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Planning for Winter 2020

You guys. I have some bad news. As they say in Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming.” We need to prepare. There is no denying we will soon be spending even more time at home, we will be back to gathering less because outside fun just won’t be as possible. When I was working as an Operations Manager for Bloomingdales in NYC, my boss had this great saying and it’s stuck with me to this day. I wish I could remember his name at this moment.

“Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance”

It’s true. If you spend a bit of time to plan something, odds are it’s going to go better than if you don’t plan at all. Thanksgiving dinner with no plan? Disaster. Trying to go somewhere new without a map or a plan? Disaster. A soccer team without plays to execute? Not gonna win. What do you expect to happen if you have no plan for things? These next few months are going to happen no matter what. We can all choose to aimlessly plow through them or we can intentionally take advantage of the time we may have at home. As I talk to more people about their holiday plans, I realize this year, a lot of people will celebrate the holiday very differently than any years in the past. 2020 just keeps on with the fun. People who normally travel far to see family are opting to stay closer to home. In December, I assume there will be far less holiday parties, holiday gatherings, holiday events. This means more time at home. More time with immediate family. More free time with not a lot on the agenda. You can choose to let it just happen or you can figure out what you want it to look like.

As we are 8+ months into a slowed-down lifestyle due to Covid, many people have already exhausted their “rainy day plans.” I get it. I’m not saying you have to minute by minute plan the next few months but a general idea of things you could do might come in handy in a moment of frustration. I plan to be very intentional about the use of my free time to make the most of the next few months. To me, this means planning to watch Handmaid’s Tale (as I read both the books last year) instead of scrolling the TV channels aimlessly. This means picking an online class I might want to take, instead of just logging into facebook and wasting my time. This means looking through my library of books and noting down a couple I could pick up on a cold day. This means jotting down ideas for family activities that could happen no matter what. This means looking for volunteer opportunities that are still needed and we can do safely in the covid era. This means finding a couple age-appropriate crafts I can do with the girls when we need an activity for our hands. This means brainstorming ways we can spend the time to make this season unique and worthwhile. Should we get a basketball hoop for nice sunny winter use? Do we have what we need when it’s time to go sledding outside? I am making an intentional plan for the next few months until this cold weather turns into spring. I know it’s going to be a long winter. I know it’s going to look different than other winters. But it doesn’t have to be bad. If you make a proper plan, it will open up the opportunities for making good memories and coming out of the other side of the virus feeling ready to tackle the world. Because I’m so full of quotes today, I’m going to quote Robert Frost, who said, “The only way out is through.” We have to go through this, people. It’s happening.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a notebook and jot down some ideas. Instead of feeling FOMO for the stuff we can’t do, feel excited to tackle the things you want to do! I can’t control what’s going on with this virus but I can control what’s going on in our home, I can control how I spend my free time. If you’re looking for me today, you may find me with a notebook and pen, writing down some ideas to keep us productively occupied for the next few months so I can keep whatever shred of sanity I have left. Here’s to hoping it’s not a lost cause.

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Blue Pencil is based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Locally servicing Fairfield and Westchester Counties. Remote consultation available.

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