TBT Scorecard: Sometimes fun requires battling traffic (and related metaphors)

Another December week, another round of festivities. The good news is that I am marching steadily through my Holiday Fun List. This weekend my kids and I finished the Lego holiday village, I went to NYC with my husband (the 15-year-old had an all day Science Olympiad competition, so he didn’t wind up joining us), all seven of us went to breakfast with Santa, and I took my two teenage sons to see The Nutcracker. Let me just say that in an audience full of families with their little girls I felt very cool having two handsome young men as my companions!

I’m also enjoying comparing each week’s time log with the corresponding week in 2016 (when December 12th was last a Monday). That was another full and festive week, with a few noteworthy items. First, I enjoyed the bra-fitting party I won (in a raffle) at Rigby & Peller, however…that means that the last time I went bra shopping was now 6 years and one baby ago. Which means that I probably need to go again (unfortunately that boutique closed, so I’ll have to figure something else out.) That was also the week that my TED talk video went live (on Friday). I spent 30 memorialized-on-my-time-log minutes sharing it out with my lists. And that was also the Saturday that was memorialized in Off the Clock as my long December day featuring breakfast with Santa at Longwood, my then first grader’s wrestling meet, taking the train into NYC with him to meet the other kids and my husband, going to the same party we actually went to this past weekend too (so cool to still be celebrating with the same friends), going to my old choir’s concert, retrieving my car in Trenton and driving home in dense fog.

My point in Off the Clock was that it was a long, stressful day with many transitions, but that what I remembered afterward was the glorious poinsettias in the greenhouse, the referee hoisting my little wrestler’s arm up in victory, the choir singing ethereally of warmth, wonder, and birth. And similarly, what I will most remember of this weekend’s NYC visit is seeing a lot of lovely Picassos in the Met, and talking with old friends. It’s just that experiencing that required a lot of battling traffic to get into NYC, and taking an incredibly crowded subway up from our parking spot to the Met, and so forth.

I think we can extend the metaphor, that memory requires a lot of bother. That was my experience with taking the five children to breakfast with Santa this year. My daughter had found a breakfast-with-Santa event at Neiman Marcus in the mall, and the tickets were not cheap, but this was her number one request for holiday activities. So we went, and the kids fought and misbehaved and the 7-year-old ate literally half a piece of bacon BUT in the photo with Santa they all look really happy. So there’s that.

(After, we wandered through the store on our way out and the kids could not get over the existence of a $400 pair of children’s shoes, so at least they seem to have my frugal streak.)

Anyway, here’s how I did on the Tranquility by Tuesday rules this past week.

Rule #1: Give yourself a bedtime. Mostly. I tried on Friday night since I had to get up at 5:40 a.m. to take the 15-year-old to catch the bus to the competition. But I lay awake for a while. It was not a great night of sleep. I managed to get in bed by 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night, even though we arrived home at 11:10 p.m. That was some swift work!

Rule #2: Plan on Fridays. Yes – though not the kids’ activity schedule. I did that Sunday. I’m trying to move it back, but enough stuff shifts that it seems pointless. I’m also going to start planning out my workouts, now that I’m trying to go to the gym more often.

Rule #3: Move by 3 p.m. 7 for 7 this week, though one was a ridiculous short walk in the cold rain. I went to the YMCA twice to lift weights (I then usually run 2 mi on the treadmill too). I’m going to aim to do this more regularly during the winter, partly because I’m starting to feel resentful of running in cold weather, and also I think the strength-training will help with my occasional back pain. (As would not carrying the almost-3-year-old so much, but I’m not sure what I can do about that…)

Rule #4: Three times a week is a habit. I ran four times this week (2x at the gym, 2x outside). I played the piano three times. As for family meals, my husband was traveling the first half of the week, and the kids had activities, so our breakfast with Santa was the only time all seven of us were at the table together! This week starts to calm down so that should improve.

Rule #5: Create a back-up slot. I left Friday open as usual, and managed to make it through my punch list by noon. That’s why I was able to go to the gym that afternoon!

Rule #6: One big adventure, one little adventure. There were lots of adventures, as described above (Nutcracker, NYC, breakfast with Santa) but I’ll call out a little adventure…On Wednesday night I went to a local retirement community to help with the carol sing (the woman who organizes it is in my church choir and wanted some ringers to make sure that the carols went well!). I had never been in their main building before, so it was a little adventure to see this building I have run past so many times, and see how it’s all decorated for Christmas.

Rule #7: Take one night for you. I went to choir rehearsal on Thursday night, and sang lots of Christmas music there.

Rule #8: Batch the little things. I had a substantial “punch list” for Friday, which included making dentist appointments. But that is done!

Rule #9: Effortful before effortless. My phone seems to be working again, which is throwing off my calculation of whether I should replace it before some holiday travel. However, I spent less time than usual on it (I think) because the week was busy. As for downtime, I finished my second Christmas-themed 1000-piece puzzle, and started a third. This one has matte rather than glossy pieces so I am liking it a bit less but oh well. It will suffice. My kids and I finished the Lego holiday village. We worked on it in my office with the gas fireplace going, which felt festive. I finished The Tempest, and am now reading The Two Noble Kinsmen (not in the anthology, so I’m reading it online). I will also give myself points for mostly reading The Economist rather than scrolling during the kids’ ice skating lesson.

How did your week go?

2 thoughts on “TBT Scorecard: Sometimes fun requires battling traffic (and related metaphors)

  1. Hooray for boys who enjoy the Nutcracker. My 7 and 9 yo boys were shushing the group of girls behind us at the Nutcracker. That to me was a sign that an evening performance would be more appropriate for our family next year.

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