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Engagement Rings

2023 Time Tracking Challenge Day 2 – wrap up – Laura Vanderkam


Well, it wasn’t the world’s most tranquil Tuesday, but it wasn’t bad. After hitting “publish” earlier today, I did a bit more work, then ran an errand to the post office to mail some books. There was quite a party going on at the post office apparently, because I had to wait for a parking spot. But all things considered, I don’t mind going there — the clerks know me, and I often say hello to someone I know while there.

After, I came home and worked on various things until 12:30 p.m., when my husband and I ate lunch together (leftovers for me, sandwich for him again). I did a podcast-related call at 1 p.m., did various random things (it was that kind of day) then got in my running clothes for another 3 mile run (1:35-2:10 or so). Not far, not fast, but it wasn’t that cold, so it was fine.

I then proceeded to not work for much of the rest of the afternoon. My husband left for the rest of the day, so I had the house to myself, so I decided to play the piano for a bit (I wouldn’t do this while he was working from home and on calls…). Then I practiced some vocal exercises, then decided to sing through the Agnus Dei from Bach’s B-Minor Mass (also not good as an accompaniment to someone else’s Zooms). It’s a goal to practice singing more (three times a week is a habit!) so I’m glad I did that, but then I found it hard to get focused again. It’s unclear what I did with this time. Work/admin/etc. I know I did my puzzle for a few minutes, then kids started coming home, and I chatted with my daughter for a bit. I did manage to get back to my desk from 4:15-4:45 p.m. or so, at which point I fetched my 13-year-old from the bottom of the hill where the activity bus had dropped him, then went to get the 15-year-old from school.

He really wanted Starbucks, and it probably won’t happen later this week, so I took him. It’s one way to get a teenager to talk to you…The Starbucks parking lot is much easier to navigate if you have two people — one to go in, one to stay with the car (there are places you can idle but can’t park…). He got our strawberry acai lemonade refreshers, and then we drove home. Our nanny and the two little ones got home from karate shortly thereafter so we threw together dinner (tomato soup + grilled cheese mostly), and ate (5:50-6:10) and then I got ready to drive my daughter to her choir concert.

I had wanted some of the older boys to go but…they didn’t want to, and I didn’t feel like a fight, so I went by myself. She had to be dropped off 6:30 p.m., but it didn’t start until 7 p.m., so I read an interesting article in the Princeton Alumni Weekly about the conservative movement at Princeton. Then the kids sang. They were great! The songs were upbeat, and everyone was cheerful and the program was also short. We were out by 7:45, and home by 8 p.m.

Now I am writing this while the 3-year-old watches some Cookie Monster video on YouTube Kids. Everyone needs to be in their rooms by 9, and lights out by 10 and then everything starts over again!

I hope your second day of tracking went well. Let me know if you’re observing anything interesting!



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