Planning for the week ahead, rather than letting it happen to you, can help you make the most of all the great things in your life.
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I don’t know about you, but my brain works in weeklong timeframes. Those are the chunks of time that my mind operates in.
On Sunday I feel like I have a fresh start and 7 days ahead of me to do good things, enjoy my people, and work hard. By Wednesday I start to feel jumpy if I haven’t accomplished much. On Friday, I’m ready to let my hair down and take a break for at least a few hours before I start to get ready for the next week.
I don’t relish being “busy”. Neither do I think hard work is a bad thing. I’ve come to peace with this season of my life. Busyness is neither the mark of “being a better person” — as some seem to think — nor one of a person with misplaced priorities — as others seem to think.
For me it just is. My life is busy in this season. It wasn’t fifteen years ago. And it probably won’t be fifteen years from now when FishPapa and I will be empty-nesters. It’s just the season I’m in today.
Honestly? I want to stop making apologies or feeling guilty about being busy. It’s a season that will pass before I know it.
Instead, I want to make the most of what I have, and make sure that my busyness is as focused and prioritized as I can make it. That means getting ready for the week ahead. In doing so, I set myself — and my family — up for success.
I make room for fun things. I make room for clear thinking. I make room for not feeling overwhelmed or overscheduled. Sunday is a great time for me to walk through the week and try to smooth the path ahead of us.
She’s pretending to be a Costco sample lady. Oh my!
Getting ready for the week ahead
I’ve talked before about how to have a great week. I think for summertime these nine ways are super-duper helpful in smoothing the path. Sometimes the theoretical is hard to grasp.
Here’s how they’re playing out for me today/this week:
We are starting our Pantry Challenge today. (You can join in.) I’ve created the meal plan for our first week of the challenge, based on what is in my side-by-side freezer, the most neglected spot of food storage in my house.
2. Grocery shopping
I’m actually going to try not to grocery shop much this week. Gasp. I built the meal plan based on what’s on hand. So, hopefully a run for milk and produce later in the week is all we need. Knock on wood.
I track appointments and other plans in Google calendar. I get an email reminder every morning that helps immensely because I often forget to check the calendar. I don’t have a ton on the schedule this week but much of it’s crammed into the first five days. This means that I’ll need to be on my game since we’ll be out of town over the weekend.
4. Plan a family night
Next weekend we’re heading out of town as a family, so I know we’ll have time for fun. But, it will take being a little intentional and rolling with the circumstances at hand.
5. Reconnect with your spouse
I really look forward to date night. It’s the one set time in the week when I get my husband’s undivided attention, even if we just stay home for date night. I love it.
6. Get outside
This morning I took the littles to the pool before the crowds arrived. I’m not sure how to swing it on the crowded days, but if the heat wave continues, we just might go in the mornings instead of waiting until after lunch. FishPapa found a good hiking trail to explore, so hopefully we’ll get over there some afternoon this week as well.
As much as I love the end results of exercise — it seems that I breathe better and my body complains less once I get into a groove — it’s really easy to fall out of that groove and really hard to get back in. I’ve got yoga on my schedule for two days this week and a cardio workout for a third day. The weekend is kinda up for grabs. I’m gonna need to plan and be intentional to make exercise happen.
8. Read a good book
Currently, the littles and I are working through The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson. The big boys read ahead. It’s a great series. I highly recommend your reading The Wingfeather Saga if you haven’t already.
9. Connect with your kids
I “chatted adulthood” with FishBoy17 on Thursday afternoon and went out for coffee with FishBoy13 on Friday morning. I’m finding that sometimes my teens will approach me to talk about things and other times, I just need to give them a venue and draw them out. I’m reminded that the older they get, the more it takes out of me. Yes, really. You’d think that the baby and toddler years were the hardest. And they are — physically. But the teen years take your full emotional and spiritual attention. I don’t say that to scare you, but there we are. I’m learning that it’s really important to carve out those moments to connect with my bigger kids.
So, that’s my outlook on the week.