While our daughter is still in preschool, my husband and I use the school schedule to our advantage and go on our summer vacation around or just after Labor Day. As I was mentally preparing in the weeks leading up to the vacation – scheduling last-minute appointments and making endless lists of items we would need for our trip – it hit me.
I’m going to quit.
“Quit what?” you may ask. Making plans. On the weekend.
You see, as mentioned previously, my husband travels frequently for work. In the last year, my mission beginning every Friday night, especially on the weeks he’d been away, was to make that weekend the BEST. WEEKEND. EVER. Our schedules had to be packed from sun up to sun down on Saturday and Sunday in order for me to feel like we weren’t missing anything and that we were making as many memories as we could, while our daughter was still “this small.”
For two full-time working parents, one of whom is frequently out of town, you can imagine this would be exhausting. But my husband never complained. He simply asked what our weekend plans looked like and I kept our calendar full. Play dates, must-see movies, and local events always kept us on our toes.
Then one fateful Thursday, it all changed. I realized I was tired and that something needed to change soon.
I vowed that the weekend leading up to our vacation, and our actual vacation, would be as relaxing and restful as can be with a soon-to-be five year old. We would not make specific plans other than what was required to get packed and I wouldn’t overflow our coming days with “to have a successful vacation” tasks. I will be the first to admit that this was HARD for me. I’m a planner by nature — always have been. I make lists of lists in order to feel accomplished. Few things feel as good to me as accomplishing what’s on my list, marking it off, and charging toward the next thing.
Each day of vacation I tried, little by little. The first two days were spent alternating between the beach and the pool. The next day we went shopping and explored some local restaurants. Our final day was spent on a planned day trip. We didn’t come back from vacation completely zenned out, but we were at least somewhat refreshed. I’m doing my best to keep this mindset moving forward.
Thankfully, fall, winter, and spring are busy seasons for our family.
All of the children in our daughter’s preschool class have birthdays between September and March, not to mention we have a college football team people around here are fond of watching play. But outside of that, I’m still trying. No alarms, no need to make plans weeks in advance, and a lot more spontaneous fun. I’m doing my best to cherish our family time and not be so hung up on the memories I might be “missing.”