February 6, 2024

I have a lot of “DON’T FEEL LIKE IT” energy right now. Like truly, I don’t feel like it. “It” being . . . basically everything. When I reflect on that, I recognize it’s probably mostly okay; I don’t have a crazy week (beyond the usual: clinic MWF, some podcast recording, parenting duties) and can push things forward a bit. I guess this is consistent with my start-of-February energy. I think I will just continue to lean into it. The year is long. If a few months are “down” months from a productivity standpoint . . .that is okay. Maybe even beneficial.

(And ummm perhaps I’ll perk up when this seemingly endless PMS luteal phase ends? Dare I hope!?)

Also, my email inbox just exploded with all of the camp signups. The camp spreadsheet has been created:

minimalist but it will work

(It actually isn’t entirely empty — the two big kids have flip flopped yet again and decided on going back to the Monday-to-Friday quasi-overnight camp, and I think I’ve picked out a week for family travel — but mostly).

Even if I don’t feel like it, I want to get this figured out before options become more limited (though must balance this with risk that a kid will change their mind . . . ).

Anyone else have their summer spreadsheet (or layered digital calendar) going?

Anyone else in a February downswing?


  • Reply coco February 6, 2024 at 5:20 am

    I suspect this is 99% luteal phase talking… I’m always not positive/optimistic/energetic in those days. hang in there, it will be over soon and the world will become a better place. 🙂

  • Reply Coree February 6, 2024 at 5:29 am

    I have a looming deadline and don’t feel like I’ve gotten to grips with the project as a whole. After a meeting with my co-author who offered a bit of a pep talk, I set some pomodoro timers and ended up writing 1200 words. They are probably rubbish words, but you can’t make something from nothing, so I feel a bit more motivated.

    We are summer planning this weekend, I need to print out a calendar. We only have 7 weeks though, so it’s slightly easier. Our schedules are flexible enough and we have a decent amount of annual leave that we could get by with just a few weeks of camp, but the idea of very unstructured weeks gives me hives. I swear we spend more money on a day out than we would with a full day (and super fun!) camp.
    But camp signup is definitely more mellow here, sometimes they don’t publish the schedule until May, and you can normally get a spot without any problem. The planner in me wants to have everything all booked up, but I need to leave some flexibility in case something cool pops up last minute.

    T and I will do 2 weeks at my parents, including a week at a local Portuguese farm daycamp mixed in. We both really want to learn to skimboard so maybe a mom and kid lesson/camp. And then back in Scotland, a local outdoorsy camp which he’s loved – they did ax throwing, archery, building dens, etc. He’s had a tough friendship year so I do like the camps for him to meet some new kids and grow in confidence. The kids who end up at the hippy dippy forest school camps tend to be kids more on his wavelength.

  • Reply JD February 6, 2024 at 5:54 am

    Me! Don’t feel like it at all. My January wasn’t really the start of the year.. Exams + Work pressure means that I completed none of my goals.. I planned for that but still.. And now I am so burnt out but work being such I don’t have the option to slow down. I have planned a week off around the end of Feb. So until then- Just keep swimming, just keep swimming 🙁

  • Reply Lani Inlander February 6, 2024 at 6:53 am

    I hear you on the “I just don’t feel like it energy”, as well as the flip-flopping kids. We are currently asking one every day for a week if he still wants to go to a camp before we sign up. And making clear that minds can not be changed after this… So far everything we have signed up for has been refundable until a certain date, but we are nearing the end of that road!

  • Reply Hana February 6, 2024 at 7:07 am

    Oh man, I have serious “DON’T FEEL LIKE IT” energy right now, and unfortunately, I’m a high school teacher, and my students never “feel like it”, so I’m being forced to not only act like I’m enjoying work, but also inspire my students to literally do anything. Truly exhausting. I think for me it’s because winter is ending here in SC and I’m so, so sad about the cold leaving and the heat returning. Not as bad as Florida, but still depressing!

    • Reply Grateful Kae February 6, 2024 at 7:15 am

      Hahaha….Living in Wisconsin, I had to read that last sentence twice…. wait, what? So sad about the cold leaving and heat returning?? We’re the opposite! The cold can get lost and bring on the nice warmer weather! We’re all sick to death of cold and snow by the end of winter. 😉 I guess the grass is always greener…. haha. (But I get it- your winters there are probably perfectly mild and lovely and your summers are probably “way too much” in the heat department.)

  • Reply Elisabeth February 6, 2024 at 7:58 am

    January was rather Blah for me and I am LOVING February so far, but I also feel like I’m walking on eggshells. When is the whole family going to get sick (we have not been sick in MONTHS and everyone else is sick and it just feels 100% inevitable).

    Both kids are scheduled for their main week of overnight camp, but our daughter might be a leader-in-training at the camp this summer, but we won’t know until JUNE if she is accepted into the program. If so, she will be away a lot. Which would be a very different dynamic.

    It’s my “Year of Shmita” and I want to not dread summer for the first time since becoming a parent. That sounds horrible, but summer generally just feels like such a long, hard slog. But the kids are older and I have zero stressful work situations now so I’m feeling…*whispers*: cautiously optimistic…about summer?

  • Reply Lisa's Yarns February 6, 2024 at 10:16 am

    I’m so relieved that our son can go to the summer program at our public school! It runs from the week after school gets out and there is just a one-week break before school starts. And it’s hours are something like 6:30-6 or something like that. It’s kind of a dream for a dual-income house hold like ours and when I asked if he wanted to go again this year (which I really shouldn’t have asked because this is what we are doing…) he said he was so excited to do it again. They do a great job w/ weekly field trips and water days and such. So it’s a relief to have that all pretty much settled…

    I haven’t felt the way you are feeling yet but I am sure it’s coming for me. It usually hits me in March/April because at that point, I am just SO VERY DONE WITH WINTER. But our winter has been so mild this year so maybe I won’t get the late winter ennui this year!!

  • Reply Lori C February 6, 2024 at 1:59 pm

    First of all, your summer is way shorter than ours! My spreadsheet starts a week after yours does (6/17) but is 11.5 weeks long (last row on mine is 9/2 – they start that Wednesday). Coincidentally I was just texting another mom about the camp spreadsheet this morning. I’m excited for the nice weather and my kids are trying a couple new camps this year, so I’m excited for them. No sleep away camps yet, but that will come quick I’m sure!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 6, 2024 at 4:22 pm

      yep, our last day is 6/6 and I think broward schools start early next year like 8/12 (though our school has not named date yet). it IS artificially short bc I think we started later in 2023 and thus are ending later! I’m defnitely not complaining, though.

      • Reply Sophie February 7, 2024 at 4:17 pm

        Haha I was just thinking how long your summer is! In Australia our summer is 7 weeks long and that feels SO long to have kids out of school. Don’t know how is come with 9+ weeks! Now I understand why camps are so essential in the US.

        • Reply Anandi Raman Creath February 10, 2024 at 3:14 pm

          Wow, only 7 weeks? I think my kids would revolt. Ours is about 9-9.5 and it’s shorter than when we lived in another state and they’re already mad about that 🙂

  • Reply ccrinma February 6, 2024 at 2:41 pm

    Oh, the wave of not-caring that can wash over me! Yes, I should do this or that on my to-do list, but, you know, eh. Don’t wanna. And then it’s review season at work, so I have to do my self-assessment, and when I opened the form yesterday, I just felt a tidal wave of dread. I don’t want to do it! And yet, and yet. Sigh. Being a grown-up is not what I expected, in so many ways.

  • Reply Linda W. February 6, 2024 at 3:42 pm

    Hi Sarah ! Generally when I am in a “don’t feel like it “phase it is a signal that I need to listen to myself and allow for some downtime- and “allow” is the operative word here as I am very goal oriented. This includes noticing and correcting negative thoughts about “ not getting anything done” or “ I shouldn’t be sitting around” etc. when I am able to do this I end up being a lot more productive later.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 6, 2024 at 3:52 pm

      100% agree. I have accepted this and even feel like i can designate this as a “do less” kind of month . Better that I just own it than feel bad about not doing things.

    • Reply Anandi Raman Creath February 10, 2024 at 3:15 pm

      YES TO ALL THIS. It seems to be a signal for me that I just need chill time and it’s ok because I’ll FEEL like being more productive later (a few days or a week or two or even just after a good night’s sleep).

  • Reply Elizabeth February 7, 2024 at 12:13 am

    Raising my hand and joining the chorus of “I just don’t feel like it” folks out there. (Yes, I wrote “folks” and no, I’d never actually say that out loud. Ha!) I cannot figure out where my energy went but it’s definitely missing. I don’t feel like tackling a large number of items on my to-do list and I think I’m okay with trying to just triage the absolute necessities and table the rest for now. Maybe this leap year, February is a month for regrouping, resting, and reprioritizing?

    Here’s hoping we all keep our heads afloat and welcome March with boundless optimism and energy!!

  • Reply Donelle February 7, 2024 at 7:40 am

    It was my first year signing up for camps and didn’t realize there was so much to fill out for every single one! Ridiculous that there can’t be some sort of universal application for them since it’s all repeat information. I had to creat a spreadsheet of all the camp options first with camp date options, type of camp, etc to be able to get to the point of picking them. I was really wishing for an Expedia equivalent of camps.

  • Reply Daria February 7, 2024 at 8:21 am

    We use our kids schools as camps so it is much easier. They have summer programs and are community sponsored. Specialty camps are so expensive, I have a friend who paid around 4K for a month of camp. You can rent a house in Mexico for that much and just go live there for a month instead of camp. But that’s just me dreaming I guess 🙂

  • Reply Suzanne February 7, 2024 at 9:31 am

    I have been in a downswing for a long time. This is such a self-compassionate thing to say: “If a few months are “down” months from a productivity standpoint . . .that is okay.” and I am trying to give myself that grace. But, wow, I hope an upswing happens EVER!

    Gotta love the camp signup period. Yikes. I think we are all set, which feels almost too good to be true this year. But my daughter wanted to do a camp she’d done previously, and wanted to do it for all sessions offered, so it made it very simple!

  • Reply Kathy Johnson February 7, 2024 at 11:10 am

    I call this “I don’t wanna” and it happens every now and then. I try to be kind to myself until it passes.

    January for me was pretty stressful and I didn’t get a “good start” on the year, so I’m trying to have a solid February. It’s tempting to try to do All The Things, but that way lies a bout of the “I don’t wannas”…

    P.S. I also live in (central) Florida, and I have been LOVING this mostly cool winter! I love spending time outside and not immediately being soaked with sweat.

  • Reply jennystancampiano February 7, 2024 at 2:33 pm

    Your kids do end school late- I had to double check our calendar, and yes, Palm Beach ends May 30th. So far the only thing I’ve gotten my daughter to commit to is a one-week day camp, and that’s not really enough for me! I would like her to do a short sleepaway camp like she did last year (at FSU) but so far we can’t find anything that she likes. This could be a very long summer.
    I had the “don’t feel like it” energy for the last two weeks of January, but now I’m perking back up. It doesn’t last forever- and like you said, sometimes you just need a couple down weeks.

  • Reply Brooke February 8, 2024 at 3:09 pm

    Kids do 3 weeks at sleep away camp (which I book in Sept to get the early bird price); 1 week with grand parents, and we do a family vacation for a week, so that fills up much of summer. Need to plan a few weeks of care but no much else – so much less stressful now that they can both travel/sleep away 🙂

  • Reply Anandi Raman Creath February 10, 2024 at 3:18 pm

    My 9th grader had her summer camps lined up by the beginning of November, haha. She is doing a language program that runs January through October, with 3 weeks in the summer so she had to apply early, like in September! And then we found another sleepaway camp for her in Wyoming (!) that also opened applications in October and accepted her pretty quickly. It felt really nice to get that sorted out early tbh. Younger kid is up in the air bc her fave theater camp hasn’t posted sessions yet (probably not until next month) and we’ll just fill her time with those for the weeks we’re in town. It feels like it’s gotten MUCH easier now that they CAN be home without something scheduled.

  • Reply Elissa February 13, 2024 at 1:49 pm

    February downswing, for sure. But it feels like I never was really in an upswing. Came into 2024 ill and took weeks to recover. Mentally, I was all in haha. Physically, not so much. I finally am feeling back to normal and finding my groove, but so over cold weather, isolation, etc. etc.

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