Monday, May 7, 2012

The Summer Plan

This weekend was a blur- family visits, phone calls, Spring Cleaning (!!!), furniture moving, a dinner-and-a-movie-date-night, homemade lemonade makin’, and a whole lot of video games, reading books and watching movies at home. Oh, and gardening, closet turnouts, laundry, vacuuming and dinner making. Ahem, okay- so maybe just a few dinner making. We ate out a lot this weekend. Whew! I need a break from all that weekending…

This is the week I’ve set aside to make the all-important Summer Plan. With the end of the school year coming up fast, it’s time I started making the lists: Things We Want to Do, Things We Need to Do, Places to Go, People to See, and my favorite- What We’ll Eat Whilst We Do All That! I have been keeping an informal list of ideas throughout the year, and I’ll combine it with my notes from the end of last summer (I can’t believe it’s been a year already! Where does the time go?!) to come up with a master list for this summer. Then I get out my calendar and look at birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, movie release dates, Game Days, and any other Big Events for this year. It takes a while to plan it all out, but it helps give us a structured vacation filled with fun, good food, time for our hobbies, meaningful celebrations, and enough time for my art, and the household chores, without which this entire plan self-implodes and the summer becomes two months of nothing but stress, tears, eating awful food, seeing too many movies, and absolutely no fun what-so-ever. My family works better when we have a plan, everyone knows what the plan is, and most importantly, knows what the back-up plan is. When in doubt, follow the plan.

* a Note about The Plan- Interestingly enough, The Plan is not written in stone. And, everyone has a say in what The Plan is. It is flexible, it is ever-changing. We sit down as a family and plan it together- everyone gets a say in what they want, what they don’t want, and the execution of the plan changes from day to day, week to week. If it doesn’t work, out it goes! The last thing I want is to stress my family out by forcing them to follow a plan- the plan is only a framework, not a leash. What worked last year may not be what will work this year.

Oh, and the back-up plan? stop. take a deep breath. repeat.

Works like a charm every time...

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