I just listened to a great podcast where they advise working moms to “plan weekly adventures” – and I thought it might be a great discussion here and on CorporetteMoms. How do you plan weekly adventures? How have plans and adventures changed throughout your life – eg, singles plan, couple plans, moms-of-the-babies plan, moms-to-be-big plan, empty nest plan?
The podcast is the podcast my readers turned me on, The best of both worlds. If you’re not familiar with podcasts, it’s hosted by Laura Vanderkam, author I know how to do it and mother of five, Sarah Hart Unger, a practicing physician, blogger, and mother of three. As Vanderkam’s website notes, they discuss “work-life balance, career development, parenting, time management, productivity, and making time for fun.”
the April 11, 2023 episode Pediatric endocrinologist Rachana Shah talks about the rule she’s come up with during the pandemic: Plan one big adventure (which lasts a few hours) and one small adventure, which lasts an hour or so.
(If you don’t have time for the entire podcast, you can just check out these 3 minutes YouTube video — she describes how some of her little adventures were touring a new local pool, checking out a new coffee shop, or more — and a lot of her bigger adventures were things like camping, which were completely new to her family.)
This is definitely something I’ve always struggled with – I have to fight my urges to nest or work.
Readers, what about you: When you think of weekly adventures small and large, what do you think of? What do you do when you are in a rut? How have adventures changed over the course of your life?
How I’ve Planned Weekly Adventures All My Life
My odd years
I was basically single until I met my husband at 30, so I had plenty of time just to myself to plan weekly adventures. I distinctly remember that during my law school years, I pretty much worked without steps, but forced myself into Friday afternoons and evenings. Most of my close friends from law school were in my study groups or other places where I spent a lot of time, like reviewing law, so I wasn’t too nervous about being social – instead I would generally go shopping, and take turns to a few places different (eg luxury mall, mall, discount stores like TJ Maxx, etc). The time I spent not thinking about anything legal—and walking around touching pretty clothes—was invaluable at that point in my life.
During my law firm years, I also worked a lot, often staying in on the weekends. (I think I wrote about how I considered going to the office on Sunday would be “Super Monday” because I could get so much done.) Unlike in law school, I didn’t feel like I was always working with good friends, so I tried to make plans for Friday and Saturday nights ahead of time. Early to see friends, which usually involves picking up a new restaurant or bar or going to a play or fair or something.
(Looking back, I really wish I was more adventurous with exercise in particular—trying a new type of exercise (cardio drum! aerial yoga!) or activity every weekend would have been awesome.)
My double years
When I met my husband we still loved checking out new restaurants and bars but we also started to cook more and start doing more type-y things like date nights with friends – we worked out so well that some of the best girlfriends met their future husbands at the same time almost.
years with young children
When my first son was born, it changed things dramatically—we’d often bring him with us to new restaurants (and we’d love to watch him try new things)—but other things started entering the mix: checking out new pop music—by the pool, or A new playground, a new playground, going to one of the more kid-friendly museums, a zoo or aquarium, etc. Often, family comes over, or we meet friends with young children to join us in activities.
I was generally pretty good at planning family adventures like this until the pandemic came (wee) – we are/were some of the most covid we know about (primarily to help protect some family members), so urge spending has become a weekend that We live in them in our pajamas, with screens on, really a bit of a nymphomaniac for us!
Since we got back there, we’ve been trying out little adventures like trying new types of foods, going to local fairs or kid-friendly outings, and more. Some are downright stinky ditches where we say, “Okay, we tried it,” and others are hits that introduce us to new favorite activities.
My top tips for planning adventures
You have to plan for it
As can be seen from above, I’m not the best at this – but I will say that if I’ve learned anything, it’s that spontaneity doesn’t work for me and adventures. (there He was At the time, I spontaneously took my 4-year-old on a helicopter ride, but, uh, I’m not sure that’s the best example.)
For me, now is the time to think about the adventures we want to have over the summer—things like kayaking, seeing exhibits, boating—all of which can be planned in advance because we are generally bound by availability and/or required to have a reservation.
The things I struggle with are the things where we say, “Ugh, let’s go for a walk somewhere new!” or “Let’s check out our new area of town!” Anything that requires searching often denotes us not going at all.
My spreadsheet idea
(It’s always a great day for ScheduleAm i right?)
One of the things I’m going to try this summer is put a bunch of ideas (from all of us!) on a spreadsheet, print them out and cut them up into little bits, then put them in a jar, so we can pick one up every weekend. Including various places to check out which might lie on the side of the road if left to spontaneity (eg hiking, exploring, etc.).
(I guess I’ll have to get one jar for winter activities and one for summer… ok).
Readers, what about you: When you think of weekly adventures small and large, what do you think of? What do you do when you are in a rut? How have adventures changed over the course of your life? (Who in your house is usually the one planning said adventures?)
(If you distinguish between The weekend is you vs. the weekday is yoursHow do your adventures fit in with those characters?)
Stock image via Stencil.