My Love-Hate Relationship with Procrastination (maybe just hate)

Procrastination. I hate this word.  Really. I know everyone does it. My kids are really good at it. I hate it when I do it.  

 I know my excuse – I’m a perfectionist (which is a serious illness). What is your excuse?

What are the items on the Procrastination List? Well, a lot of things. But, I did finally tackle the big one on my list – the family vacation we are taking this summer.  The hubby has always had this dream to take the fam damnly on a trek out West.  You know, Griswold-style.  However, Wally World is not our destination – the destination is our country’s National Parks!

Why did I procrastinate on this particular project? It’s an 11-day “get-a-way” that includes multiple stops, multiple routes and maps, sight-seeing decisions, etc. It was so daunting and overwhelming to me. And, I was not excited about changing hotels every other night – packing and unpacking, etc.  What finally got me started on this project was my husband telling me that he was freaking out about my lack of planning and interest in this huge opportunity for family fun.

Whoa, I didn’t want to be the fun-sucker on vacation (I do that enough on a day-to-day basis). Finally, I confessed that I was afraid of his expectations for this family trek – his parents used to go on these 3 week long driving pilgrimages staying in a new location every other night with extensive itineraries, etc. He assured me that he was not thinking along that vein. Relief!

It took an entire day, but we did it!  We have a budget, all of our accommodations booked, and some awesome activities planned.  Now that it’s done, I’m excited! Why did I fear this task so??

Here is our itinerary:

Day 1:  Hellish 12-hour day of driving to get to BFE, MN

Days 2-4:  Another long day of driving, but we reach our destination:  Rapid City, SD.  We will be staying here for 3 nights and visiting Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands National Park, Black Hills National Forest and possibly checking out the Corn Palace.  I’m especially stoked about seeing Mt. Rushmore!!!

Day 5:  Driving from Rapid City, SD to our next stop, Estes Park, CO.

Days 6-8:  Hanging out in Estes Park; visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. The place we are staying is on a river where my husband can try out his new fly fishing gear and looks fantastically relaxing.

Day 9:  Hellish 12-hour day of driving to Kansas City, MO.  Just a stop, not a destination.

Day 10:  Short 5 hour drive to St. Louis, MO.  We are taking our kids to the Gateway Arch – the “Gateway to the West”!

Day 11:  We are homeward bound.

It will be EPIC! However, we are not making any stops to pick up Aunt Edna so we won’t have to worry about toting a dead aunt on top of the mini van 🙂

Okay, here are the remaining items on my Procrastination List:

1.  My bio for my boss’s new web site.  What do I put down?  It’s not really that interesting.  Why am I in health insurance?  I’m not sure – it just happened.  I definitely did not plan this as a career – I was a math major!  I can’t put this one off much longer – it was due today.

2.  Various Doc visits – annual visit, colonoscopy (dad, I swear – I’ll call tomorrow), mammogram, daughter’s eye exam, my eye exam.  This is another day of just calling people – I don’t have time for that! Buuutt, these are important visits and I just need to do it.

3.  Call the Carpet Cleaners

4.  Start my running program again.  What the hell is wrong with me ?  I did so well (almost 30 minutes straight!) and then the flu.  Now, I’m starting over again, but not quite yet.  Just Do It!

Okay, first thing tomorrow morning, I’m going to cross items #1-4 off of the Procrastination List!  Or maybe next week…..

Relax . . . You’re on Vacation!

Ahhh…vacations.  They’re all good, right?  I got back from vacation recently and this article spoke to me “Back from the Beach?  You need a Vacation”.  Oddly enough,  it gave me comfort.  Why?  Because apparently I’m not the only nut out there that doesn’t feel relaxed after a family vacation.  Whew! What a relief!  I thought I was alone.

Our vacation in the Outerbanks was really fun and it was great to see my sister (who lives many states away).  It’s just the pre-vacay and post-vacay rituals that stress me out.  Packing a family of 5 ain’t no game and is not for the faint of heart.  Of course, my family thinks my packing rituals/routines are insane, but we rarely forget anything important or critical to our trip.  I’m not a fan of the saying “If we forgot something, we can buy it!’. 

The pre-vacay routine has gotten a little better since my kids are old enough to pack themselves.  When all of the kids were little, it was C-R-A-Z-Y (totyards, diapers, baby food, bouncy seats, etc.). 

The Packing Routine

The formal living room becomes the staging area and the pre-vacay routine typically begins on the Sunday prior to the Saturday departure.

1.  If  you want a certain board game, fishing pole or baseball mitt to come on the vacation, please place it in the staging area. 

2.  Your suitcase must be in this area emptied and ready for loading.

3.  Please grab your pre-printed packing list from the counter (these lists are available a couple of days prior to departure).

4.  If you have a favorite outfit that must go on vacation with you, please put it in the laundry at least 2 days prior to departure.

5.  You are responsible for your own “fun” bag for the car ride – that means electronics, electronic cords, books, etc.

6.  Friday is family truckster loading day and the pre-flight check.

 

Once we arrive at our destination, it usually takes me about a day and a half into the vacation to get into full relaxation mode, but I do eventually get there.  Since we rent a house on a lake, the minute we arrive (after an 8 hour car trip) we must immediately unload the van so I can go the grocery store (you all know how I LOVE The grocery store 🙂 ).  I feel like I never really get a break from the stuff I normally do at home (grocery, laundry, cooking and cleaning).  I wish we could vacation with an “Alice”.  I mean, my husband is an architect!  I thought the live in nanny was automatic (false advertising!).

Of course, the return trip routine is a little easier because we just need to re-pack everything we brought with us.  But, I usually spend half of the last vacation day on the post-vacay ritual.  And, of course, the post-vacay ritual continues once you pull in the driveway – I’m still working on the three 13-gallon trash bags of dirty clothes we brought back with us from our trip to the Outerbanks!  (UGH!! The BANE.)

My bro-in-law appropriately stated that vacations are pretty much about the kids – I couldn’t argue with that!  He can be very insightful :).  That’s why my husband and I take a trip once a year – just us!  That’s my real vacation every year (he can pack himself and clean up after himself :)).

The news article really summed it up for me.  I may have to follow some of the post vacation de-stressing suggestions in the article (except maybe the weeding – I don’t think that would relax me).

Here’s a relaxing scene from the Outerbanks!  Beautiful, isn’t?

Enjoy your summer vacations!

Hook Me, Baby, One More Time!

When I was traveling this weekend to a graduation in West Virginia, I was missing something at every turn. What was it you ask?   It was a freakin’ hook for my purse!  You’re thinking, “Huh?”.  Well, as a feminine representative of human race, I carry a purse like most women.  When entering a stall, I need a gosh darn place to put it!!  The floor is NOT an option! 

On our trek to and from West Virginia, we made A LOT of potty stops (with 3 kids, it happens!), and I have to say I can’t remember any hooks at any of the on-the-road stops.  I’m talking restaurants, rest stops, gas stations – it just didn’t matter.  What the &$*^!?  

According to this ABC news article (I also saw something similar on the Today Show last year), putting a purse on the floor can kill you (okay, not kill you, but make you really sick!):  

Your Purse Could Be Making You Sick / A Microbiologist Found Millions of Germs on Purses / By ELISABETH LEAMY / Aug. 8, 2006

Quote from the article: “It matters because you can move germs that can cause illness from one location to another,” he said. “You can later touch that purse and get them on your hands, or you could put your purse near a food preparation area and transfer germs to areas you may touch during food preparation.”   

Men must design ALL public bathrooms – there can be no other explanation.  It’s a standing joke that there aren’t enough stalls, but COME ON!  In the few stalls that have been made available to us, you can’t put a damn hook in the stall somewhere?  Does it require too much forethought?! Are they too expensive?  Is there a shortage?  

Okay, so at each stop, I consider different methods of keeping my purse off of the floor: 

Should I balance it precariously on my knees?  Hmmm. .  .maybe not.

Should I set it up on top of the tank, if there is one?  It’s probably dirty, but can’t be dirtier than the floor, right?

Should I try to hang it on the corner of the door?  I’ve tried this before and sometimes this doesn’t take and I do worry if someone will snatch my purse.

Hang it around my neck?  Hmmm. . . . that seems potentially dangerous.

Should I balance it on my head?  I’d have to practice this method first before attempting it in a stall.

After mulling over my options, I just get mad that I even have to spend so much time thinking about it!  For goodness sake, I just need to make a pit stop! 

Architects, Engineers, Construction Workers, lend me your ears! 
Hooks, please!?