This month our family sees the beginning of a second new chapter this year. The first was me quitting my full time job in April. And this month the boys start at a new school. Dashiell is in kindergarten! And Cedric is attending the same school for preschool a few days each week. I was a little bit nervous when I biked to the school to pick up the boys yesterday, wondering if they had good days. And then Dashiell burst out of the gate, all smiles and energy. I found Cedric in the preschool room happily playing with magnets at a table and his teacher said he had a great day. My heart was so full knowing they had good days! They were both excited to go back today.
We brought two neighbor friends home with us yesterday, the same ages as my boys. They all sat at the small table, eating a snack of letter cookies and oranges, and were laughing and being so silly (lots of poop conversations...). We've been envisioning this exact scenario for so long – biking the boys to and from school, being able to pick them up when school lets out – and I'm feeling very thankful to be here.
And now school has officially started! I'm considering this Monday to be the start of my writing year. This month I want to solidify my goals for my first writing year, although I also realize they could also change a lot as I go. I'm embracing that unknown and am open to what takes shape.
I also have routines on my mind. School morning routines, school afternoon routines, writing day day routines, days at home with Cedric routines. I do love routines and our new situation with school and me at home leave ample opportunity for creating them. I also have this feeling that with school starting I'll blink and it'll be Halloween, then Christmas, spring break, and the end of the year. I want to keep lots of unstructured and unplanned time in our lives, which I'm guessing gets harder being involved in a bigger school and with the boys getting older. I guess we'll see.
Well, here we go!
+ Started getting allergy shots twice per week. Getting them frequently will allow me to work through them more quickly so I can go less often.
+ Found a moms' running group (suggested by reader Amanda, thank you!) and have been running once per week.
+ Bought all the boys' school supplies
+ Audited the boys clothes, donated too-small items, and ordered a few shirts from thredUp.
Big things happening in August:
+ Boys start school at our neighborhood school
+ Book club retreat to Sedona – can't wait!
+ Chris travels to attend his best friend's baby shower
+ School year starts for Chris
+ Settle into our school year schedule and routines. Whenever I have to do something more than once or there is something consistently annoying or stressful a light goes on in my brain and I think, "This should be optimized!" I'm thinking there will plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks to put this inclination to work. I'm not sure yet how I'll balance the days I have to myself with home administrative stuff like errands and housework. I don't want to take up too much writing time but also don't want to leave lots of work on the days I have Cedric at home with me.
+ Begin my writing year + make a writing calendar. I think I will end up writing a lot during the school year when I have days to myself and probably less so in the summers when the boys are out of school. I also love having a seasonal flow to life so this could work well for me, but we'll see! I might have projects I have to crank out in the summers. This month I want to establish my daily routines for my days at home and by the end of the month sketch out a writing calendar with tentative deadlines for myself.
+ Get back to saving. Heading into 2018, Chris and I knew it would not be a year to sock away a ton of savings. (We chatted about it on this episode of Matrimoney.) This summer we've been enjoying a season of spending with getting coffee and treats out more and not sticking to our budgets as fiercely. I'm usually so careful about spending money that being more lax has felt really great. But it's time to get back to saving. Especially now that our childcare costs are going down significantly (we'll just pay for Cedric's part-time preschool, instead of two kids in daycare full time) we should be able to save well each month.
Recurring monthly goals:
+ Weekly phone dates with my mom and regular phone dates with close girl friends.
+ Thursday night at-home cookies dates with Chris.
+ Don't start or end the day with my phone.
+ Go to bed by 9 pm.