A Streak of Bad Luck

I reflect on each day to figure out what lesson I learned from life. I share each of those lessons on this blog. Here is today’s…

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From Friday to Monday, here is what my weekend looked like:

Friday… Crashed my new Prius

Saturday… Enterprise ran out of cars to rent

Sunday… Our rice cooker exploded

Monday… Trainee missed flight, causing havoc at work

Okay, now here is what else happened:

Friday… Crashed my new Prius and no one was injured or killed.

Saturday… Enterprise ran out of cars to rent so I went to another location and worked it all out.

Sunday… Our rice cooker exploded and I cleaned up the mess and made a carrot cake instead.

Monday… Trainee missed flight, causing havoc at work so we adjusted the training schedule and I picked him up later than planned.

 

I won’t lie. I was in a pretty foul mood for much of the weekend, even though I tried to keep things in perspective. I mean, those are seriously some first-world rich white person problems there, and I get that, but they still felt like big problems in the moment. Sometimes it seems like you can’t catch a break, but in truth, every time you survive adversity (without dying), you have won. You faced and overcame a challenge and the only critic tearing you down after that is… you.

I had a “rough” weekend, but looking back at it now… it was actually pretty great!

 

 

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Weekends Off

I learn a lesson in life every day, and I share it with you. Here is today’s lesson.

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You may have noticed something that has not happened on this blog for more than a year and a half. I took the weekend off. (I won’t kid myself. You probably didn’t notice but it was a big deal for me.)

When I started the “Lesson Every Day” idea, my commitment was just to try it for 3 months and see what happened but I had a secret goal of making it a year. I have blogged daily for more than a year, now, and have not missed a single day (one day I posted just past midnight and Nicole holds me on that technicality but I still say I did not miss a day).

Part of my inspiration for the daily blog came from some of my favorite bloggers, such as Seth Godin, who blog every day. Mostly, though, it was just to keep me practicing and never letting a day go by without learning.

The thing is, I find reading a blog every single day burdensome at times. I don’t want to miss anything but if I don’t have time to read Seth’s post today, for example, it becomes immediately backed up and I start playing a game of catch-up.

So I am taking weekends off. I will still write every day but by not posting on the weekends, it allows me a couple days of buffer so I can enjoy every minute of a future weekend with friends or family.

If you have a daily habit, such as exercising, writing, reading, or even social media… try taking a couple days off each week. See what you can fill that time with instead. It might be something just as valuable.

Plus, it is fun to change things up once in a while!

 

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How To Have A GREAT Weekend

Today’s Lesson: Less planning equals greater possibilities.

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I don’t know about you but weekends are serious business for Nicole and me. And that is the problem. We often plan our weekends like military extraction operations.

Our list of must’s typically includes mission-critical tasks like laundry, groceries, cleaning, grooming, taking out trash, changing litter, making meals, preparing for the coming week, clothes shopping, etc. That is before anything is planned for fun or relaxation, which sometimes feels like added chores anyway (we have to be at the movies by 10, so we can have lunch at 1, to get to the beach by 3, and leave by 6 to get to the grocery store… you get the idea.).

I have found sometimes the planning leads to paralysis-by-planning. Nothing seems to get done and we are more tired at the end of the weekend than when it started. Of course, I know we are not alone.

Here is a little trick I have found works wonders (but it is REALLY tough to adhere to). Whenever I plan my weekend like this, it allows for spontaneity, adventure, and fun, and somehow the mission-critical stuff is still accomplished (or, it turns out, some of it is not actually critical and finds its way postponed into next week).

Plan no more than 3 things each day. Pick the truly “must be done” things. “Wash the car”, for example, is something that is convenient to do on weekends but not critical. If it gets done, fine. If it does not, people will judge you about your car but they were going to judge about something anyway. At least you will already know you have a dirty car.

Keep the tasks simple–so simple you can remember them all day. Saturday: Pay bills, vacuum, groceries.

Do the crucial stuff first. If nothing is more important than making sure your budget is done on Saturday, then just do it first thing. When you put it off, you waste energy worrying about it, which means when you get to it, you have less energy and focus to do it right.

Keep a list for spontaneity. It sounds counter-intuitive, but we share a list in Google Keep. Whenever we drive by a sign or place and remark, “Oh, that looks cool. We should check that out some time…” it goes on the list. Then when we find ourselves bored, saying “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know. What do you want to do?” We consult the list and pick something. The list is always growing so there is always something to do! There are parks, stores, events, bike trails, beaches, all kinds of things on our list. We don’t consult it very often (we usually know what we want to do) but it comes in handy on occasion.

 

I find this method of not cramming a long wish list into the weekend helpful but the hardest part is remembering to keep the weekend simple. Allow breathing room. The space between chores is where creativity, spontaneity, and even romance can occur. Otherwise, you are only extending your work week… and it is good to have a day off once in a while.

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When the Whole World is Against You

When life gives you lemons… 

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Sometimes I feel like the world is out to get me.

I wanted a nice, relaxing weekend. A long work week was tidied up, I chose to stay home and take some time for myself instead of being social, and I was looking forward to doing a lot of writing and little of anything else.


Of course, the best laid plans are sometimes torn asunder. By six in the morning on Saturday, I had an employee quit, a sick cat, and a message from a friend needing my help. I was not even out of bed and the weekend pretty much stuttered its way into being from there. The rest of Saturday and Sunday consisted of chores and work crises (I did manage to see a movie and had a moment of respite at a local cafe while I wrote yesterday’s blog).

There were certainly times when I was frustrated and felt like my weekend was stolen from me, but I knew almost immediately the lesson I was going to take away.

Today’s lesson: Maybe the world is out to get me but it doesn’t matter. There will always be obstacles in my path, always someone or something ready to derail me from my plans (and often that obstacle is me). There is no point being mad about it. The universe leaves the onus on me to make my plans work within the context of what the world throws at me.

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A Sunday Nap

Sometimes the best way to spend time with someone is to sleep together…

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One of my favorite parts of the weekend is a brief indulgence Nicole and I allow ourselves each Sunday… a nap together.

We almost always enjoy a vegan brunch as part of our Sunday routine (whether at home or at one of our favorite brunch spots), and almost always afterwards we head back to the apartment for a mid-afternoon nap.

It is not just a nap, though. For us, it is an opportunity to carve time out of an otherwise busy week to cuddle and just enjoy being in each other’s presence for an hour or so. Of course, we do not just hop in bed and fall right asleep. The nap is usually preceded by time appreciating each other and chatting (or sometimes not saying anything) and eventually drifting off in each other’s arms (inevitably, Nicole falls asleep on my chest).

I simply can not think of something I would rather do in that hour. By far, our Sunday naps are my favorite part of the weekend.

Today’s lesson: Whether it is a nap, or a regularly scheduled game of checkers, or an afternoon dessert together, or whatever… create a regular, predictable time for you and someone you cherish to connect without interruption. I would say several times per week is best but at least once each week enjoy the company of the person or people you choose to spend your life with. That way, you are sure you are actually spending your lives together instead of wasting your lives together.

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