life Parenting

5 on a Friday: Planning, Pods, TOAD

March 17, 2023

1- Planners help me compartmentalize.

Thinking about this after a conversation with my sister this AM — she sold her store and is adjusting to a new schedule and lifestyle.

I honestly think that I benefit emotionally from deciding what I will do (and basing the list upon available work hours), writing it down, and then calling things done at the end of the day, migrating undone tasks to the future.

It helps me compartmentalize. And I personally prefer that, so I can feel like I am either fully working or . . . entirely not working. (Not saying I wouldn’t occasionally do a work task on a weekend – but I would then own that block of work as work time. Not be somewhere nebulously in between.)

2- Speaking of emotions, I really enjoyed this podcast ep from Christine Koh at Edit Your Life this morning: Managing Anxiety with Self-Awareness and Compassion with Morra Aarons-Mele.

episode page HERE

There was a lot of discussion of work-related anxiety specifically and a discussion about the challenges of being a woman in a hierarchical setting.

3- Also enjoyed hearing a life update from Denaye Barahona at Simple Families. I often wish hosts of podcasts I enjoy would do MORE solo eps. Every time she talks about not drinking anymore at all I am tempted to try it. I really only drink if out to dinner or on vacation so I don’t think it’s having a terribly negative impact on my life, but I wonder if I would be less tired on trips if I stayed dry. (And if that would be worth it . . . not sure! I do enjoy the experience of a fun drink or nice glass of wine at a restaurant, esp while on vac.)

((Moderator not abstainer here!))

4- I managed an evening walk with the girls! (Laura & her fam are calling it TOAD = time outdoors after dinner – love that). Our evening weather sucks most of the late spring/summer/fall so . . . gotta take advantage now.

golden hour is a thing!

5- On deck: a trip to The Container Store. Kids are begging to go. I blame the Netflix The Home Edit. Oh well. It will be our big adventure for the weekend!!!


  • Reply Rachael March 17, 2023 at 10:29 am

    Gave up drinking about a year ago after I was getting horrible headaches and tiredness after one drink- I’m loving it!!!! Even just a drink occasionally was affecting me more than I thought.

  • Reply Gwinne March 17, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    I did my first trip to the container store over spring break and I am so pleased with my drawer dividers! Also got ideas for cheaper things elsewhere

  • Reply Ali March 17, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    The idea of being able to compartmentalize is interesting to me. I am going through a period of real burnout work wise now, and I think a huge part of it is NOT being able to compartmentalize. While I love WFH, the lack of boundaries is really getting to me. I realize I am basically on call 24/7. (Hence, despite this being a week of PTO I had scheduled for ages, I am jumping onto an “urgent” —but not really—call in a few moments.) would love to know how others are handling this better than me or if others are struggling.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 17, 2023 at 3:53 pm

      “Hence, despite this being a week of PTO I had scheduled for ages, I am jumping onto an “urgent” —but not really—call in a few moments” — oh MAN!!!! Is there coverage for you? Could you forward everything to avoid even getting a call like this in the future? This is so so hard.

      Having a defined checklist definitely helps on my WFH days but I’m not generally answering to many others on those days. I also really try to just stop checking emails/messages when I’m off. I know not every office culture allows that (but my opinion is they should!)

    • Reply Jessica March 20, 2023 at 10:48 am

      I feel this! I facilitated a call on my day off first thing in the morning before we left on a ski trip. Then hours later I got a text from the same client even though she knew I was on vacation. I guess once I let the door open just a crack, it meant that they could just walk through. I really believe hard boundaries are the only way to go.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 20, 2023 at 12:22 pm

        ME TOO!!!!!

  • Reply Sophie March 17, 2023 at 3:59 pm

    I’d love to hear from your sister again, either on BOBW to hear how things have changed with an older child and new schedule etc, or on BLP to contrast her planning style with yours. I really enjoyed her interview on BOBW and I think a follow up would be fun!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 17, 2023 at 4:26 pm

      Great idea!!! She would laugh at the ‘planning style’ idea but I think it would be interesting 🙂

  • Reply Grateful Kae March 17, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    I am totally not a big drinker at all but I personally don’t like the idea of not drinking at ALL unless there was a real reason not to. It can definitely be fun to get a drink or a good beer on vacation! Or a Friday night, etc. There’s a nice social aspect to it, too- especially because my husband loves craft beer and it’s a bit lonely for him to always drink alone. 😉 Obviously I can see situations where people maybe need to abstain or whatever, but I don’t usually find myself negatively affected by one drink with dinner, for example.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 17, 2023 at 4:27 pm

      I’m mostly with you. I mean, I probably drink . . . less than 30 drinks/year (I should totally keep track, ha!). It’s generally positive. But when I hear someone rhapsodize about life being better without (when they were similarly not a big drinker) it’s tempting to try it out.

      (I probably won’t though!)

      • Reply Grateful Kae March 17, 2023 at 4:58 pm

        To be honest, I feel like for me the key is actually to drink fairly regularly- again, I don’t drink a lot at all, but the times I notice I get headachy or tired etc is when I haven’t had any drinks in a long time and I literally have zero “tolerance”. If I drink say one drink every week or two, it’s like I maintain enough tolerance for the alcohol and then it doesn’t seem to bother me!!

  • Reply coco March 18, 2023 at 12:12 am

    I also like the feeling of done once I put the lists into paper. another thing I recently realize that if I don’t remember to add something to the list, then it’s probably not worth remembering to add anyway. that gave me liberating feeling and not worried about adding things to my list.

  • Reply Stacey March 18, 2023 at 4:34 pm

    I am not a drinker because it started to make me feel terrible (even one drink) in my late 30s. I don’t miss it at all. The only thing that makes it at all difficult is the number of people who can’t let it go when they find out – there’s always someone who needs to figure out WHY I don’t drink, even though I have no issue at all with anyone drinking around me and I have no desire to convince anyone else that it’s the right choice for them.

    • Reply Stacey March 18, 2023 at 4:43 pm

      All that said, I don’t think my life is dramatically better or anything because I don’t drink, I just feel better after the occasional night out!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 18, 2023 at 5:33 pm

      Yes I can see how that would be frustrating! Esp wondering if others think you are pregnant or feeling like you have to answer to anyone!

    • Reply Svetlana March 19, 2023 at 11:40 pm

      Same here…I love the taste and the experience of wine, cocktail, quality beer…but even one glass makes me feel gross the next day. And isn’t it so silly that people who drink TOO MUCH don’t have to justify their behavior to random colleagues or casual friends, whereas those of us who choose not to drink are almost ridiculed sometimes? I’ve been trying to think of a witty, but not insulting, response, and so far have not found one.

  • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) March 20, 2023 at 6:19 am

    Not “funny” but I have considered saying to people who badger me, also a tee-totaller, “I battled alcoholism in my early 20’s” because it is very, very annoying to keep having to explain/ justify why you don’t drink ANY alcoholic drinks!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 20, 2023 at 8:50 am

      so frustrating that anyone would have to explain themselves!

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