we just “laxed” // 4th of July

July 5, 2018

Somehow, Cameron started using the word “lax” for “relax” and it has become a family trope of sorts.   I wrote in my last post about using planners/planning/reflection to aid in savoring, and OMDG pointed out that her most savored moments tend to be when she says “F#*& it all!” and throws her to do list out the window.

I do not disagree about enjoying swathes of totally unproductive (and unscheduled) time.   However, I tend to feel better when I actually PLAN to ignore my to do list rather than have the tension of stuff I was “supposed” to be working on hanging over my head.

Yesterday’s planner square was blank; all it said was “OFF – whole family off”, which is definitely something I savor because many holidays feature at least one parent on call (since our nanny is off on holidays, we can’t typically both work the same holiday, so that spreads the holiday coverage out over the year).

ANYWAY, it was a day of “laxing”, there was essentially nothing scheduled, and I set out to accomplish nothing . . . and it was excellent.

– Inadvertently playing the Sufjan Stevens song “Fourth of July” (I didn’t even remember the album had a song with this title, but maybe my subconscious knew!?) while playing with G early in the morning

– 4 mi walk/run with my friend (mostly walk b/c she is not a runner, but I ran 0.75 mi each way to and from her house, so that’s something)

– 3 hours (or thereabouts) spent at the pool (it was sunny + high 80s which helped!)

– A ridiculously late lunch (really lunch/dinner) at Harry’s Pizza that featured rosΓ©, a peach/burrata salad, polenta fries, and (duh) pizza

– Post-pizza trip to Target with the kids.  Everyone was in good spirits and it was just fun.  My new favorite thing is identifying the most ridiculous products:

A $55 water bottle that tracks your drinking habits
Just . . . wow

– Movie night for the kids — I’m not even sure what they were watching, but I snuggled with them and finished Us Against You which I loved.

Seriously, it was such a good day and we did very little.  We hadn’t planned any of it in advance, but I did have that luscious blank square that I looked forward to all week.  It may just be a difference in style but I tend to enjoy time ‘off’ more when I’ve preemptively decided to be lazy and somewhat spontaneous.  (Which maybe makes me the least spontaneous person ever, but I can live with that title.)

G’s first piano lesson

PS: G slept until 4:30 last night!!!!!!  Her longest ever stretch of sleep.  I’m sure it was a fluke, but it felt amazing.  I think she was extra tired b/c she spent a lot of time outside AND she’s starting to be doing a lot of workout-type moves as she gets close to crawling!


  • Reply Sheena March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    One of the things I really enjoy here is the contrast between what makes you feel best and OMDG’s comments/blog/perspectives! Such an important reminder that people are different and some things will work for some people and the exact opposite will work for others.

  • Reply gwinne March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I’ll be interested to see if OMDG responds to this post. Writing OFF in your planner makes total sense to me as a middle-ground approach between structured time off (say, planning 3+ activities on a Saturday and knowing what times in advance) and playing hooky from what’s supposed to be done. I’m similar to you in this regard. But I will say I’m also willing to go off script without feeling much guilt when things come up (like today, as this is day 2 I’m going on 4 hrs of sleep, just had appliances delivered, have piles of stuff everywhere); I’m lucky this is summer and I don’t need to BE anywhere (or in grown up clothes!) and can defer writing until my brain turns back on πŸ™‚ When I have days like this I try to make a note in my planner, like "sick day" or "insomniated" or some such, so I can see that if I ever look back.

  • Reply suggahsweet March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Ohhh G is sooo cute!!!

  • Reply xykademiqz March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    "However, I tend to feel better when I actually PLAN to ignore my to do list rather than have the tension of stuff I was "supposed" to be working on hanging over my head."

    Omg, SHU, are you and I even members of the same species? Reading this sentence gave me an anxiety attack. I jest, of course, but only a little. Whenever you post a pic of the planner, I see a giant ball and chain.

    I had a collaborator whom I think you’d like as she has a similar approach to organizing time as you. While I really respect her and her intellect, and we actually had complementary expertise, I think we were so fundamentally incompatible in our approaches to work, that we drove each other nuts. (Well, she drove me nuts. Not sure how perturbed she felt; she’s too even-keeled to show much.)

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:07 pm

      haha – one of my senior mentors is SO the opposite of me but I still love her. Her brain literally works in opposition to mine. She’s amazing and productive and I admire her but she just thinks in a completely different manner. So I kind of get how you could be my polar opposite (and still obviously kick ass in all spheres of life!!)

      I scroll images of planner shots for fun (and many others do, that’s why there is a huge world on instagram devoted to this!). But I also see how it’s insane πŸ™‚

  • Reply Amy March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    I am the same way. I like to use my planner to get all the tasks done – or at least plan when they will be done – so I can make time to just chill and not worry about things I’m "supposed" to be doing. It gives me anxiety to not know what needs to get done and not know when I can do those things.

    I’m also very much a work then play type of personality. It’s a lot easier for me to relax once I get everything accomplished or have a plan to do so. If I want to relax at night, I need to do all those little tasks I hate – like emptying the dishwasher – before I let myself sit down and chill. I think it drives my husband crazy sometimes. He’s like "at least take off your coat before you start doing all the things." πŸ™‚

  • Reply Erica S March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    That water bottle!!

    I do prefer to schedule in my "lax" time. πŸ™‚ When we were in France (oh how amazing it feels to say that) we only had a handful of things "scheduled" and we actually planned to have downtime each day. We spent a few hours in our apartment each afternoon just hanging out with no agenda, and it was so fun. It’s not something I would do at home, because I’d be cleaning/organizing/working on some project around the house/running errands etc. So planning to relax is my way too!

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