Day 5 of the January 2024 Time Tracking Challenge

In my mind, today was more of a work day than it turned out to be. Oh well. I suppose it’s inevitable ahead of a long weekend.

Thursdays are kind of our “busy” day for activities. After I posted yesterday I had dinner with the kids who were home (they made their own pizzas; I ate leftovers). A bit of excitement with this — my daughter bit into a Wawa pretzel I’d brought home and one of her teeth popped out (yes, a baby tooth, and yes, it was loose). This startled her immensely so there was a bit of a freak out but eventually all was soothed.

At 6:30 p.m. the 16-year-old and I went in one direction to drop the 8-year-old off at swim. I walked him in, made sure he got to the pool (it’s never 100 percent certain, given that he has to walk through the boys’ locker room and he can just sit and daydream or talk with kids coming from previous practices…), and went back to the car so the two of us (16-year-old and I) could go to choir practice. Meanwhile, B was driving in the other direction with the 4-year-old to pick up the 14-year-old from fencing practice. Then they’d turn around, head toward the pool, and get the 8-year-old at 7:30.

Choir was longer than usual because the chamber choir started rehearsing. We did regular choir rehearsal from 7-9, at which point B came to get my son, who decided that being in four ensembles was enough (3 at school plus church choir) and he didn’t need a fifth one. I tried to convince him otherwise, as I really enjoy singing with this small group but oh well. I’d like to think the 4-year-old was in bed at this point (and home with the middle schoolers) but who knows. He was asleep when I got home after chamber choir practice at 9:45! (B worked late as my husband has been out of town Tues-Fri. She is off today.)

I chatted with the big kids and got them in their rooms with lights out. Then I shut the house, read in bed, and was asleep at my bedtime (11 p.m.).

I woke up at 5:15 to go to the bathroom. I had some concern I wouldn’t fall back asleep  (past 5 a.m. I often don’t) but I did drift in and out until my alarm went off at 6:25. I got the 16-year-old up, showered, and then woke the middle schoolers before heading out the door at 6:55. The 16-year-old drove and we switched drivers at the high school (I listened to Bach during my driving — BWV 12 features a chorale that sounds shockingly similar to the Crucifixus from the B-minor mass…again, he was mining his own work…).

I got the middle schoolers out to the bus (though it was late) and then the little boys woke up. I managed to get a little bit of work done before finishing getting them ready. We got out the door at 8:45 a.m. I dropped the 8-year-old at the elementary school, then dropped the 4-year-old at preschool. This was not the world’s easiest drop off as he decided he didn’t want to wear his coat, so I just brought it along, and then while we were in the car, he decided he did want me to put on his coat *at home* and so he screamed for me to turn around and go back to the house…which didn’t happen of course, but led to a tantrum at school that involved gripping the car and only getting out with a lot of coaxing.

I then went to put gas in the car and then, once home, I decided the car really needed to be cleaned. So, the cleaning spray and vacuum cleaner came out. Meanwhile, G (house manager/PT nanny) had arrived and was working on various projects. We wound up taking out the Christmas tree together. I had a thought that we are 3 weeks past Christmas, and if we start putting up the decorations 4 weeks before Christmas, we are really only 45 weeks away from the next go-around of all this. Hmm.

I worked from 9:45-11:30 on various things (a couple calls, emails, etc.) then drove to get the middle schoolers (the big kids had a half day). While waiting in the car line I listened to the NPR/TED Radio hour interview I just did. You can listen here. This interview also includes Max the poodle’s NPR debut.

The three of us drove over to Iron Hill Brewery for a little half day lunch. We got home about 1:40 (G was here with the little boys). She took the 4-year-old out for some activities (she will have him through the evening) and I did a bit more work until 2:30. Then I put on my running clothes and ran from about 2:40-3:10 in the neighborhood. I quickly changed and then the 16-year-old drove us to Starbucks to pick up stuff for me and the four kids. Friday treat! We were back before 4, and now I’m writing this. I was going to be writing this during the 16-year-old’s voice lesson but that got moved to tomorrow. Various other evening activities are planned so I’ll post about those in tomorrow night’s edition. I think my work tally for today will wind up at 3 hours but oh well. One of my intentions for the year is to spend time with the big kids so lunch and Starbucks it is.

In the meantime, if you’ve made it this far in the time tracking challenge, congratulations! Just a few more days to go. Weekends can sometimes be challenging as we don’t have the same structure as workdays. Of course! But I still think they’re worth observing because this is real time and it can be a real part of a satisfying life. You don’t have to track weekends forever (though if you want to…). But I would give it a shot once!

5 thoughts on “Day 5 of the January 2024 Time Tracking Challenge

  1. That’s lovely to plan more intentional time with the big kids. T has a half day every Friday, and he was at aftercare last term, but we’ve dropped it this term to see if he can manage. I let him play at the park, we ran an errand, and then cycled home, and I did some work while he played. Not quite as independently as I might have wanted but it was alright. I had to show him the Red Sea on google maps so he could contextualise what he saw on Newsround – the daily kids news show – and reassure him war was not coming to Scotland and then he monopolised my computer to explore google maps satellite view. But by Friday, I’m mostly planning for the next week, clearing out the inbox, and just doing admin bits anyways.

    I’m so impressed with your ability to listen to yourself! I do a decent amount of tv and radio around elections in the UK and there’s funding to do a 2 day training in the BBC studios but I’ve never managed it. I’m afraid if I had to watch myself on screen and critique it, I’d never speak again? Whenever I inadvertently catch my recorded voice, I’m always surprised by how high my voice is, and how strongly my Californian accent comes through, even after 12 years in Scotland. I keep getting invited back to do things so i guess I’m ok at it?

    1. @Coree I also hate listening to myself. I have gotten better at making myself do it. Yesterday a friend who is an Episcopal priest told me she listens to her surmons frequently. I am in awe of her.

    2. @Coree – I’m sure you are excellent at it! You should do the BBC training – I mean, if the money is there…if people keep inviting you back you are already good at it. So you should get to see/hear yourself and see how awesome you are and get exposure to people who will hopefully give you an even bigger platform!

  2. I was inspired by your recent comments on the podcast to spend the money on taking my “big kids” out for lunch/coffee more often. My schedule is irregular so sometimes I am home in the daytime. Took my oldest out for a lunch this week and it was lovely to have alone time with my almost-adult child.

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