Getting Things Done

I thought, just now, how I want to take a day off and read, “Getting Things Done” and organize my office and be like this super duper-organized getting things done person.  Then, I imagined myself going through files and planning and executing projects and I thought, “Maybe I don’t really want to get things done.  Maybe I want to sleep or go to Palm Springs and have sex with my husband on my parents leather couch and have nothing I have to do for ten days except buy a toenail clipper.”  And I felt bad about this cause I want to be one of those super duper powerhouse women who shine and go and do and cure their kid and their house looks really good and they exercise.  But I guess I really don’t want to be a super-organized powerhouse woman cause then I’d have to be really organized and work hard and be centered and energetic and ambitious and single-minded and never give up.  And I get tired just thinking about going to breakfast with a woman like that and I just want to get the check quickly and go home and read an Agatha Christie novel and have some hot tea and a cookie.

I thought, what I should do is get really super duper religious instead of super duper organized and efficient, then I can just pray for stuff and really believe it will happen and I’ll have such faith that my stuff will work out that I don’t need to be good at anything to be happy.   I thought about going to Temple and I don’t really want to go to Temple because there are these cranky complaining judgmental Jewish people there.  Also, it doesn’t help me be connected to God to be lectured on how I don’t go to Temple enough.  So then I thought about this cool Temple that the Dali Lama created in Atlanta and goes to like every ten years.  But it’s kind of far away and I don’t like driving.  And the last time I looked on the Atlanta/Dali Lama Temple on-line calendar, there was a lecture scheduled about Generosity.  And I don’t really want to go to a lecture about how to be generous, I just want to get what I want now.  Basically, I just want to help Cal.  So, how do I do that in the fastest, easiest possible way?

So I’ve done the third eye thing and it seems to be working.  We have all these chakra energy points in our body.  One is sorta in between our eyes on our forehead — it’s intuition.  The Third Eye.  I’ve gone on google images and put this violet chakra image of the third eye on my screen saver.  So, now,when I don’t know what to do, I just very quickly and easily ask my third eye and make a decision.  So before I played with Cal in the playroom an hour ago, I was doing the dishes.  I visualized my purple third eye and said, “How can I help Cal now?”  My third eye said, “Believe you are a great Mom and you are doing a great job.  Believe whatever it takes to help you.”   So I started putting away the glasses in the cabinet and I’d think, “Wow, I’m such a good Mom and wife taking care of putting away the dishes.”  Then I played with Cal with the belief that I’m a great Mom and I was so much more fun than I was before.  Whenever, I wouldn’t know what to do, I’d ask my third eye and there would always be a good answer.  It just opened me up to being a lot sillier and more creative.  I ended up having fun with Cal tying a rubber band to the window which I attached to a stuffed animal monkey so it looked like the monkey was looking out the window.  The monkey thing started because Cal kept saying he wanted to pick up his brother from school.  So finally I pretended the monkey was his brother and picked the monkey up and somehow ended up tying him to the window where the monkey still hangs.



  1. Loved this honest blog, and can’t wait till you get to join Eric on the sofa in Palm Springs! Also Loved the hanging monkey!Comment by ellen sandor — March 29, 2011 @ 6:00 pm
  2. Well, I for one think that you are pretty super duper!!!Comment by Debbie — March 29, 2011 @ 6:59 pm
  3. I love the third eye concept! Am going to try it myself. No one can get it all done. But I love your positive approach to just figuring it all out. I’ll take that any day of the week!Comment by Julie Sarah — March 30, 2011 @ 1:39 am
  4. You will never be super duper.I love and respect you because you are not super duper. You are something so much more powerful.

    Super dupers are super duper but they are able to quantify their efforts, goals, activities in catchy 30 second sound bytes … “This morning I ran a 4 minute mile in 3 minutes and 45 seconds while texting bullet points to staff for this afternoon’s meeting and as I was showering I thought about what I need to buy on my way back from my ikebana flower arranging class in order to make tonight’s macro dinner ….. blah, blah, blah”

    No, what you do is not easy to quantify and is not fodder for snappy conversations which elicit verbal gratification of self from your luncheon companions — all accomplished in between the salad and entree.

    What you do that makes you extremely special and rare is more like cross country running — educated pacing, steady, consistent forward momentum without EVER STOPPING or changing course, without ever losing sight of the finish line .. always looking for new information, always in training for the miles yet to be run.

    Your ability to maintain this course is what makes you the best Mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, blogger, poet.

    Many people can run a short quick race but the ability to endure and stay focused cross-country — well, that is a special type of powerhouse!

    When your legs are burning, your feet are blistered, your desire to continue running and running and running gets replaced with anger, sadness, frustration, self-doubt … this is the point at which a true powerhouse digs deeper and searches for a way to keep running.

    Cross country is a lonely sport without many cheering fans. The most gratifying aspects of cross-county are private and can only be fully appreciated by those who have run the course. Once again, it takes a powerhouse of spirit, drive, focus and self.

    You do this. You are this powerhouse. You attached the monkey to the window.

    I fear would have flagged a cab miles back.

    P.S. Organized houses are a bit over-rated. I like ‘lived-in’.

    PSS Actually, I agree with Debbie, you are super duper — I just don’t like that word as much as powerhouse.

    Comment by Yoko Jablonski — April 1, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  5. Thank you for reminding me over and over that it is often how we perceive our lives that shapes them. This is so important!Comment by Melissa — April 3, 2011 @ 10:12 am
  6. Even if you WERE an expert in the style of “getting things done” it’s unlikely that Cal would progress any faster than he is/has. IMHO, you not being superorganized and driven is NOT the reason Cal is on the developmental trajectory he is on. I truly believe that it’s possible to hotwire the brains of kids on the spectrum through therapeutic interactions, but some kids’ brains seem more pliable and able to rewire than others.I think parenting is often a thankless task even with typical kids until/unless they get to an age and level of awareness that enables them to recognize and appreciate what their parent does for them. I love my kids more than I thought possible but the sacrifices, sleepless nights, hurting when they hurt emotionally and physically, and other challenges that come with parenthood are tough enough with a typical kid. Keeping up a very high level of energy and enthusiasm over many years is a challenge in any relationship, more so if you are doing most of the giving.

    People who are very busy and organized likely have different motivations for that level of energy and accomplishment. But I personally find it easier to do and accomplish when my goals and tasks are limited, concrete and therefore more manageable.

    It’s harder to keep moving forward as aggressively and tenaciously when your goal is further away and the path to reach the goal is meandering and more difficult to follow. And when you are unsure even if you follow the prescribed path whether you will ever reach the destination you seek. Then there’s the second guessing about whether you should reroute because you are worried you are going the wrong way if you stay on the current road, or that there’s a shortcut that will get you there faster if you could just find it.

    Parenting a child with extra needs is draining emotionally and physically. That is not to say it is without rewards, because there are many but often those rewards are less frequent and more subtle.

    I see this as an example of you piling guilt on yourself…if I were a different person, if I did more, etc. When I read this self-doubt and self-criticism it pains me. Your daily life has more stress and challenges than someone with only NT kids can fathom. Give yourself a break.

    Comment by Janet — April 6, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

  7. Penya, this was wonderful and beautifully-written. Thanks for the coming relief and reality check, says my sister, who is nearly 40 weeks pregannt. We are hanging out at a hotel, enjoying some sister time before she gives birth. more soon! love, Ruthie and YaelComment by Ruth Ebenstein — April 27, 2011 @ 3:17 pm
  8. It’s so surprising to me that you question your effectiveness as a mother. You are the most amazing Mom.Comment by cheryl taub — May 5, 2011 @ 5:32 pm
  9. I think you’re terrific! It isn’t easy to accept that we aren’t super duper; no one is super duper, not even June Cleaver who is my personal idol.
    I read the comments and you have good, supportive friends. That in itself speaks volumes about how terrific you are. I like your friend Yoko’s insights.
    I think of you when you don’t even know it and we only met once. You don’t know that thoughts of you have at times given me strength. Thanks. :)