We’re closing in on summer here. The weather forecast calls for 90 degree temperatures this weekend (though things will get cooler again after that). So I thought I’d post an update on the Spring Fun List.
Overall, I did fairly well, at least on the big items.
See the cherry blossoms. Yep, I took two trips to Washington DC, one of which was a solo journey on the absolute peak day. The row of pink cherry blossoms in my new yard was indeed gorgeous for a week or so. It’s so fun to see what comes up here while actually living here.
See the tulips at Holland Ridge Farms. Just as with the cherry blossoms, we went once as a family, and I went once on my own. I took many photos! (You can see many of them on Instagram @lvanderkam.)
Visit NYC. I took an overnight trip in April, and while I didn’t see many spring blossoms (it was kind of cold…) I enjoyed myself nonetheless between dinner with a friend and an in-person speech to an appreciative audience.
Listen to spring music. I listened to Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring over and over again in the car, before branching out to Rodeo and Billy the Kid. I now feel like I know this piece of music incredibly well, and it definitely made driving around more enjoyable. Maybe next spring I will also focus on one particular piece of music. Frankly, this doesn’t even need to be seasonal! Choosing one piece at a time is a great way to get to know something.
Go on a family bike ride. Nope. Hopefully summer! Organizing seven people and their bikes is tough.
Take photos of flowers and print some up. I took many many photos of flowers between the DC trip and Holland Ridge Farms and my own yard, but I have not printed any. Mostly that’s because we don’t even have our old art work hung up yet, so creating more means it will just be added to the pile. Eventually.
Read a spring-themed book. Not really.
Go outside after dinner. We have done this a fair amount because the new swing set is here and it is amazing! It was not cheap but I feel like it is already worth the money in terms of giving the kids a good place to go and play together outside. The 2-year-old was wary of the slides at first, but now he can climb the ladder and loves the “turvy slide.” (The spiral aka “curvy” slide.) It’s only a matter of time before he can handle the swings.
Turn my Instagram feed into a flower show. I definitely followed a lot of floral accounts but oddly I don’t seem to be seeing many of them in my feed. I do not understand the algorithm at all.
Anyway, it’s been a good spring. The summer fun list will come soon!
In the meantime… My Medium column this week looked How To Plan (Since Life Doesn’t Go As Planned). Blog readers already know my mantra to hold the near future tightly, hold the far future lightly. We can plan the next few weeks in full detail. We can create a workable (if resilient) plan for the next 6-12 months. Past that, though, it’s best to think in terms of “intentions” and “desires” rather than plans.
Friend of the blog Dorie Clark had her TED talk on “The real reason you feel so busy (and what to do about it)” posted on the main TED page this week. Please check it out!
And in other video news…
In advance of my book launch this October, I want to shoot a series of short videos about the Tranquility by Tuesday rules. Ideally these videos will feature someone talking about a problem in their life, me talking about how a TBT rule can help with that, and then a follow up showing what the rule has accomplished. The videos would only be a few minutes long but would be professionally produced.
I am looking for potential subjects who ideally live within an hour or two of Philadelphia (that’s where I live) who might be up for taking a few hours to do this. If this describes you, and one of the TBT rules has been helpful for you (or you’d be willing to try it out for the next few weeks with that as the goal!) please let me know (laura at lauravanderkam dot com) so we can chat through what this would entail. As a reminder the rules are:
1. Give yourself a bedtime — go to sleep at about the same time every night unless you have a good reason not to.
2. Plan on Fridays — think through your weeks, holistically, before you’re in them.
3. Move by 3 p.m. — do some form of physical activity for ten minutes in the first half of every day.
4. Three times a week is a habit — things don’t have to happen daily to become part of your identity, and “often” can be more doable than “always.”
5. Create a back-up slot — make a resilient schedule where your priorities still happen when lie doesn’t go as planned.
6. One big adventure, one little adventure — each week, do at least two things that will be worth remembering.
7. Take one night for you — commit to an activity you love that is separate from work and household responsibilities.
8. Batch the little things — keep most of your schedule clear from unimportant tasks.
9. Effortful before effortless — do active leisure activities before passive ones whenever time opens up.