Today’s post is sort of a mash up of ideas taken from the past few posts: sometimes I do that- compile all that I’ve been tossing about in my brain and sort of bake up an idea.

Let’s look at two themes: looking slowly and luxury.

Is it a luxury to look at things slowly? To take the time necessary to look at something?

Have we stopped paying attention because time is a luxury we often can’t afford?

Do we think our time is better spent doing other things?

My Husband is away on a ski trip. Yesterday I walked the dog, went to the gym, the farmers market and the Botanic Garden. I did some kitchen reorganizing (which I’m unsure about so I may be re organizing the reorg) I was done with this by about 3pm. I spent the rest of the night binging some fashion design show on Netflix (the one with Tan France- I don’t remember the name) and working on a jigsaw puzzle.

Have you ever done a puzzle?

They take time.

I worked on the puzzle for about five hours off and on (as I write I’m not even close to done)

While there were clearly other things I could have done, it was really nice to just work on this puzzle- study the colors and the shapes and the scenes- look at it, feel the pieces, figure out what went where…

I allowed myself the time to do this…

I allowed myself the time to just do something for the sake of doing it…

I allowed my brain to luxuriate it two activities that are not really productive at all- but made my mind and body go ahhhhh…(ok maybe not my lower back because bending over the puzzle was a little wonky- but you get the idea)

When was the last time you gave yourself the luxury of time? Is it free, or do you think the long term cost is too much?

Is time a luxury you think you can’t afford?


Why You Should Plan Better

A few months ago, I asked my husband what he was doing on a night about six weeks in the future. My husband said he was free. I said do you want to go to X on that day 17? He said sure. I bought tickets.

About two weeks before the event, my husband says-

“K just sent a reminder about doing something on day 17. We made these plans six months ago and I totally forgot.”

I looked at him quizzically, opened up my calendar, and said- You know that’s the day we are supposed to do X…

He stops, realizes his error, and says “I’ll call K to cancel.”

But on the road to cancelling, my husband finds out that out of the six people who were supposed to do something on that night, four people had already bailed. The only people left going were my husband and the organizer.

At this point I felt horrible. My husband had made these other plans way before I asked him to go to X. I knew the organizer of the other event really wanted to do this thing, and I couldn’t let my husband bail out on that. I told him to go to the event with K, and that I would find someone else to come to X with me.

Here are some discussion points:

  1. Should my husband do a better job of noting his plans? (he always double books things btw)
  2. Should my husband have cancelled the plans with the other person?
  3. Was I right by letting my husband out of his plans with me?
  4. Anything else?

What would you have done in this situation?

Have you ever double booked something and not been sure what to do? If so how did you handle it?

Pick anything you want and discuss!

I’m Planning on It

Newsflash: I plan things.

I plan meals. I plan blogs. I plan outings. I usually know pretty much the order of the things that I need to accomplish in a day. Earlier this week I gave you a glimpse into how I run my mornings, and I’m sure you know that the rest of my day runs this way too.

I build in time to get to and fro. I give myself extra time just in case I see something that I want to look at for an extra minute. For example, On Sunday I was meeting a friend for lunch at 1. I knew that if I walked, which I was going to, it would take about 35 minutes. I gave myself an hour- As I walked there, I looked around, stopped at an outdoor art installation that I passed, people watched a little, and got to the restaurant fifteen minutes early. This gave me fifteen minutes of “free” time where I just sort of stood and daydreamed.

When you plan things out, clearly, things can still go wrong. But there’s a possibility that things go right, and that’s when I get my time to breathe. Deb said this week that people who think a lot sometimes need to shut it down. Times like this are when I shut my thinking down. I am not stressed about being late. I don’t have anything that I need to read or to think about. I have these little pockets of time that are just me and nothing else. I look at what’s in front of me, I hear the different sounds around me, I smell what’s wafting in the air…

Planning things gives me time to breathe because it affords me moments when I don’t have to do anything.

But what about spontaneity?

What’s the upside to spontaneity?

I guess with spontaneity there’s always a sense of adventure, a sense of expectation about what’s around the corner- there’s something sexy about not knowing what is about to happen…for some people…

I have a relation who claims they like to “go with the flow”. I love the attitude. In reality though, I see someone who struggles to get even mundane tasks accomplished because they tend to do things in panic mode. They decide to spontaneously make a cake. They measure out two ingredients to find that they need softened butter and baking powder, neither of which they have on hand. So they go to the store and buy the things and wait for the butter to soften and meanwhile three hours have gone by and homework has not been done, nor the pile of laundry and they went to the store but didn’t bring anything back for dinner and the cake is finally in the oven but it’s seven and oops guess we have to order pizza again and everyone starts to get a little cranky because child A still has to do their homework and now child A is sugar high and tired and everyone starts to fight…

And the litter box is really starting to smell…and oh shoot forgot to pay the electric bill as the lights go out…

I have another relation- my husband will ask Adult B if they want to come over for dinner on Sunday- six days in the future. Adult B will say “Let’s see.” For the record, Adult B has absolutely nothing going on ever, but doesn’t want to be “tied down”.

Adult B will MAYBE call on Sunday morning and say they can’t come (at this point we’ve assumed they are not coming and made other plans). Adult B has also shown up at our house without telling us, and of course, as we assumed they weren’t coming we are out and about and no where close to being home or preparing dinner.

See- that’s the face of spontaneity that I see. In my life, I don’t personally know anyone who is successfully spontaneous. I know planners and I know people who always seem to be lagging just a little, all of the time.

Now, one could argue that my Friday posts are spontaneous- I normally write them 100% on the fly and I have no idea what I’m going to say as I write them.

You could say that my stopping to look at something I’ve never seen is spontaneous, and it is- I see something and I stop to look at it and explore it. I’ve bought cream puffs just because I walked by a shop window and the product looked so good I had to buy one. I’ve walked into galleries that have intrigued me. I took a tour of an old freighter recently simply because I saw the sign that said FREE TOURS TODAY. But I can only experience these things because the rest of my life is so ordered that I have the time and ability to see something new. I’m not fretting about laundry or the litter box or what’s for dinner. My mind is free because I’ve ticked off those boxes. I can often spend fifteen minutes just experiencing something…

For me- planning allows me to be spontaneous. And I’m Ok with this particular oxymoron.

When Something Goes Wrong

My Husband wanted to organize a group dinner with his buddies from college and their spouses.  He planned it six weeks ago and sent out a text asking if X date was good.  Oddly, for people with busy lives and kids, all were available on a particular Saturday in September. Husband found the perfect restaurant for a group of 15: we could get one table instead of breaking up into smaller tables as some places do, they had a prix fixe menu so it would be easy to divvy up the bill,  they had gluten free options for our gluten free friends, the wine list wasn’t stupidly expensive, and it was six blocks from our house, which was perfect because we wanted to have pre dinner cocktails on our roof deck. Let me make this clear: I did not want to plan this event.  I did not interfere at all except to say that the date he picked was free.


Now, you probably know that I am a detailed list maker.  My Husband is not.

About three weeks after he planned the dinner, he realized that he forgot to add a couple that was supposed to be invited.  He looked at me and said “What do I do?” cause you know this is rocket science.  I said “Tell them, hey, I just realized that you’re not on the email.  Sorry. And give the details of the night.” Which he did.  Whew. Glad we got through that ordeal…

Now fast forward to the week before the event.  Husband is in Alabama for the Alabama/Texas A&M football game. No, Husband did not go to either school- he just roots for Alabama…

Friday afternoon I get what I perceived to be a frantic text. “Made reservation for wrong night.  Please find a restaurant.”

Now here’s the thing about NYC: it’s always busy here.  With the exception of the last two weeks of August, the city is never quiet.  And in the fall it’s worse, because not only ae there tourists and conventions, all the people who live here are actually in town (summer and winter weekends are often spent at the beach or on the slopes) So getting a dinner reservation for 15 people on a Saturday night at 8pm in my neighborhood that is reasonably priced and has a gluten free options- well this was a tall order.

But I found the perfect place. (It only took an hour…) Good atmosphere, pitchers of sangria, and all of the above.

Perfect. I text my husband. He’s happy.


When he returned to the city on Sunday, he asked: “Can you go down to the restaurant and see what we should do about ordering food?  How can we handle everything?”

Remember- I did not want to do this.  I did not want to do any of it.  Yet here I was….

Now- I know that couples have to help each other out- I realize that’s part of the deal.  When one needs help, you help. We all screw up. Fine.  He has helped me out before. A lot. But- I admit I resented this a little.  I know he’s stressed out at work.  I know our life has been a little hectic.  But yet… I really didn’t care that much about this night out…to me, it was a dinner with friends.  Not a party.  Not a function.  Just 15 old friends hanging out together.  No reason to be “in charge”.  Yet, he wanted to be in charge.  He just wanted me to do it.

But the end of the story is, I went to the restaurant, worked everything out, had a great night. The take away here is: my husband doesn’t like making lists.  He doesn’t like marking things down in his calendar. This always causes issues and stress.  (he has triple and quadrupled booked things- often) So sometimes I wonder if I want to be an organized list maker, or if I need to be an organized list maker….


Method to my Madness

Ok- here’s the post 2 months in the making….the one you’ve all been waiting for……My Sunday Evening Routine.  I know- I know- very exciting.  I’ve wanted to write this post for awhile, but something has always gotten in the way, but here, for your Friday enjoyment…..a little peek into the crazy that I call my mind.

On Sunday nights, (now with the aid of my new planner) I plan out my schedule for the week ahead.

  1. I look at what I have going on and schedule in prep and travel time if required.
  2.   I get everyone else’s schedule for the week and schedule in if I need to assist Husband or Daughter, and I confirm things that I am supposed to do with them
  3. I go over my to do list, schedule when things will be done, and go over my goals and see if anything can be tweaked. This road map time is important to me because it allows me to think about what is and isn’t working, and where I can adjust my routine.  I will write notes months in advance, for example- my January Calendar already has a note- “start planning summer vacation”
  4. I go through “action” folder on my desk.  My action folder holds all papers, mail and school related things that I received that week that did not require immediate action.  It also holds things I ripped out of newspaper or magazine, or brochures I picked up alone the way.  I really look at these things and act on them- ie- if I pulled a recipe I put it in my recipe folder, if I got a flyer for a concert I buy tickets, I schedule to buy canned goods if there is a donation drive at school.  I also file things such as medical reimbursement or anything we still get on paper (which is surprisingly high even though we’ve mostly gone paperless)
  5. I send out text/email to everyone I am supposed to meet with that week to confirm (I also reconfirm the morning of meeting, but that’s just me)
  6. I plan meals and grocery list for entire week (I like knowing who will be home for dinner, what time we will eat, and how much prep will be involved.  I also have certain themes- Monday – Vegetarian, Tuesday -Chicken, Wednesday- Fish, Thursday- Beef, Friday- Pork.  The weekends we often eat out, and I will also utilize leftovers/freezer things.)
  7. I plan time with my family and friends.  Yes- I schedule this because it is important to me.  My goal is to have 2 dates with the Husband (1 us alone, 1 with others), 1 daughter outing, 1 family outing and 1 friend outing and something just for me.  This doesn’t always pan out-(this week I am not able to have an outing with daughter- our schedules conflicted) but I try.
  8. I plan exercise time.  The goal is 5 hours a week.  Exercise is important to me.
  9. I figure out what needs to be bought, and if it can be done online or locally.  I make one run to a drug store type store every week.  If my family needs be to get anything, they must tell me by Monday morning because that is only day I will go.  They don’t tell me, they’re on their own.
  10. I also have a little relax time for me on Sundays.  I like a bath, and I do a face mask and a hair mask and I read a magazine.  This recharges me and makes me the happy go lucky person you read on a daily basis……what- you think I should step up my game on the relaxation cause it’s not really working?!?

Some people will think this is stressful, but seriously- it works for me.  Taking an hour on Sunday nights really sets me up for the week ahead.

And on that note- have a great Friday!