Has anyone else hit the “I’ll circle around in the new year” mode yet? I think I’m THERE. If my Amazon order history tells me anything, it is that right around Halloween, my brain actively starts scanning into 2023. I don’t have it in my calendar to order the new wall calendar (how meta would that be?), but maybe it is the leaves on the ground, the fact that I try not to add anything else big in the rest of the calendar year, or the way the holiday season in our Big-Blended-Family-with-Multiple-Religions-Also-Many-Tantes-Cousins-Cats kicks off when the 12-year-old shares her Google doc holiday list (with a key, clearly, the apple doesn’t fall. . . ) with the family.
Generally, my brain functions more on an academic year cycle than a calendar year cycle, but there is something lovely about laying out the new year on a giant wall calendar. Yes, I have all of this in a work Outlook calendar and a family Google calendar, but I still like the visual layout of seeing the entire year at a glance. Part of me is craving a touch of analog amongst all the digital details I’m juggling. And I don’t believe in waiting until 2023 to hang the 2023 calendar because January things are coming – and fast! A year ago, my friend and Together colleague Chrystie gave me permission to CHOP OFF the remainder of the calendar year to make space for the new one and it was remarkably freeing (insert visual of Maia sitting on the floor of Together HQ with an Exacto knife slicing off the final trimester!).
So, once the big wall calendar was up, what goes there?! Well, for me, there are a few known events:
- Kids’ birthdays and proposed party dates. This is because they require coordination with other people, so we plan them early.
- School days off and other school events. This includes spring breaks, winter concerts, half-days and holidays. Because our family functions within two different school districts, we like to spot overlap and collisions early.
- Girl Scout meeting scheduling. I try to do this on a semester basis for my troop and then get all the Google calendar invites out to families, so they can
- Family summer vacation. Yes, we know what this is already because we take the same trip during the same weeks and stay in the same house in my homeland every year. I’m exciting like that. Maia’s Maine Mom Camp for the win!
- Together and my known work and personal travel. We try not to travel at the same time, and when one of us is gone, it requires supreme coordination to get four kids to four different schools and all fed and clothed. I’m no superhero; I am lucky to have a full-time babysitter to assist, but it still takes planning.
Once this skeleton is in place, I start to ask myself:
- Do any months or weeks look too crowded? If so, what can I move around? Our 12-year-old is in a heavy bat mitzvah season, so we have been arranging weekends carefully.
- For months or weeks that look too full and we cannot rearrange anything proactively (hello, I’m looking at you last two weeks of school), how do we buffer ourselves accordingly?
- Are there any items coming up that “usually” happen during a certain time where I can reach out and lock in the timing?
- Is there an opportunity to create fun? Dr. Together and I identified a winter weekend when the whole family could do a Harry Potter forest event in Virginia (PS Has anyone been? It looks very cool). We are also flirting with the idea of a hosting a St. Stephen’s Party on December 26 in honor of Dr. Together’s Irish childhood.
How about you? When or how will you start thinking about 2023?