Big rocks beware

See you next summer.

“Aayy Beeee Ceeee Deeee Eeeeee Effffff Geeeee,” sang Pinball’s little voice through the monitor, well after he had been put to bed. “Next time won’t yoo sing wif meeee.”
He never remembers to include the middle. Oddly, I had just been feeling that this whole summer seemed to go by without one. And with school starting the next day, I was at a loss at how it got by so quickly. Except for my typical distractions from paying attention to it as I should.
Summer started in the usual rush: class and social events, a brief camping trip, Buddy’s ninth birthday party, a great week with family at the shore.
Then the sudden scramble for school stuff, a few quick beach visits, and the last swim days before the pools close. Halloween gear started appearing in stores. And it’s back to the usual schedule, as if summer never happened.
Every year I complain about how quickly it goes, and every following year I neglect to plan it through. I just set myself up for it.
But I’m putting aside my laments over unfulfilled plans for this year, and looking ahead for a change. We have some new challenges. More sports and volunteering will occupy a majority of our evenings. I’m working on another blog and some other publishing projects. Pinball needs swim lessons and is now old enough to have playmates over more regularly. And we need to spend time taking care of ourselves.
I’m also determined to get the whole yard cleaned out, paint the rooms we haven’t changed since we moved here in 2008, and sell or donate at least a third of the stuff in every room of this cluttered house.
Not to mention homework and the extra reading I’d like my kids to do. All of it a recipe for disgruntlement and eventual burnout.
So, we’re trying a couple of time savers this week. Dolly and Buddy will pack their own school lunches whenever possible. With guidelines and supervision, they are more than capable. I will also attempt to plan out our evening meals (and advertise the menu daily on our chalkboard), regularly update shared calendars, and keep better daily organization. Not big changes to be sure, but every bit helps and gives back a little time for the bigger rocks. Helping the kids to learn to take care of themselves, reducing our stress, and learning useful hacks qualify as little victories. Little victories can lead to big ones.
There’s lots of advice out there about specific things to do. But like everything else, finding what system works and using it is probably the key.
I’m hopeful. These and other new habits could lead to better control of our time. They might even make this the last year that we missed the best part of summer.

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2 responses to “Big rocks beware

  1. Every season change takes me by surprise as well. I think it’s great the kids are learning to take care of their daily needs which in turn takes care of the family. Good lesson!

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