Pre Planning

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Pre Planning

I survive on a calendar.

Let me be more specific . . . I survive on a calendar that reminds me things in my iPhone.

I used to have a reputation of having a mind like a steel trap.  I could recall stories I’d done six years ago in a split second.  I had a memory of concerts attended and the album the band was promoting in it along with who attended the show with me.  I remember the first date I had, the outfit my future wife wore, all that.

Now I think I’ve broken the computer in my brain that fired those synapses, at least in the more short-term of my memories.  It’s that or I’ve just gotten to the point that I actually have overworked it.  Maybe it’s just too full of useless information – another thing I’ve been accused of, a brain of miscellany that nobody else wants – that I need to purge some of the more useless information.

Even purging what I think is useless, though, could eliminate memories that seem innocuous but lead to pleasant experiences.  So, no, I’ll leave things where they are.

But I live off the phone because it tells me where everything is and what I need to do.  I’m constantly hitting that button and saying “give me a reminder that our education special airs Monday.”  To that I’ll add “remind me at 7pm Monday to prepare for Tuesday dinner.”  That simple sentence is enough to spark my memory . . . which is that I need to plan ahead.

Today I went to the grocery store and had to plan at least until Wednesday.  Tomorrow I’m home for dinner . . . Tuesday and Wednesday I am not.  But the kids have to eat.  They’ve asked to have Mac and Cheese one of the nights…so I bought that.  I’m making them homemade marinara with meat sauce for the other.  I’ve extolled the virtue of the crock pot and its inventor before and I’ll live off it again this week.

Related: The Crock Pot Letter

It’s also an amazement to me that my kids up there have grown so much and are nearing self-sufficient natures.  The boys have half-days at school all week . . . making them latchkey kids all week as well.  They don’t care, though.  They’ve hit the routine . . . they do their homework (though I make sure that’s the case when I get home) and they clean up any leftover dishes from the morning.  They pick up, then are allowed to play video games.  Their sister puts on the stereo when she gets home, does her homework, and all seems to be in order when I get home.

So pre-planning works for us.  I could leave them to their own devisces but then I’d come home to chaos.  I learned very early on that chaos and children aren’t a good match.

It’s not just about dinner, though, it’s about communication.  I tell them early and often when I’ll be late.  If it’s a surprise I let them know as soon as I know and the cycle continues.

In the end, though, they all seem to handle it with aplomb now.  Three years ago I didn’t think I’d see the day.  Today . . . it’s like I’d pre-planned it to happen.

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