I will not book out my entire summer before summer begins

Sunset on Marco Island

The first day of summer has only just passed, and this year, I’ve made a promise to myself. In the Before Times, everything in my life was booked out weeks, if not months in advance. That left very little time for spontaneity, relaxation, or self-assessment.

Kristen Bell said in a recent speaking engagement with BlogHer, “The only thing you can’t purchase or get back is time.” As we weave our way toward the After Times, I vow to cherish the time that I am given and treat it like the precious piece of my world that it is. 

June 20 marked the first official day of summer, and in May, I made the decision that I would refuse to have every weekend of the entire season booked out before it began. That’s only 13 weekends. 26 full weekend days (plus Labor Day and the Fourth of July).

Between weddings and showers and birthdays and anniversaries and graduations, our weekends get eaten up quickly like Cheetos at a slumber party. But not this year. And for those of you who invite me to your parties and events and whatnot: I hope I can make it. I do. I love seeing you and celebrating with you. And if I can’t make it to your party, I hope we can go out for dinner or lunch or play games and actually catch up after this wild (yeah, wild. Let’s run with that, for now, but make sure we recognize that awful doesn’t even begin to describe it for the majority of people) year.

I love my friends and family. But I need to start setting boundaries for the sake of myself and Brian. So henceforth, unless it is something that requires a firm RSVP (like a wedding) or advanced planning (major travel), I am only opening my calendar up two weeks out. I even developed some language to use as I start engaging with friends about making plans.

“Would it be okay if we touch base in a couple of weeks to confirm?”

Okay, fine, I’ll probably add a few apologies and “hi I’m a giant weirdo,” but I feel really good about this decision and my language. And I’ll work on being less apologetic about it later. I suppose that comes with time. 

I have a lot of things I need to prioritize, and seeing a full calendar of social engagements and obligations will only stress me out about not having time to focus or take a break or just spend time with my extremely introverted husband.

Does this mean there might be times when I don’t have plans and my extroverted self really wants to do something? Yes. But that leaves room for spur-of-the-moment date nights, or summer evenings with my neighbors and a few bottles of wine. It leaves us open to possibilities of something new and different. Or sitting at home with a board game or movie just the two of us. And there’s no one I’d rather be just the two of us with than Brian. 

Have you changed the way you manage your time as you start to emerge from pandemic life? What are you doing to improve your stress levels and resume a new normal instead of going back to The Before Times? Tell me everything!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Weird Habits I Can’t Break

I’m a little crazy, ya know? I mean, it’s not like I’m Glenn Close crazy (anymore) or Scarecrow crazy (yet)…just my own personal brand of crazy. And I have these habits, right? And if you noticed them or had to understand/deal with them, you might think I’m just a little on the crazy side. Or if you’re Brian, you think I’m adorable. One of those. These are just a few of my little OCD tendencies/habits.

- Top Ten Tuesday -

  • I have to bag my own groceries. In my own way. Because it makes sense to me. And baggers/clerks be damned if they won’t let me do their job for them.
  • I have to sit facing the direction that the train is heading AND facing the center vestibule.

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  • Quite frankly, I prefer to sit in the exact seat that I’m sitting in above (the outer side of the front-facing seat in the four-seater) in the 3rd car from the back inbound and first car outbound. I’m all about efficiency.
  • I count stairs. When I walk up or down (but especially down) a flight of stairs, I need to count them. In sets of 8 or 16, preferably. Partially because I’m afraid I’ll fall down (which I have) & partially because I’m afraid I’ll miss the last step (which I have).
  • Once I’ve learned how to do something, it has to be done exactly that way forever. Unless I come up with a more efficient system. Or someone else teaches me a new way that’s more efficient or fun. Efficiency, y’all.
  • I dry myself off in the exact same pattern after a shower or bath, and a bathtub without one of those sliding glass doors makes it so much easier. First I dry my face, then arms (right first), hair, front, back…then I put my left leg on the side of the tub, dry that off. Step out with left leg, right leg on the tub and dry that off, then step out. And I’ve been following this pattern as long as I can remember.

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  • I have a thing with presentation and displays. I stacked my fancy game shelf (the less-fancy games are on shelves in the basement) like a fucking game store. As all game shelves should be stacked.
Game shelf

A thing of beauty…

I had to crowd source the rest because I’m writing this on the train. LUCKILY, Brian was pretty quick on the draw… these are the crazies according to him:

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  • Replying to every blog comment. He sees me glued to my phone, or saying from my computer, “I’ll be there in ONE minute…I just need to reply to this comment.” What he doesn’t see is that I’m sometimes days late or I miss a comment completely.
  • I put all the game pieces back in the same spot according to my system. I don’t think he  understands that this doesn’t make me crazy…it’s the only way the boxes close properly.
Lords of Waterdeep organized box

There are no game boxes that make me happier than the ones that have a place for everything so everything goes in it’s place

  • Collecting all the shells…okay…maybe I do go a smidge overboard. I pack an empty suitcase to bring shells home from Florida…and I have boxes and boxes of shells. Organized by type…
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Some of the shells from this year’s Floridadventure.

What crazy/weird habits do you have? What crazy habits would your partner/best friend say you have?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!