Summer is great. We get to take a break from the everyday routine. We’re able to relax a bit more. Maybe we even get to go on a few little adventures. You know what’s really great about summer, though? Taking extra time to tap into the childhood skill of using our imagination more.
Let’s try it, shall we?
Okay, you pretend it’s July 1st and I’ll pretend that this was published then as I had intended.
Yay! We are very good at pretending!
So, there it is. July’s Peady Photo A Day Challenge.
You can jump in anytime. Interpret the prompt that corresponds to each day as you see fit and share a photo on Instagram* or your preferred social media platform, use the hashtag #PeadyPhotoADay, and we can all enjoy the summer through our shared memories. Fun, right?
I think so.
Speaking of July, it is off to a great start. Canada Day (That’s July 1st for my International readers.) was lovely and low key. It rained off and on for much of the morning, so we stayed home instead of heading downtown for the parade. We watched the noontime concert from Parliament Hill on CBC. I made homemade poutine (and hot dogs – because kids!) for lunch and it was perfection. Thing 2 and I painted our nails in the utmost patriotic shades of sparkly red and opalescent flecked white (They look really cute, actually. We even did a top coat and Thing 2 has little maple leaves with a jewel on each leaf on four of her nails. I’ll have to try and snap a photo.) so we would be all set for the fireworks show at 10 pm, but alas, the fog came rolling in and the fireworks were cancelled. So, like any good Canadian-American family we spent the remainder of the evening watching American Ninja Warrior**.
All is not lost though, the fireworks have been rescheduled for July 4th. Isn’t that fun? We will be there wearing our red shirts, skin stickers, and Canada Day headbands. Oh, I love it when a backup plan comes together!
So it’s about 3 PM and I have pretty much consumed a day’s worth of food.
I don’t really even know what happened or why, but there you have it.
Now I have to figure out how the heck to make a burrito for my dinner (It’s burrito night, don’t you know?) and somehow not go completely off the rails while doing it.
I won’t be derailed. I can’t be. Staying railed is crucial to my health and happiness. I need to follow through.
One bad choice cannot be the end of a good pattern. I can’t take it back, but I sure as heck can acknowledge it, stop my crazy train, and redirect it, right?
Going off the rails in a crazy train is not a part of my plan. It’s hard enough to keep this crazy train chugging along. Can you imagine the weight of lifting a whole train filled with crazy back onto the track!! It’s unbearable.
Not going to do it.
So now what?
Well for starters, I’ll be drinking a metric boatload of water.
Wash away the sins of the world. Yeah, I have magical water apparently.
I will also go for a walk tonight. I tried this morning, but it just wasn’t the right time and really 175 things were irritating me all at the same time, so after 15 minutes I stopped and went home. Sad, but true.
I will have a smoothie for breakfast tomorrow. A good start leads to a better day.
I will forgive myself right this minute for a bad day.
The kids will be home soon and I will not waste a second on beating myself up. Nope. Nope nope.
I decided against posting a blog every single day for the month of June.
The timing just isn’t right.
Besides, I already did it in November and that seems a better time for such insanity. (It was no easy task, I assure you.)
There’s no reason to put that pressure on myself. Silly! I actually stopped for a second and thought about what I would do. I contemplated all the last minute stress it can cause when I already have a busy schedule. Then, like a grown up, (Who am I?!?) I told myself no.
It’s very freeing to say no – even to yourself. Try it.
I did it again last night, actually. I was peckish after dinner and – even though dinner was delicious – I went in search of a little something sweet. You know how it is.
Anyway, I got halfway there (I’ll just wait here while you finish belting out the lyric and I told myself to do the right thing.
Me: Do the right thing.
Me: But we need something sweet.
Me: Listen, no one needs something sweet.
Me: * stern look *
Me: * raised eyebrow and head tilt of righteousness *
Me: You bought some yummy good-for-you Greek yogurt today. 100 calories. Good protein. Not too sweet.
Me: FINE! * mumbles “I hate it when I’m right.” under breath *
Sometimes I adult very well.
Speaking of doing things that are good for me (and you) I will be going for a short walk in a few minutes and as luck would have it one of my favourite radio stations played one of my favourite songs, “The Walker” by Fitz and The Tantrums. I think it’s a great walking song, actually. It’s an excellent tempo and it’s also (if you take it literally) about walking so it’s a fun fit for getting fit!
I had never seen the video and I have been wanting to post a song* so I went to YouTube to find it. I like it!
So, here it is!
Do you use music for motivation?
What song gets you up and running?
If you were to make a playlist for a 20 minute daily walk, what songs would absolutely make the cut?
*In fact, I was just talking about song posts yesterday with a friend. I hope she sees this! It made me think of her and her work in the online world and the lyric “can’t keep up with my rhythm, though they keep trying” brought her to mind because she is faster than the speed of light!
I planned the bajoopees out of last week and you know what? For the most part it really helped me. It also helped my family, though they might not realize it, because you know fairies and elves do most of the things around here. Just like at your place, right? (Ooooohhh! Maaaaagiiiiic.)
It was a crazy-busy week and some events I hadn’t even accounted for popped up then happened and I would absolutely have been flailing had I not put a basic plan in place last Sunday.
I intended to pop in and blog a few times throughout the week, but I simply couldn’t squeeze in any time for myself.
Now, don’t go getting all “but you said” on me. I eeked out some time for myself, of course, because that is essential to health, happiness and – let’s just tell it like it is – sanity. Plus, I put it right into the plan. Which is brilliant, if I do say so myself. (And I do!)
I said I would walk more and I did.
I said I would drink my required amount of water (Every. Single. Day.) and I did.
I said I would go to a new fitness class and I did AND it was awesome!
Dinners were planned out and written on my snazzy chalkboard menu*, but were late every single night (except for Monday and Thursday) and some were even swapped out for better (or more convenient) choices on the crazy-busiest nights. The beautiful thing about a meal plan is that what you think might work on a Tuesday might just work better on Wednesday and since you planned and shopped, etc. you can easily adjust to suit your needs in the heat of the moment. Whew!
Frankly, I’m impressed. There was nothing different about last week except for the fact that I really made an effort to plan, to tell you about my plan, and then actually followed my plan.
So much so, that I did it again.
I have a few things that will carry over week after week and a few new things that need to be done, but the basic plan is in place and I can fill in gaps as the need arises.
I even have my menu for the week. That’s a huge help, plus it saves a lot of money when you shop once with a plan in mind. I highly recommend it.
Now, this week will be different for me in a lot of ways because, as I said, last week was cah-ray-zee-busy and this week has fewer Spring Fairs and Coffee Houses for instance, but it also has a lot more car maintenance. Blech. I mean, really. It’s life, though, right? There’s always going to be something pressing to get done. All the more reason to plan**.
I will make time for the important things (and Things!) like I always do and I have a bit of a new adventure I am embarking on, plus I really want to try and blog every day in June. Is that insane? It might be a little bit insane. I am giving myself until noon tomorrow to decide. I’ll let you know***.
I hope you have all had a great week. Have you?
I also hope the week ahead is a good one for all of us.
*So cheap! We should really talk about this someday soon.
**See how that just keeps coming up?
***Or, you know, you could come back and see for yourself, I suppose.
It is Sunday morning and the coffee pot just beeped and as happy as hearing it makes me, I can’t help feeling that yucky sense of dread. Sunday stresses can only be a matter of minutes away.
They don’t always come when expected, mind you. Sometimes they can be held at bay for a really long time. A whole day. A week or two. Rarely longer.
Sometimes on a long weekend they magically disappear. In summer they are practically nonexistent. I love summer.
Or contrariwise they morph into Monday Stresses and no one needs that on a Monday because let’s face it some of us already have major issues with Mondays.
Poor Monday. It gets a bad wrap. It’s just another day. Logically, we all know this, but if the traffic is bad or you forget your morning coffee or there is a pop quiz or the grocery store is out of that awesome bagged salad you so desire and desperately need, chances are it’s going to happen on a Monday.
At the very least, that is how you’ll remember it.
Tuesday is terrific. It’s got it made in the shade with it’s, ‘Yay! I’m Taco Tuesday! Everyone loves tacos. Go ahead and add some guacamole!’ swagger. Everyone loves Tuesday.
Wednesdays are weird. They are either completely wonderful or the worst. It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose, but some Wednesdays are all Peak Performance, eat all the right things, go for a great walk at lunchtime, skip the chocolate, take the stairs, do one more lap, days. While others are more, what’s for dinner, why didn’t I thaw that, oh shoot I have an appointment, I have to sign how many forms immediately, the bus is late, I might as well just eat that <add your snack of sin here> now anyway because I am already doomed, days.
Thankfully, over the years, I seem to have gotten a handle on Wednesdays. I will them to be wonderful, more often than not. Typically, Brinner*** has its moment to shine during Wednedsay’s dinner hour. So easy and satisfying. Wednesdays, also tend to give me a WHAM! mindworm. If you are a WHAM! fan, I bet you know what I am talking about.
Thursdays. Well, Thursdays have alwaysusually been good. Once upon a time it was “Must See TV” day and who could possibly deny the awesomeness of that? Habits. They really can work in your favour, you know? Plus Thursday is Friday Eve and everyone is excited to welcome Friday back into their lives at the end of a long work week, right?
Friday. You beautiful, happy-making, party all the time, sight for sore eyes, you. Are we ever glad to see you! You make the work week worth it and the school week tolerable. You make the secular among us religious – that’s power – if only for the time it takes to utter the letters T, G, I, and F.
I love Fridays. We always take the time to make Fridays fun. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but there are more Fridays than not, that are Friday Family Fun Nights at Chez Peady. We do enjoy our traditions. Sometimes it’s a movie night or a make-your-own-pizza night or a family game night. Sometimes we just relax and do our own thing, but Friday night is sacred. We try very hard to respect it and not make plans away from our Peady peeps!
Saturdays are best, though. Hands down. Zumba, time to get stuff done around our space, relax. Even laundry feels like less of a burden on Saturdays. Now that’s saying something, because we all know how I feel about laundry. Saturday is the freest day. There’s enough time left in the weekend that even if you have a lazy start to the day you can ramp it up in the afternoon and evening – especially as the warmer weather starts to grace us with it’s presence. The peepers are singing. The air is warm. You can take a late night stroll. Go have some froyo (yo!). Pick out a movie to watch even though bedtime is approaching. On Saturday all bets are off.
Here comes Sunday again. It happens every week. Sigh.
So what can I do to make Sunday less of a bitter pill?
I can take a few minutes and set up my week so that Sunday is just another day, falling in line with the others, with a plan in place most stresses can be minimized. For me, for my Things, for all of us.
I have not been very good at this lately, but the time has come.
Today is Set It Up Sunday.
Today I will make a plan for my week and I will reap the benefits of that basic plan all week long – including next Sunday when I do it all over again.
I have taken a few minutes throughout the day today to set the week – and myself – up for success.
This includes, but is not limited to:
Filling in any and all grown up events for the week on the Mom CPU
Asking Things for any notes from school
Adding any and all remaining school events to the Mom CPU
Thinking about, researching, and then creating a menu for the week
I feel like I have not stopped to take a breath in the last two weeks.
I don’t think I like it.
I mean I am busy and busy can be good, but there is a fine line between busy and crazy-busy.
Busy is having something to do and managing to still get the basics taken care of.
Crazy-Busy on the other hand leaves me feeling like I am always forgetting something, barely meeting commitments, scrambling to take care of pretty basic stuff (Oh hai couch covered in clean laundry! Stop looking at me like that. I’ll get to you. Eventually.), not being as careful as I should be with the care and feeding of myself, skipping exercise (because surely all this running around must be good for something, right? Wrong.) Feeling like I can’t do it all.
It is not balanced.
I want balance.
How the heck do people achieve that? Seriously. I’m asking.
I want to write more and I love having something to do. Honestly. These things make me extremely happy.
I need to take charge of my shedule.
Maybe I should actually construct one, even. Oh ho! Now we’re talking!
I love knowing that something fun is coming up and I love looking forward to family events and fun with my Things.
I have no qualms making sure that they meet their commitments, get sleep, eat well, exercise. (Thing 2 is even taking part in the Drs. NS Youth Run this morning at the Blue Nose Marathon.)
Time to take a step back and make sure I am doing this for myself.
Yesterday, was actually lovely. We had a family day and we haven’t done that in a long, long, time.
That’s the first thing getting entered in my work life balance schedule.
How do you manage it all?
Do you even try?
When is the last time you felt at ease with the way everything was working out in your life?
Well they are certainly not “little” stars, but they are not exactly fully grown, so they get to be called ‘Tween Stars, for now.
Make no mistake about it though, these actors who appear in Disney and Nickelodeon television productions – despite their ages – are pros.
That is why I am very happy to tell you I am taking my very own ‘tweens to see ‘Tween Stars Live and I have a promo code so you can take your ‘tweens, too.
Here are some more details.
A Non-Stop, Fun, Family, Star-Studded Variety Show and Concert
Featuring the Biggest Stars on Disney & Nickelodeon LIVE!
This highly interactive, ‘Up Close and Personal’, family variety show features Improvisation, Comedy, Tween Star Musical Performances, Games, Totally Tween Trivia, and an always unpredictable, in-audience, Q & A Session with The Stars!
There are prizes, surprises, secrets, and Tween Stars interaction both on-stage, and in the audience, throughout the show. You might have a chance
to act out scenes on-stage with the Tween Stars too!
Get Up Close and Personal with the Tween Stars. Following The Show, hang out with the stars, get their autographs and take pictures with each one of them! A limited number of VIP tickets will be available and a show ticket is required in order to purchase a VIP Autograph & Photo Session ticket. Parents do not need a ticket to attend the VIP Autograph & Photo Session. This event always sells out!
Tween Stars Live now in Canada! 10% off TICKETS!!!! Promo code TSLCan15 http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=11988&dealid=1931 @usfg
We have very high expectations. My Things are really looking forward to seeing “Dez” and when I told them about this opportunity they both had the exact same reaction upon seeing a photo of the featured Tween Stars. Can you guess what they exclaimed?
Yup. Noah Munck will probably hear that a lot on this tour.
There are four shows left in Atlantic Canada.
I hope you go and I hope it’s great. Calum Worthy makes me laugh every single time I see him. I am sure he’ll be great.
I’ll be writing about our experience after we see the show this weekend in Halifax at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.
*Promo code is good for all remaining shows in Atlantic** Canada
**St. John’s, NL (May 16) – Halifax, NS (May 17)
Moncton, NB (May 30) – Fredericton, NB (May 31)
***As you know, I don’t typically promote specific events, but this seemed a very good fit for my Things, so I am once again stepping outside my comfort zone and trying something new.