2023 Time Tracking Challenge: Day 7 – we made it!

If you stuck with the Time Tracking Challenge this far, congratulations! You’ve almost made it. Just get yourself to 5 a.m. tomorrow — perhaps with a nice, restful sleep — and you’re there. Hopefully you’ve got some interesting data and observations to work with. If the experience has shown you anything, I’d love to hear about it!

After posting last night, I did another 30 minutes on my puzzle (10-10:30 p.m.). I went up to see if kids were moving toward bed (the big ones; it’s a weekend). I read in bed for a bit and then went to sleep at 11:20 p.m. I woke up at 6 a.m. and thought I might be up for the day, but I managed to go back to sleep until my alarm went off at 7:30 a.m.

I showered and thought the house sounded delightfully quiet. I made my coffee, settled in to read a little Jane…and heard the 3-year-old screaming for me. Sigh. The next 40 minutes featured getting him and the 8-year-old (!) breakfast. I finished doing my hair and make-up, and then the 8-year-old and my husband took off for climbing class, and I took the 3-year-old to church (the big kids stayed home. Sometimes I come back to get them in between rehearsal and church, and just make it in time for the service, but since the 3-year-old came with me I couldn’t leave him at the church nursery without me there). He zipped into the nursery and then off to the 9 a.m. art class with nary a look at me. I went to the choir loft and rehearsed with my choir for 30 minutes. After, my choir director mentioned that one of the church members’ whose art was being showcased in the church gallery had passed away on Friday night, apparently after a long time of various illnesses. It was interesting to hear about how she had managed life, and so I went to go study her collages and her full-canvas marker pieces — just bubbles of energy (which was in the name of one of the works). It was fascinating and poignant at the same time.

We sang in the service, and then I collected the 3-year-old from his Sunday School class. They had learned about Anna and Simeon and waiting, and when he was asked what he found it hard to wait for, he said “for my hair to grow.”

We came home (11:20 a.m.) and I did a little more Jane reading while my husband showed the 3-year-old Darth Vader in the first scenes of Star Wars (I guess he’d asked). Then we cooked a brunch of sorts and had family lunch. So we hit three family meals for the week! Pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Then we lit a candle and sang happy birthday to the 8-year-old since we realized we had forgotten the night before (how was this possible? He doesn’t like cake, so we didn’t have a cake, and we were going to have cookies, but everyone slipped off, including him and…)

Starting around 12:45 p.m., I played with the 8-year-old and the 3-year-old outside for a while. The 8-year-old got some rocket launchers for his birthday. My husband took the 15-year-old to Starbucks (yes) to meet a friend there, and then he went to the gym (it was his turn). Around 1:30, the two little guys and I came back inside and I read the 3-year-old a story, he had some milk, and he fell asleep on my lap.

I decided not to try to transfer him to the crib, so there I sat. I re-read This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch, since we’re reading that for the BOBW Patreon book club. He started stirring around 2:45 p.m., and my husband got home but needed to shower before our date night, so I called the 11-year-old in to watch the toddler while I went to go get the 15-year-old, but then our weekend babysitter was already in the driveway, so it was a short lived babysitting gig.

(I realize I haven’t mentioned the 13-year-old much in this day. I think he was on the computer playing games 90% of the time…)

I got home at 3:10 p.m. and my husband drove us downtown to the art museum, where we had tickets for the Matisse in the 1930s exhibit. So, apparently, did everyone else in the city of Philadelphia, because we waited in a 30-minute line to get in the exhibit! I read more Benedict Cumberbatch…(trying to do effortful before effortless!). We were finally in the gallery around 4:15, and looked at Matisse’s work until 4:50 or so. Many “odalisques.” Matisse was asked why he liked to paint those and he gave the obvious answer that he liked painting female nudes. Yes, one imagines.

We got back in the car and went to Talula’s Garden for dinner (5:15 reservation). We may have eaten more vegetables there than we had all week. We had a side of Brussels sprouts and my salmon had kale and beets. Maybe that makes up for everything else… We were home by 7 p.m., at which point I let the 3-year-old watch something on YouTube Kids while I did my puzzle for an hour. I’m almost done!

Then I took him and the 8-year-old up around 8:10 p.m. and gave them a bath. I mostly scrolled while they entertained each other for 40 minutes or so with the occasional need for intervention. I guess I’d had enough reading on the Kindle for the day. Now my husband is reading to the 3-year-old and hopefully putting him to bed and I am posting this. I didn’t read my full 10 pages of Jane, so I probably should get back to that…

5 thoughts on “2023 Time Tracking Challenge: Day 7 – we made it!

  1. Loved reading all of these detailed posts this week! I stuck with the challenge and am excited to dig into my data. I don’t feel like I usually “waste” or loose time because I pay pretty close attention to the clock on a daily basis, but I’m excited to look at the week as a whole and see what my totals are in broad categories. I already know the amount of time I spent with my husband was abysmal. I also only spent 30 minutes exercising the whole week. It was a bad night for kids’ sleep for some reason, and I was recovering from being on call and working last weekend, so I was in bed pretty early a few nights. But I know that we did a pretty good job w family dinner, I made progress on some big work goals, and got a couple of kids’ appointments out of the way. We also spent time with adult friends (though my 4 year old tagged along) and saw my mom and step-dad. My biggest personal goal this year is to get back into the habit of exercising, so I’m hoping I can come up with a plan as I sit down to review my hours!

  2. I suspect people say this frequently, but my week felt atypical. I spent an unexpected amount of time making a decision with doctors about a medical procedure; I had family visiting from out of town and spent several large time chunks entertaining/feeding them.
    I felt like my working time was more fractured than usual, but since I work part-time from home, perhaps this is always the case and I simply don’t notice. It was shocking to me how it all adds up. I felt like I had barely worked, but my time log indicates I put in exactly 26 hours.
    I also slept 54.25 hours, including one glorious 1.5 hour nap. My son was sick the entirety of December and every night for a month involved night waking with him, but my time log shows that last week I slept straight through every night. I spent 5.75 hours exercising which is well below my average, but I recently stopped my 365 outside walking streak and am taking a well-deserved break. Also, it still amounts to nearly an hour a day, so it’s not nothing.
    I fit in 9.25 hours of reading (or reading adjacent activities – ordering books from the library + reading books to/with my kids).
    I didn’t tease out my time spent with the kids but there was plenty of that, too. I captured morning snuggles in bed with my husband, baking cookies solo on Sunday afternoon, and making brownies with my daughter for a youth activity (both delicious); I did laundry and scrubbed toilets, and made many cups of tea. I watched three episodes of the new Bernie Madoff documentary, two episodes of Seinfeld, and completed a book (Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad). The time log reflects the kid’s snow day – though it doesn’t capture how I felt like I was going to go crazy by 10 am, before turning on screens for them and locking the office door, putting in headphones, and working for several hours.
    My main takeaway? The week contained a lot of fun and mundane activities. So maybe it wasn’t atypical after all?!

  3. I still need to total up my time which I will do when I am back at my work laptop tomorrow (we had today off!). Overall I am happy with how I spent my time. I spent a lot of time socializing! I feel like I crammed a month’s worth of social plans into a week, and that’s even when freezing rain canceled one happy hour! But it’s nice to have a rich social life again. Last year at this time, the toddler was 13m and was still nursing so I couldn’t miss bedtime! I do not miss that!!

  4. “(I realize I haven’t mentioned the 13-year-old much in this day. I think he was on the computer playing games 90% of the time…)”

    I love this. I only have two kids, but I work a lot, and I put myself under a lot of pressure do be “doing” stuff with them (especially educational stuff) when I am around. It of often ends up backfiring, with me freaking out at somebody because they would rather play with legos (or a screen device) than listen to the story or participate in the creative activity I am trying to force on them.

    It is nice to have a reminder that a day on the computer isn’t going to kill anybody, and even if it might not be our idea of the best way to spend the day, if it allow for family harmony and goodwill then it might be worth it.

    Thank you!

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