A week ago I posted that eventually I would be on the other side of the next 168 hours, looking back over the past week. And here I am. Time marches on.
That said, it was a full week, and generally a good one. There were a few treats: I did a virtual toast for my book launch (Tranquility by Tuesday, for any new readers here), got lobster from the Cousins Maine Lobster truck on Tuesday, and then we took a weekend leaf-peeping trip.
The latter was a partial repeat of the trip we took last fall to my little brother’s wedding. He and his wife live in upstate New York, and the leaves there are at their absolute peak. Moving seven people anywhere is challenging, and it was a lot of driving (3-4 hours each way) for only being there a little less than 24 hours (Saturday at 6 to Sunday at 4, more or less).
But it was so beautiful — Sunday in particular. We got up early and went to Minnewaska state park. We saw a waterfall, and hiked up to Lake Minnewaska to do the loop. The bright red, orange, and yellow leaves sparkled against the clear water, the gray rocks, and the deep green conifers. The kids whined a reasonable amount, but they did make it through 5 miles (and my husband was a trooper carrying the 2-year-old much of the way). Then, after the hike, we went apple picking at a lovely little farm with a view of the fall-colorful cliffs. They actively encouraged you to try the apples, unlike most other pick-your-own places I’ve visited, and so the kids ate as we picked. We ended with apple cider donuts. So I was feeling like I got my official dose of fall — and now the leaves will start changing in earnest here soon too.
Here’s how I did on the Tranquility by Tuesday rules this week:
Rule #1: Give yourself a bedtime. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I observed my 11 p.m. bedtime, and then the week kind of fell apart. Some of it was for good reasons. Some not. Now I’m writing a draft of this on Sunday night at 11 p.m., so it looks like tonight isn’t happening either…
Rule #2: Plan on Fridays. I did plan my week, though some stuff is now in flux so it’s unclear how much of the plan will stick. But no doubt some will, and the point of a plan is that you figure out what’s critical, so you do that even if other stuff goes.
Rule #3: Move by 3 p.m. Looking at my time log, it seems I did move by 3 p.m. all seven days this week, though on Saturday morning the “moving” involved walking down to the end of the driveway three times to bring up the garbage cans that were still there (it’s a long driveway, so this definitely took ten minutes). The 5-mile hike on Sunday morning was the most spectacular way I moved by 3 p.m. for sure.
Rule #4: Three times a week is a habit. I played the piano four times. As I’m doing this, I’m thinking that I need to start working on some new music. Not that I’ve mastered all the pieces I’m playing but I may be getting a tiny bit bored of them.
I ran exactly three times — only 30 minutes or so each time, but I did do it.
And we ate family dinner together six nights, and breakfast on Sunday morning at my brother’s house! Not sure why it was such a banner week for family meals but I guess neither my husband nor I was traveling and we didn’t have evening things that precluded it. The only night we didn’t really eat together was Sunday and that was because we were driving back from upstate NY and didn’t really eat a meal at a table.
One other thing that appears to be happening three times a week…Starbucks trips. My 15-year-old is deeply into Starbucks these days and so it is now, officially, a habit. We found a Starbucks just a few minutes off I-80 in Stroudsburg on the drive home from NY and it was fun to see a new little downtown.
Rule #5: Create a back-up slot. I did not pack the week completely full, because I wanted to be available for book promotion opportunities that came up. Some did, which was nice, but the open space came in more handy for things like the urgent care trip on Wednesday.
Rule #6: One big adventure, one little adventure. The trip to Walkill, NY was definitely the big adventure. I’m loving looking through the photos of beautiful leaves, and the apple picking added another element of seasonal fun. As my official “little adventure,” I’ll choose driving downtown on Monday to be a guest on WHYY’s Radio Times. It’s been a while since I’ve done much in-person media, and the experience of any live taping is always memorable.
Rule #7: Take one night for you. I went to choir on Thursday night as usual. I am reminded of the importance of choosing a “one night for you” activity that involves a commitment. It was a busy week, and it would have been easier not to go but I felt better afterwards.
Rule #8: Batch the little things. Could have been better. One major fail — I spent too much time half-packing for our weekend trip. Basically this consumed the whole morning on Saturday, because I didn’t bring the 2-year-old to swim class (due to the deep cut + dermabond on his chin). As my husband was covering the other sports, I was half watching the 2-year-old and then half-packing and it filled all the hours available before we left. If I’d had something else during the morning, everything still would have gotten packed…and I would have done something other than packing.
I also wanted to batch order everyone’s Halloween costumes, and so I had everyone choose them in the car on the way home on Sunday but then nothing was actually available and people kept changing their minds so this was a total fail too.
Rule #9: Effortful before effortless. I spent a lot of time on social media this week, though more than usual was work-related (amplifying various posts people did about the book). My library hold for Crying in H Mart came up, so I’m working my way through that. I finished Merry Wives of Windsor, and started Henry IV part 2.
I did find my fall-themed 1000-piece puzzles that I put away last fall when we were showing the house. It was going to be a short break from puzzles…and then I never started back up in the new house. But I have a puzzle mat, and a first choice to do so…maybe this week will be the week I start. We shall see.
How was your week? If you’ve been reading Tranquility by Tuesday, let me know how you did on the rules!