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!

Summer of Food, Drugs, and Travel: How I Spent My Summer “Vacation” in 500 Words or Less

The summer is coming to an end, the kids are going back to school, and all the fun things are happening that happen in the fall. (I see you, Pumpkin Spice everything, and I’ll take two.) I thought I’d write you a quick little ditty in honor of my summer. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to put music or my voice to it. 

I kicked off summer, threw a birthday party, and celebrated my “29th.” Began the summer of pain and “fame.” My back was screaming, “Welcome to ’29 again,’ bitch.” Couldn’t get out of bed, sit comfortably or easily wipe my own ass. Worked from home, indulged in an overabundance of over-the-counter pain killers, and boarded a plane.

Landed in Baltimore, visited a breakfast nook, crammed 27 (or 5) bloggers into a small rental car, and traipsed to the quaint college campus we would call home for two days. People squee’d, hugged me, commanded me to yoga. Was loud, obnoxious, and confident. People still kinda liked me. Won a bunch of awesome shit, which sent me on a cool trajectory for the summer. Returned home to Brian, who wanted to bottle the energized Chrissy that came home, exhaustedly babbling about the amazing adventures of BlogU.

Lost my car in a flood. Cried. Roof leaked. Cried some more.

Made tasty snacks, drove to central Illinois with my parents, recorded them talking, and hung out with my family.

Raspberry picking in Michigan

Threw another party, drove to Michigan for an impromptu romantic getaway, dined on crazy delicious food-potato chip nachos, ribs, and bbq pork mac and cheese, returned to our fancy room for wine and Jacuzzi. Wandered the southwest corner of Michigan, antiqued, went to the beach, picked cherries and raspberries, drank wine, bought crappy cider, wore a bikini.

A photo posted by Quirky Chrissy (@quirkychrissy) on

Traipsed to Indiana, hopped on a boat, headed to the beach and got dizzy. Jumped in the lake, swam to solid ground, and watched everyone hang on the boat. Got back on the boat, drank some beer, and watched fireworks. Fourth of July happened, Ate some food and took third place in the three-legged race. Played some games, went to bed.

Red moon at the dock

Published on Huffington Post, went semi-viral, received a call from a radio producer. Listened to everyone’s first period stories.

Woke up with more back pain, screaming in agony. Went to doctor. Got on insane drugs. Jumped on another plane, landed in New York, hung out with blogger friends. More yoga demands, more squees, more friends, more booze, more food. All appetizers. Weird feminism. More winnings. Talked to Jenny McCarthy, met Hickory Farms, went to a rooftop bar, saw Aladdin, stayed too long, felt lonely, missed Brian.

Came home, snuggled Brian, acquired more drugs, experienced serious anxiety, met up with friends, had my palms read, was told I was lucky, got drunk, changed my website, felt lonely.

Bought a new car. Trekked to Indianapolis. Played games. Bought games. Ate food. Won more prizes. Came home, basement flooded, fixed air conditioner.

Eating in Michigan

Started physical therapy. Tried to yoga. Asked for a raise. Worried about job. Began an episode of vertigo (still going), took more drugs. Received a KitchenAid Mixer. Joined a weight loss competition.

As it turns out, my themes this summer were pain, drugs, travel, food and booze. I’m sure more happened, but I was lost in a haze of everything else. With the summer winding down, we don’t want anything else to go wrong, so we’ve started gearing up for TV season, and consequently just started Season 2 of 30 Rock on Netflix, where Liz Lemon also returned from her summer vacation. And can I just say how much I’m obsessing over 30 Rock right now? Do you KNOW how many things Liz Lemon and I have in common? Pretty much, like…everything. Also, the topical nature of 30 Rock from 2006 is surprisingly working really well in 2015. 

I'm obsessed with 30 Rock right now

135 episodes of THIS on Netflix right now. If I’m not writing, blame Liz Lemon.

How was your summer “vacation” did you get away? Stay at home? Do anything spectacular? Tell me everything!

Anyways, as usual, I wasn’t paid to write this post, but I was given a free Netflix subscription and a device on which to watch 30 Rock and other shows. 

Netflix Stream Team

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!