Managing the circus (plus the TBT scorecard)

Last week was not “typical” for a few reasons. My husband left for Europe on Saturday the 14th and returned on the 20th, so I was the lone parental person around. There were also a ridiculous number of home projects going on, such as the security system getting installed, two plumber visits (different things), the electrician, the last shutters getting installed, etc.

But life is never typical, and there were some good things too. I went to the 15-year-old’s high school choir concert. He looked very handsome in his tux! And the kids sounded good. He and I went to Princeton Reunions over the weekend (he stayed with my parents for the party part and then came with me for the “P-rade” — which he really wanted to go see). And we found out he got into the summer precollege program he was applying to. Summer planning for him has been a source of some stress as another thing had fallen through, but I think this will be a good choice, if going away for several weeks will be a new adventure.

Also, the hammock I asked for as a Mother’s Day gift arrived, and was assembled, and I even got to sit in it for 10 minutes on Sunday (my 12-year-old somehow got to sit in it for a lot longer…but hey). I look forward to hopefully sitting in it some more this summer.

Now, on to the TBT Scorecard! (TBT = Tranquility by Tuesday, my next book, which will be out October 11).

Give yourself a bedtime. Mostly. I was in my bed around 11 p.m. (or within 15 minutes) 6 out of 7 nights. On Friday night Reunions meant I went to bed at 1 a.m. But at least I slept until 8 a.m. the next morning!

Plan on Fridays. Always. This week felt somewhat unproductive so I actually started the planning on Thursday. I wasn’t doing much else. On Friday I also figured out the activity schedule for the week. Since I normally do this Sunday night, this was a change and I think I am a fan, so we’ll add this to the Friday planning list (even if I can’t do certain things like sign up for individual karate classes until Sunday night).

Move by 3 p.m. Hit or miss. I went for pre-3 p.m. walks outside on M, W, Th, and Fr (I had a doctor appointment Tuesday and it threw everything off). I didn’t do anything on Sunday except chase people around. Saturday I did do a ton of walking prior to 3 p.m. due to Reunions (we parked a ways from campus…) so I suppose that counts.

Three times a week is a habit. I only ran twice, although these were more interesting runs than usual. I did a trail run and also ran with the 15-year-old once. Due to my husband’s absence, we only had two full family meals, though I did eat with all the kids a few times. I sang three times (solo practice, choir practice, and church service). I guess technically I played the piano three times, but that was all on Sunday and it was because I took three small chunks of time to play. It only added up to about 30 minutes total, so that’s not really in keeping with the spirit of this rule. However, I have been getting some new music. I had to exchange the 10-year-old’s trumpet (the valves in the rental got stuck right before her concert…) and while I was in the music store I bought sheet music so that is improving my piano game. In case anyone is curious, I can still play a mean Für Elise.

Create a back-up slot. Friday was mostly open as usual. In more productive news, I had some open time on Monday, and was able to fit in a call with a potential speaking client the day they asked, which is always nice to be able to do.

One big adventure, one little adventure. I’ll call my run along the river with my 15-year-old my “little adventure” for the week. I think we will try to do this more regularly over the summer. And Reunions was definitely the big adventure. I saw some people I hadn’t seen in quite a while! And it’s always fun to see the campus again.

Take one night for you. Choir practice fills this spot, though Thursday was the last practice for the season. We’ll see what I choose to fill its place over the summer…

Batch the little things. Unclear. This week felt like a ton of little things. I was trying to work in 20 minute chunks between home-related woes, so there wasn’t a whole lot of batching.

Effortful before effortless. Because my current assignment in the Shakespeare reading projects is Sonnets 80-154, I did use some bits of time to read these (rather than reading a number of them in a 20-minute chunk, as I would with the plays). But at night it was mostly back to the bad habits, I’m afraid. I didn’t have a book I was reading. Maybe my hammock can become my fun. It takes more effort to go outside than to just pop open my phone, but it would be a lot more pleasant…


2 thoughts on “Managing the circus (plus the TBT scorecard)

  1. A hammock! We’ve been debating an outdoor sofa but the one we want hasn’t come back into stock, but I think we’d get a lot of use out of a double hammock, even into the autumn with a cozy blanket. This weekend, my son and I left my husband to the painting (there is much swearing involved…particularly as he ran out of paint halfway through) and pitched a tent up in the woods (a little Aldi den kit) and read books for 3 hours. We finished the final half of fantastic mr fox and then a 200 page book (kids book, but still….). It was an absolute delight.

    Today was a teacher training day so we invited a friend to go with us to the zoo and it turns out parents of multiple kids are right! 2 kids is sometimes easier than 1, especially when they are close in age (nearly 5 and just turned 6). The zoo is really hilly and I suspect there would have been much more moaning if we just had my son.

    1. @Cb – the tent sounds nice! And yes, sometimes kids can distract each other. Or sometimes they amplify each others’ moaning. It’s hard to predict…

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