Kids, Life, Podcasts

2 Random Things on a Friday: a shrinking vacation window and social media

1. Vacation Thoughts

I saw a post in a local Facebook group about our high school sports teams starting up practice this week. (So, very early in August.)

This made me pause… We typically like to plan our bigger family trips in August, because it is normally our “free month”.

Asher’s pretty intensive swim season usually wraps up at the very end of July (with the big season end championship meets, etc…not great to just skip, after working all year for them). After that though, school around here doesn’t start until around Labor Day.

So August has always been this nice wide, open stretch (basically our only big open stretch of the year), with no real activities going on or major conflicts.

But Ethan is going into 8th grade, meaning high school is right around the corner. (eek)

If he plays high school soccer (a fall sport for boys), as I will assume is his plan, that means… he will have SOCCER starting in early August, apparently. Hmm. This makes sense, but I hadn’t really realized it started so early.

(His club soccer has always started up in August, too, but it always feels like no big deal to just have him miss a few of the first practices- and it’s usually a little later in the month.) I am not sure he will feel the same about missing high school level soccer…. I think they practice like, every single day, and it’s a lot more of a “thing” to be there/ not absent, especially in that whole team-bonding, pre-season period.

Not to even mention other high school-y stuff, like, I don’t know, class registration days and whatnot.

Again, hmmmmmmm………… Really not loving the idea of having my prime vacation window shrinking and shrinking…. Those with younger kids, enjoy the freedom and flexibility while you can!!

It gets harder to pull them out of school, too, the older they get. (We’ve never been shy about yanking our kids from school for a week or even more for vacation. But as they approach high school, I’m pretty sure a 2+ week extended spring break is not going to be in the cards anymore.) 😩

2. Social Media podcast

Really liked Cal’s latest Deep Questions episode (A Digital Minimalism Intervention), where he interviews a friend who wants to cut back on his phone/social media use. I listened while cleaning up the house last night and washing our sheets and towels. 🙂

I have sliiiiiiid back into some very not-ideal social media use habits. Argh. I have actually stopped even tracking my total minutes used per day, because I was feeling too embarrassed to write them down. (Yes, in my private journal. I realize that is silly.)

I did find out that Facebook has this new (or new to me) feature called “Your Time on Facebook”, where you can see how much time you’ve spent on the app AND how many times you opened the app each day. I am not going to share my average number of “opens”, because I found it rather horrifying. 😳

It’s such a tricky thing for me, because I would bet money that most of my checks are <30 seconds. So it’s hard to really say, “Do something else with that time!” There isn’t really anything else I can do in <30 seconds that gives me this little brain break/ dopamine hit/ distraction, you know? It’s like this weird compulsion!

I guess I could always check my email. hahahaha. (Guilty of that, too. I don’t discriminate- I make the rounds, pretty equally, between Gmail 1, Gmail 2 and FB.) He talks in the podcast about how people who are so used to just checking something all the time sometimes end up literally refreshing the WEATHER app, if they remove social media or email from their phones. Hahaha. I could see that….

Do I actually “need” this constant distraction 45+ times per day? No, I do not. (Also, I’m, uh, not saying that’s my number, but if it were, it would be pretty high. 😬)

Anyway, with this very chaotic/ busy feeling summer, I kind of just leaned into my chaotic brain I guess and haven’t even tried to address this blue Facebook shaped elephant standing in the room. But, it’s starting to feel “icky” again…so, probably time for another reset or reboot. Or a delete.

BONUS PICS…. I bribed Ethan to go out on a long walk with me last night! Ivan had a work event, and it was a beautiful evening. We walked, talked and climbed a tree together. LOVE LOVE LOVE him.

Quote of the Day:

“Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.” – Robert Sawyer

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the feel of fresh sheets on my bed Ahh that’s the best.

3 thoughts on “2 Random Things on a Friday: a shrinking vacation window and social media”

  1. Next spring will be our last spring trip that doesn’t take the school calendar into consideration. Being the planner that I am, I looked at when spring break is for Paul’s first 2 years of school and it’s the first week of the month which is a time when Phil can’t take vacation time. So I don’t know what we will do but we’ll figure it out or maybe Phil will have changed jobs (unlikely, though). But so far we take shorter trips, like 4-5 nights so we can probably swing it and have him miss a few days of school. We’ll see. But the sports thing is tough. Practicing start so early. I know my nephew had a hard time finding a job last summer because of the expectations for football – like weight lifting, etc. It seems like A LOT for a pass time? I was not athletic, though, so did not have to deal w/ practices and such. My brothers were in sports but I don’t remember it starting so early… but we also did not go on vacations when I was growing up. We usually go to my parents lake home for 5 days in August for our summer “vacation.” So I guess that may need to change in like 10 years! I will enjoy the flexibility while I can!

    I will have to listen to that episode! I am off social media as you know and I really don’t miss it. I am sure I check email more often as a result, but I also use duo lingo and read books on my kindle if I have some downtime. I have been using duo lingo for about 50 days now and am kind of surprised by how much I have learned. My reading comprehension is decent for what I’ve learned so far, but listening/understanding is most challenging. But I at least was able to ask Will’s teacher if Will enjoyed water day the other day!


  2. when I’m anxious and busy, I tend to lend into social media more for distraction. whenI’m calm I don’t. so I guess it’s our brain trying to “take a break” from the chaos but doing more harm than good. I’ve deleted FB from my phone but still have IG. But don’t be so harsh on you. sometimes we just need it.
    sorry to hear about the shrinking summer break. We didn’t officially have one as I continued to work but I learned to take mental breaks here and there, so actually it’s possible to still get the summer feeling while doing things and working. For the kids, as long as they have plenty of play dates, they feel it’s summer break.


  3. If it’s any consolation: in Germany, you can’t pull kids out of school at all) unless for VERY important reasons), so there is no way you could take advantage of pre- or post-summer break travel. And both my parents were teachers LOL
    But I can empathize that it’s annoying to see this summer window shrinking.

    “I don’t discriminate- I make the rounds, pretty equally, between Gmail 1, Gmail 2 and FB.” I laughed out loud at that. I don’t discriminate either 😉


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