The Schedule in My Head…

Here’s another post from the archives…it originally appeared on April 10, 2010.  I think it’s something a lot of people can relate to: 


Most people who know me would say I’m pretty relaxed…but I have a secret: under this laid-back exterior, there’s a person who gets very anxious when things don’t go according to the careful plan she has laid out in her head…

With seven people in our family, a schedule is pretty much the only way to keep from going insane.  Every member’s practice, medical appointment, birthday party, dance, play, or concert is logged on a giant calendar on the side of our fridge, as are school holidays, and vacation days from work.  Our lives revolve around this calendar – it is checked before committing to anything, and meals are planned around who is going to be home for supper that night.


The schedule is going to be even more important over the next couple of months – we have two daughters in cheerleading (two different teams), and they’re going into competitions – this means extra practices.  One daughter is going to Quebec on a school trip.  Our son is on the tech crew at school, and they’ve been working every night getting ready for the spring production of “Beauty and the Beast.”  Book sale season is starting in May, and we will be travelling to other New Brunswick cities in search of stock for the store.  There are lots of concerts coming up that Jim and I would like to go to as well, and we’re planning a weekend getaway trip sometime this spring.

Our two cheerleaders holding Brianna's team's banner...

I spend weekends doing laundry, getting groceries, and cooking for the week ahead – by the time I sat down in front of my computer last night at 9:45 p.m., the only thing I’d “accomplished” yesterday was getting groceries and making lasagna for supper (which was pretty awesome!).  We spent the rest of the day running kids around (and we did see a great movie in the afternoon – “How to Train Your Dragon”).  My brain was totally fried, and the blog topic I came up with yesterday morning seemed lame and unimportant – I was mad at myself for not taking the time to do my blog, which is one of the favourite parts of my day!  My daughter called me a “slacker” for missing a day, and I felt like one!

Jim doesn’t get my commitment to routine – he pretty much takes things as they come.  He admits that he sleeps better now that he goes to bed about the same time every night – he used to be awake until all hours, and then drag himself out of bed in the morning to go to work.  Jim also eats a lot better than he did when he was a bachelor – he usually has a hot meal (with vegetables) on the table by six o’clock, and leftovers for lunch the next day, instead of fish sticks and fries at 8:00, and fast food for lunch.

Jim and Jake Chilling Out...

However, Jim’s the one who talks me down from my tree when my self-imposed “schedule train” runs off the tracks…”Does it really matter if the laundry isn’t done today?” “Why don’t you stay home from the bookstore and get those seeds planted if that’s what you want to do?” “Let’s just barbecue tonight!”  I’m so glad I found him!

I changed my plan today – I slept until 9:30 a.m.!  I took the time to set my newly-sprouted seedlings outside.  I made myself tea, and toad-in-the-hole for breakfast.  I played on Facebook for an hour.  I helped Jim and Anna wrap and beribbon 4 dozen Rice Krispies squares for the bake sale at Brianna’s cheerleading competition this afternoon.  After they left, I put the first load of laundry in and started this blog post.  It is now 1:15 p.m., and I’m still sitting here in my jammies!  I’ll keep the washer and dryer going, and eventually, I’ll make it into the shower…we’re going to Jim’s mom’s tonight for his sister’s birthday dinner – now THAT’s important!  The rest of the laundry can wait…

The Birthday Girl on New Year's Eve...

Tomorrow night, I’ll see my granddaughter (and her parents) for the first time in almost three weeks – I’m looking forward to that too!

Elise, Just Hanging Around...

I don’t think I’ll ever give up the schedule in my head, but, with my family’s help, I’ll try to stop being so anal about it…


Filed under family, self-discovery

22 responses to “The Schedule in My Head…

  1. In the words of great and mighty Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ”

    Thanks to your post, I’ve two more things to my calendar: find out what toad-in-the-hole is and see How to Train a Dragon .

    • I can tell you what “Toad in the Hole” is, Hippie…it’s basically an egg fried in a hole cut in the middle of bread or toast (I use bagel for mine). “How to Train Your Dragon” is a fun movie…we enjoyed it as much as the kids! Wendy

  2. My husband and I are a little ahead of my brother’s family…ours are 25 to 30, his are 18-24. Once when he came to visit he viewed the huge calendar taped to the kitchen door and commented……”We aren’t THAT busy.” Little did he know his day was coming…that was about 15 years ago.

  3. This sounds so much like me I can’t even tell you. I don’t have nearly the number of responsibilities you do, but I can become a bit obsessive about doing things in what I consider a timely manner. And my partner has helped me chill a bit, as well. So, I’m with you on this one, my friend! Great post!

  4. Interesting you should post this today. I just wrote about time management, and you are the 3rd person to mention something along those lines. I guess we’re always focused on what need done eh?

    • I’ve got to get over and read your post, Clay…I’m so far behind (and it’s not because I’m not “managing my time” well – it’s because there aren’t 48 hours in a day!)…sorry I’ve been absent! Wendy

  5. I fear those psycho years are coming, those days where I play taxi driver and am the person in charge of logistics. Right now, I can limit the activities my kids are involved with (I do less well limiting my own activities, however).

    Good luck with your business, though. Don’t forget to come up for air!

  6. Thanks for posting this–it’s a good reminder! Also, I want one of those slings that Elise has.

  7. I’m the same way! LOL! It helps to have someone who is the yin to your yang.

    Love that photo of Jim and Jake.

  8. I can imagine trying to keep 7 people on track. It is one of the things that amazes me most about big families how in the world you know who is doing what and when. I am organized, keep a calendar, and its tough enough for just a small family. I imagine finding time for yourself is especially hard unless you just stop and take it.

    • It’s busy, and I often wish that people would help more (like putting dirty dishes and clothes where they go, and perhaps actually washing them once in a while). Last night, I actually read out on our deck for an hour…it was quite nice!

      Hope you’re having a good time on your trip, Katybeth!


  9. Jess Witkins

    Aw, I loved seeing the picture of Elyse when she was still a baby. Too cute!

    I’m with you on the time management track. Clay is right. Between his post, Marilag Lubag’s and now yours I’m all keyed up to make some changes to my schedule. For one month, I’m going to start planning my writing time in. I think I need a little structure or I’ll never see any progress. Lately I feel like all I can manage is my blog posts, so I’ve got to make time for what’s most important, like you said. On the plus side, if I’m home writing more, I’ll be spending less money, which is good, cause my ER bill came from my nose escapade. OMG!! What an expensive outcome for being too excited at the circus. *shakes head in shame*

    • I still struggle to get everything done, especially now with the new job, Jess! That’s awful about the ER bill…really glad I live in Canada where my klutziness is covered by the government! Wendy

  10. You have a very laid back, easy-to-relate-to style, Wendy! Great blast from the past.

  11. I can completely relate .. it’s the noise in my head that I have to shut down sometimes. My very best days? Those with no schedule .. when I let the day take me to whatever it is I want to do .. listen to my body & take a nap, listen to my soul and linger outside in the evening breeze and listen to my heart and write. You’re hubby’s right, the laundry can wait (( and in my experience, it multiplies anyways so I’ve never once been “caught up” on it )).

    Cheers! MJ

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