Friday miscellany: The sound of birds

I am trying to blog at least five times a week, but I didn't feel like it yesterday. There were many reasons, although the news was one. A little over five years ago, after Sandy Hook, I wrote this column for USA Today. It is depressing to think that it is a piece of content known in the business as "evergreen."

The kids had a half day of school yesterday, and I was supervising a playdate. I wound up spending big chunks of the day parked on the couch watching the Olympics. I was theoretically multi-tasking some work -- reading a manuscript of someone's book I'm blurbing.

Anyway, we are still in winter, but the weather has taken some interesting turns toward spring. Almost two months past the winter solstice, the light is different. We have had several warm days -- warm enough to melt ice, warm enough to run outside (see photo -- the trees are bare, but it's still an outdoor trail run). And the birds are singing. I know we will have a few more freezing days (snow is forecast for tomorrow) so I'm just hoping the freezes won't be too deep. Last year, we had warm days in February, which set my flowering trees to budding. Then a March deep freeze (15 degrees Fahrenheit for multiple days) and a blizzard thwarted all that growth, and the magnolias and plum trees never opened. Spring isn't quite the same without them, so I am hoping for a more natural progression of things.

My husband and I went out for Valentine's Day -- a little miracle of logistics to go out to a nice restaurant on a Wednesday night. We were more celebrating our 15th anniversary of meeting (February 15, 2003) and then the 14th anniversary of getting engaged (February 15, 2004). I have been trying to think back to the events surrounding the engagement. We had gone to Bermuda for a long weekend. I didn't know he was going to propose. In retrospect the signs were more obvious, but it hadn't occurred to me that this was the purpose of this trip, beyond celebrating our first anniversary. Then he seemed oddly intent on going to a certain beach at a certain time. We were sitting there, and then he launched into a series of sentences that were more carefully thought through than usual and I realized oh. Fourteen years later, here we are.

More on the 14th: I talk about how life doesn't have to fit into 24 hours. We don't live our lives in 24 hours, and so you don't have to fit everything into one day. But sometimes life (and careful scheduling) conspire to create days where you do fit a lot in from different spheres. On Wednesday I woke up early enough -- on my own! -- that I got through some work in the early morning. Then I made my kids their Valentine's Day breakfast (it featured dessert). I cranked out various things I had to, getting through far more in the 9-10 a.m. hour than I thought I would. I then recorded the podcast with Sarah from about 10 - noon. Having written the things I was going to write  in the afternoon that morning, I could then go for a lovely run outside. I ran for an hour, came home, did some more work (and a tiny bit of reading). Then it was off to the elementary school to help run the Valentine's Day party for my second grader's class. That took us close to dismissal time, so he and I waited outside for the others to be done. The weather was gorgeous. I stood in the sunshine, feeling the heat on my face. And I chatted with a number of other parents. At home, mixed in with a bit more work, I spent some time reading on the porch, and when the 3-year-old returned home, he was incredibly sleepy, so he took a 15-minute nap on my chest. Very sweet. Then we were off for a 3-course date night dinner that night.

Not that all is paradise around here. The next morning, my husband was hustling me to get into the shower, which I then realized was because he planned to leave the house at 7:15. We have childcare at 8, and when I need him to cover the time before that, I always ask. He does not, which I find grating, not because of the 45 minutes, but because the implication is that our childcare set-up has nothing to do with him. Given that we have been having the same fight for, oh, the past decade, everyone can get to their battle lines pretty quickly.

Sarah and I are recording another podcast episode today, and some more next week as well. We are trying to build up a good supply before she's back at work after maternity leave. If you haven't listened to the podcast yet, please do! I study the stats, and I find it fascinating to see which episodes do best. The Plannerpalooza episode is one of our most listened to, even more than our celebrity guest ones. I definitely think Sarah should write her book on planning.

(I am still in the throes of planning fatigue, as discussed on the blog next week. But that is a different matter.)

A few notes. If you read this blog, but somehow feel you aren't getting enough content, would you consider signing up for my weekly newsletter? Every Saturday morning, I send out a short essay on something time-management related. You can sign up to be on that list (and any of my other lists, like the monthly newsletter one) here at this link. If you are already on the monthly list, you can just fill out the top again and click on the "A Week's Worth-- weekly email" box.

Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done will be out in 3 months! (Amazon; I am getting very excited about it. I loved writing the book and hopefully you'll love reading it too.


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One Response to Friday miscellany: The sound of birds

  1. Yesterday was a hard day, and today is hard too, knowing that nothing will be done to change things and prevent more mass shootings. It was bad enough realizing that it’s been nearly 20 years since the massacre at Columbine, but that these shootings have only become more frequent and “normal”.

    I’m really not ok with how our country has decided it’s more important not to address the accessibility of weapons than it is to keep our kids alive.

    I also really hope people will stop erroneously conflating mental illness with the choice to kill our kids.

    I’m glad husband and I got out for a lunch together this week so it wasn’t all gloom but there’s still a lot of gloom. Here’s hoping the weekend will be better.

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