Friday miscellany: May life updates

My oldest child turns 14 this weekend. Not coincidentally, that means I am celebrating 14 years of parenthood! I know there is the saying that the “days are long but the years are short.” On the other hand, 14 years does feel like a long time ago. For instance, I did not yet have a smart phone as we now think of them (I had a Blackberry at the time). I had not yet embarked on my career as a “time management expert.” All that came afterwards.

In any case, there are upsides and downsides to all stages, but I do generally enjoy having the kids get older, and seeing who they are becoming as people. Yesterday I took my 9-year-old daughter to the salon as an inducement to actually get her hair cut — and she really enjoyed the pampering (vs. the barbershop where she’d sometimes go with the boys…) so now that’s something fun we can do together. She looked so pretty with a blowout!

I planned a relatively light week since I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine a few days ago. I felt tired and worn down in the evening, but not too different from how I am always tired and worn down in the evening. So am I one of the lucky ones who had no side effects, or is being the parent of five kids from toddler to teenager just always an experience of low-grade symptoms?? (Just kidding, I assume the former, for which I am grateful — and hoping that the 14-year-old experiences likewise soon!)

(As a side note, I am really intrigued from an incentives perspective on whether Ohio’s Vax-a-Million vaccine lottery will induce more people to get their shots vs. smaller guaranteed incentives like gift cards…I hope someone is studying this…)

I’m glad it was a light week because there is always just…stuff that comes up. For instance, the clinic called me the day before my shot and left a somewhat cryptic voice mail saying they were no longer offering vaccines then. So of course I’m frantically trying to figure out what is going on, if I’m going to have to find a new place to get an appointment, or cram it into a busier week, if I could get an appointment (the walk-in places around here seem to be offering Moderna, and there was a rush to get Pfizer appointments after the 12-15 year old approval). I get stuck in a phone tree maze trying to get ahold of someone. Finally they call back and say their staff is just starting an hour later that day and I can come in whenever. Ah, the time spent… Likewise, my husband and I found out that we needed to get a form we were signing notarized. So we coordinated both of us showing up at a UPS store near our kids’ karate school during their notary hours, which happily overlapped with a karate class. One camp wouldn’t accept our pediatrician’s usual health form and needed their own filled out and signed, so there was that….

In other words, here’s to leaving open space. This is one of the Tranquility by Tuesday rules (create a back-up slot!). My research guru sent the results back from the final survey this week and I’m pleased to say that my rules appear to be effective. I was hopeful they would be (my pilot survey last fall showed increases in time satisfaction to a high degree of statistical significance) but you never know for sure with these things. So, phew. I have created my official writing schedule for the summer and I will be chugging along. Thanks again to everyone who participated!

In the meantime, my graduation giveaway closes in (a week – it’s the 21st – I mistakenly wrote “an hour” on here when I posted this), so if you’re interested, please go leave a comment on that post (or other at Instagram/LinkedIn, etc.). Have a great weekend!

6 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: May life updates

  1. “I have created my official writing schedule for the summer”
    Would love it if you elaborated on this!

    1. @Kenia – good idea! I can write a post about this. Basically, from past work where I have the bulk of the research done, I know I can write a chapter a week (often a 5-7k word chapter). So I set myself a schedule to write an intro and the 9 chapters of TBT this summer, giving each week a chapter. I did not assign chapters to the weeks where I am on vacation or when we have limited childcare. With this schedule I should finish by the end of August and then I can spend all of September revising (the manuscript is due October 1st.)

      As for each week’s schedule, my general goal is to write on Monday and Tuesday, and then edit on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is swing day to accommodate any glitches in the plan that came up earlier in the week.

      1. Great idea, indeed!

        I just finished (re) reading Daily Rituals by Mason Currey’s. I find it so relaxing and satisfying to read about other people’s schedules.

        I’d love to read a “Day In the Life” post!

      2. Laura, I would LOVE if you wrote a post about this. Thank you for elaborating some more in your comment!
        You gave an overall schedule, a weekly schedule, ….and so of course I’m now wondering how many hours are spent each day (on both writing and editing days)!
        I hope to hear more!

  2. Hi Laura. Just a suggestion. Air quoting “time management expert”, even in a blog post, can make an unfamiliar reader take your expertise less seriously. According to Wikipedia, “Air quotes are often used to express satire, sarcasm, irony or euphemism, among others.” I am happy to see that ted.com doesn’t air quote this term when describing you as a speaker. With plenty of research and multiple books on the subject, you ARE a time management expert – own it!

    1. @Shweta- thanks for the reminder! I’m pretty sure I own it – in the blog post I was referring more to that early period when I decided to aim for a new personal brand. At some point one has to decide to adopt a new identity, and so the identity itself is this thing – hence the quotes. But I can see how it might be taken less seriously!

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