes me the worst sister of all time. And I decided that I wouldn't take any orders from interstate (yep, I broke that rule). But despite patchy implementations of these new rules I find myself in exactly the same position as I do every year - too much to do and too little time.
So Tuesday I did what I always do when I feel overwhelmed at work. I wrote a list. So I could see that it was actually more manageable than it seemed to be in my mind.
The list only had four things on it and writing it didn't help for a change - especially when I decided to check on the calendar and see just how many working weeks I had to do it in. Full panic mode!
So I made a plan of attack. To work every hour that I possibly can in the next few weeks. My plans are rarely complex. That's probably why I suck at chess.
Sounds like fun, doesn't it?!
Surprisingly, though it's been a little bit fun. I've been setting myself targets for the day and if I reach them I reward myself. With a piece of home-made toblerone rocky road. And if I don't reach them I console myself. With a piece of home-made toblerone rocky road.
And I've managed to palm off some of the meal-making. Luke and Becky did an amazing job of the burritos last night and I got to know what it feels like to just rock up at the table to have the meal waiting there. I could get used to that.
And I play games with myself. Because that's the only way you can appliqué 60 of the same leotards without going a little bit crazy.
The game I play is beat the clock. All you need is a stopwatch (or a phone with a stopwatch function), a full bobbin of thread and no interruptions.
This is not my fastest 1k time. This is my current record for appliquéing all the white bits on this current leotard. Thirty seconds faster than the first time I timed it. And I was as excited about this PB as I am about any PB.
But timing is also a double-edged sword because it gives me something tangible to base my panic on. Multiply that number by 60. Add in the appliqué time for the purple pieces multiplied by 60. Then there's cutting time, pinning time and the occasional food/drink/toilet break and the final answer is ... cutting it too fine for my liking.
And somewhere in the middle of this work-fest I've got to squeeze in a quick trip down south to go for a little run.
But the thing is - I always get them done. So my motto for the next few weeks is going to be Less Panic. More Work.