Rainy Days Are Expensive

Every day I make it a point to learn a lesson in life. Then, I share each day’s lesson on this blog. Here is what I learned today…


Nicole and I moved to Tampa from Michigan. In Tampa, it is 85 and sunny almost every day and, as you probably know, most of the economy in central to southern Florida is driven by tourism.

One of the best parts about living here (as a local) is that entertainment is cheap. After the initial investment in swimwear and a paddleboard (or whatever your hobby is), all you really need is sun and food.

Weekends are cheap and adventurous in Tampa. Unless it rains.

Life here revolves around being outdoors so much that when it rains for a whole day, you have to find indoor stuff to do and indoor stuff in a bustling tourist economy, it turns out, is not cheap. There is plenty of fun stuff for a couple to do and explore indoors around here (especially if you venture over to nearby Orlando), but it is all at amusement park prices.

Being unprepared for rainy weekends, we have learned to do what people in Michigan already know to do to pass time on snowy, locked-indoors, kind of weekends.

We bought a deck of cards.

Nicole is going to finally teach me Euchre (a non-sensical card game that is hugely popular in Michigan). It seems slightly less boring than staring at paint but it will be good to know in case of emergency over another rained out weekend.



Are Your Weekends Getting Better?

The only way I know to improve is to assess, then practice, then assess, then practice.


“How did we do today?” I asked Nicole as we settled in for the evening and reviewed our Sunday. “Was it relaxing?”

I don’t know about you but our weekends seem packed with shopping, chores, and tasks (groceries, cleaning, laundry, clothes shopping, grabbing food on the go, etc.). By the time Sunday night rolls around, we are ready to start our weekend! The problem, of course, is even when we plan relaxing things (like catching a movie or going to the beach), they turn into another task on the checklist. Even our relaxing becomes a chore.

We have been working to break that cycle, trying things like moving some of our weekend chores to weeknights (which packs weeknights but frees up swaths of time on the weekends–it’s a work in progress). The idea is to actually have freedom to do things we truly love on the weekends–like nap, paddleboard, and spend a day at the beach rather than a couple hours.

The biggest challenge is to protect the newly opened time. When I create space, I tend to fill it, but that is not the point of having time off together. The point is to finish the day with more energy than we started with while enjoying being together.

We assess our day now, reflecting on what worked and what we can do better next time. Often, it is as simple as, “We probably should have skipped the last two stores we visited and just bought those things from Amazon.” It is surprising how draining a day can become when you overextend just a little.

Nicole thought about it. “Yes,” she said. “Today was a really good day.”



Exhausting Day

Today’s Lesson: Great days end with you needing rest.


After a long day hauling paddle boards up and down 3 flights of stairs, in and out of water, hours spent paddling through mangroves and playing with manatees, followed by cleaning the car and equipment for the week… I was tired.

Really tired. I could feel it in my bones, and I knew two things:

1. It was an awesome day.

2. I was going to sleep very well.

Nicole asked if I thought I might have pushed myself too hard. “No!”, I said excitedly. “This was why we moved to Tampa! I’m tired but I feel great. We hung out with manatees and dolphins and floated through mangrove arches. It was amazing. Totally worth it! But I am ready for bed.”

Of course, it is good to rest and I am glad we are not going out again today, but I can barely wait for our next long day of exploring, being active, and hauling paddle boards around.

Go out, explore, and come home needing rest from the adventure. That’s a good day.



Waking Up Tired

That fuzzy-headed, throbbing-pulsing, vision blurring moment when you wake up and remember you only fell asleep an hour and a half ago…


Since I don’t drink alcohol that often, it is pretty rare for me to hang up having regretted the night before. I know the feeling, though, of waking up nauseous to a spinning room. Sometimes it happens just from having too much fun the night before and not going to bed early enough.

Nicole and I spent most of last night making each other laugh when we knew we both needed to be up early. The only problem was, we were having so much fun it seemed worth it.

It totally was.

Of course, we both woke up tired and added an extra shot to our lattes but a little lost sleep is only regrettable if the penalty is lasting damage to your health, wealth, or well-being.


Today’s Lesson: You should always get plenty of rest. Except when it is more fun not to (but observe the difference between really having fun and sort-of being entertained–only one of them is worth it).



Moving at the Speed of Life

Don’t be late. Life won’t wait for you to show up.


With the Tampa move coming, I feel Time accelerating. There are so many little things I have to wrap up. I have learned from moving so many times, there are some things you just do not want to forget, such as getting your dental records, looking far out into your calendar to cancel any appointments, and trying to think of the myriad places that need to update your address (such as blog-hosting service!).

Of course, there are friends and family who hope to say good-bye and they can fill a schedule quickly if you are not careful about coordinating with other events. If you are driving, of course, you want to change the car’s oil and have it checked out. Pricing and scheduling moving and storage can be a chore by itself. The little things add up quickly and suddenly 3 weeks to prepare feels like 3 days.

So many things to do, so little time. That is when life is most challenging and most enjoyable. Trying to do many things in a frighteningly short amount of time is at the heart of an adventure.


Today’s Lesson: You know this one. It is, of course, a long way of saying, “Time flies when you are having fun!”



Today’s Lesson: Replay [140823]

One of the great things about posting a daily lesson is the challenge of looking back over the day.

Before you go to bed tonight, replay your day in your mind. Play back as much as you can remember, in order, from the time you got out of bed until the time you started playing it all back.

I have found some interesting insights from my daily playback. Here are just a few:

  1. Even on days when I feel totally unproductive, I am often surprised by how much I accomplished.
  2. Something good happened every day. Every day. It may not always be something great but I have yet to find a day when I did not have at least one reason to smile.
  3. I forget much more than I remember. It usually takes me less than an hour to play back an entire day’s events in my mind. I am not sure if a lot of it was simply forgettable or if I am not great at detail or if it is just too much data to cram into my tiny brain and find storage space for all of it, but it is staggering how much of a day simply seems to vanish from my life each day. To me, that insight is both depressing and profound.

Today’s lesson, then: Memory Lane is more of an expressway and if you live too fast, you will miss a lot of the important stuff. In life, the point is not to get where we are all going (because we are all headed to the same destination)… the point is to enjoy the ride there.