Vacation decision-making, plus the TBT scorecard

Folks who listen to the Best of Both Worlds podcast know that the question of what my family would do for our summer vacation has been a source of mild fretting. I planned the whole summer camp schedule — yes, there is a spreadsheet — so my husband was in charge of planning our June vacation. Long-time listeners/readers also know that one of us (guess who!) is perhaps more inclined to planning and logistics in general. Which means that as of early May, nothing had been planned.

But I am happy to report that, despite what you might hear in an upcoming podcast episode, this changed this weekend. My husband huddled down with his laptop on Saturday afternoon during my time with the toddler (we built and knocked down approximately 187 block towers). In a stroke of luck, something opened up at a place where we’d tried to book in the past, but it had always been sold out. Perhaps some other family who makes plans far in advance canceled? That would be ironic. But in any case, we scored a last minute reservation in a place that can fit us for what I consider a reasonable price. Plus, he used some of his millions* of United miles to get our plane tickets.

During the time my husband had the toddler I mostly worked on unpacking/decluttering the 7-year-old’s room (while half supervising a double playdate for the 12- and 10-year-olds but pre-teens don’t really need or want much supervision). I’m down to two plastic bins that need to be sorted, and his dresser contains clothes that fit him, and only him, so this is an improvement. Once I consider his room mostly done, I’ll move on to my daughter’s room and help her get rid of some stuff. Then the 14-year-old.

(Who is almost 15!! Oh my goodness.)

Now on to the TBT Scorecard. Some folks have asked and yes, there should be a printable type scorecard available when the Tranquility by Tuesday book comes out. I’ve found it’s easy to rate myself on the TBT rules because I track my time. I can just print out my time log and see where the time went. Yet another reason to track time if you don’t already.

Bedtime: Pretty much a 100%. I was in my bed by 11 p.m. every night this week, though I didn’t turn off the lights until 11:15 on Friday and Saturday nights. Since I didn’t need to wake up until 7:30 both of the next mornings, I allowed for an extra 15 minutes of scrolling (yep). Unfortunately, I did spend the week working off a sleep debt from Tuesday night when I was up from a little after midnight until 2 a.m. with the toddler. So no bounding out of bed at 6:30 a.m. on the weekends.

I planned on Fridays as always. I did some physical activity (walk or run) before 3 p.m. all seven days.

For my “three times a week is a habit” rule, I’ve been focusing on a few activities. I want to run at least three times, play the piano at least three times, sing three times, and have three family meals. This week went pretty well on those fronts. I ran four times (M, W, F, Sun). I practiced piano for at least 15-20 minutes on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — an enterprise aided by ordering a new book of Bach inventions (I can’t find my old one; see unpacking/decluttering above). We ate dinner together as a family five out of the seven nights. That’s going to be a high-water mark for the next few weeks. I sang twice — choir practice on Thursday and then Sunday morning. My goal this week is to build in another singing practice session.

I always leave Friday pretty open, so that was my back-up slot (Rule #5). While I didn’t have any huge adventures this week, I did do a few medium sized ones. On Thursday I went to Chanticleer, a “pleasure garden” designed by Thomas Sears that’s about 20 minutes from my house. It was absolutely beautiful in full May bloom. I also did “train with Mom” for karate class for two children on Saturday morning. The children learned that Mom has the ability to punch and kick bags quite hard. I also worked out at the YMCA weight room for the first time since the pandemic. All of those things were memorable and out of the ordinary.

(Mom has been realizing that her core strength took a hit with baby #5 and the subsequent weakness is resulting in lower back pain and IT band issues. This is a definite goal to build back up.)

Choir practice on Thursday ensures I “take one night for you” (Rule 7). I “batched the little things” on Friday with my Friday punch list: paying bills, buying odds and ends, etc. The “effortful before effortless” quest is ongoing, though I realized that in the morning if I have time in between kid breakfasts/needs, I can do some of my Shakespeare reading for that project. This morning I read a few of his sonnets. I also read a magazine on Friday night while I had some down time instead of scrolling. I haven’t done any puzzles since moving into the new house, but maybe I’ll start. I did do a few post-dinner walks to clear my head and get in the headspace for bedtime.

Now this reminds me that I need to think through some adventures for this week. I don’t really have anything planned!

*Not kidding, though this number has been in a holding pattern the last two years. I am worried that is about to change…

Photo: Sunset walk in the woods

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