June 2024 goals

4 June 2024

Friends, thank you for all your generous thoughts on the project management musings in my last goal update! They were so interesting to read – we span a wide range of practices and preferences! – and helped me find my own best solution.

Here’s where I landed. At the beginning of May, I transferred my to-do’s into Asana (but kept the daily schedule for my days off in my Google Doc). Though I wasn’t scratching the surface of Asana’s capabilities, I liked being able to organize to-do’s by project as well as due date, and I found I liked having the to-do’s separate from the schedule. Then, each Wednesday and Friday (my days off), I would consult Asana and move to-dos into the next few days of the daily schedule, as needed.

While I’m not sure this system will work forever (May and June are unusually full), it’s working right now, and that’s good enough.

Here’s what else is on deck in the month ahead!

We went to an NC symphony concert this past weekend – a John Williams salute – and it was magical. I have the best memories of evening outdoor orchestra concerts when I was a child – I hope my kids feel the same way some day!

On my calendar:
— Swim meets! Our neighborhood swim season has begun and it’s a fun vibe to spend many of our evenings at the pool surrounded by friends and neighbors.
— Father’s Day! I’m organizing a pastry bar from a local favorite cafe for the men at our church, and celebrating my own wonderful husband, Dad, and father-in-law. (Details at the end of the post–dads, don’t peek!)
— A lot of travel and visitors. My sister and her fam and my in-laws are coming on separate weekends, and we’re traveling to Bald Head Island for a long weekend and leaving for Michigan at the end of the month – and in between, I’m traveling back to Texas for work. Eep!

What I’m loving right now:
— In honor of Memorial Day, this beautiful column from Peggy Noonan: “Teach Your Children to Love America.” (Gift link!)
— After searching all my usual haunts for some new sleeveless tops and coming up completely empty, I remembered Ann Taylor and wow – they have my number. I was looking for something more special than a basic tee but not so precious I couldn’t wear it on a work-from-home day, and they delivered. I ordered this, this, and this for under $100 during a recent sale!
— With three kids, I’ve found it helpful the last two years to keep a simple Google Doc with our summer plans. It doesn’t have every detail, but I can easily share it with my mom and sister, and it’s helpful to have an at-a-glance reminder of where everyone will be when I’m making plans or appointments several weeks out. Click here for what it looks like! (Not our actual schedule! :))

As a reminder, you can find allll the things I’ve loved over the last few years neatly organized right here!

What you’re loving right now:

This is where I highlight a few items here that have been popular in the last month with fellow readers, based on my analytics. Here’s hoping this will help you find something you’ll love!

— The coziest summer-weight blanket we own and have gifted
— The underbed storage boxes we use for keeping memories – each child has one!
— My pool slides (I returned the olive green and went with white again)
— A simple lizard strategy game, featured in my day-in-the-life post
The Anxious Generation, a book I think everyone should read

Last month on The Connected Family:
‘The Anxious Generation:’ 4 Norms to Adopt Now | My takeaways from Jonathan Haidt’s new book
The Practice of Phones Off for an Hour Each Day | Or, what to do when you and your spouse don’t agree on phone boundaries
Fighting Back Against Attention Fragmentation | An update on logging 1,000 hours of deep work in 365 days
A Day in the Life of The Connected Family | The Spring, workday edition with an 8-, 5-, and 2-year-old

What I read in May:
The Women | After a string of so-so novels this year, The Women rocketed onto my bedside table and redeemed the last few months with its bleak (this is Kristin Hannah, after all), but propulsive – and ultimately satisfying – page turner. Like her other beloved novels, it immerses you in a time and place you don’t know much about (this time, Army nurses in the Vietnam war, and life in America after they return home). I felt like I’d lived many lives with Frankie (and stayed up way too late several days in a row) by the time I reached the last page. Highly recommend.
Nothing to Lose | A quick Jack Reacher thriller I picked up on a whim at the library. I’ve read a few and they always make me feel connected to my sister-in-law, who in a somewhat incongruous spin has read every single one, and my Dad, who has also read a bunch.
Go as a River | Right on the heels of The Women came this stunner – and likely nudged it just enough to take the top spot in my novels so far this year. Reminiscent of The Four Winds, with a little bit of Educated, Where the Crawdads Sing, and a splash of My Side of the Mountain, this beauty was expertly paced with exquisite turns of phrase and a satisfying ending. Highly recommend.

My reading list for 2024! I’m 6 / 24 so far.

Revisiting my May goals:
Complete at least 40 hours of deep work (35! So close!)
Thoughtfully prep for Teacher Appreciation Week and Mother’s Day
Make a loose plan for summer days at home (More on The Connected Family last week!)
Edit Annie in April
Complete a sweep of the loft
Finish the 2015-2019 photo album! (I’m about halfway done with 2019! Also so close!!)
Read chapters 10-11 of Outlive

June goals:
— Complete at least 30 hours of deep work (with travel, I won’t be sitting in front of a screen as much as usual!)
— Film June in June
— Read chapters 12 and 13 of Outlive
— Host our neighborhood’s kindergarten breakfast
— Host our church’s Father’s Day celebration
— End the school year and begin summer well (some of what we do here!)
— Plan for Annie’s July birthday (it will sneak up with travel!)
— Finish the 2015-2019 photo album
— Buy a new laptop (though this is overdue, I have weirdly complicated feelings about this! My MacBook is 12 years old!)

As a reminder, many of these are drawn from my 2024 goals!

Alrighty, here’s what I have planned for Father’s Day: for my father-in-law, a beautiful bird puzzle. For my Dad, a gift card to play golf together at the par 3 near us and a subscription to Storyworth, in conjunction with my sisters. I’ve wanted to do this for him for years and now that he’s retired, the timing is just right! And for John, an overnight stay at a local hotel that I won at our school’s spring auction (my younger sister is flying in to watch the kids, which will be fun for all!) and a new Landmark Project tee.

To close, I would love to hear one thing you’re doing to prepare well for summer! No matter what season of life you’re in – whether you have kids or not, a job that shifts or not – a new season on the calendar always feels like an opportunity to be kind to our future selves :) It could be putting books on hold at the library, deciding on a lunch you can repeat, planning now for a trip, or resetting toy storage… the smallest things can make a big difference! Please share in the comments, if you’d like.

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June 4, 2024 11:18 am

Have you read Home Before Morning? It came to mind when you mentioned reading about Vietnam war nurses. I’m guessing you, too, probably heard the author’s daughter on Nancy Ray’s podcast! I haven’t read either of these books but I still love talking books so I thought I’d put that out there :) And I am DEFINITELY using the change of season/end of school year as an excuse to tackle our toy department!! Yikes. I’d also like to watch one of the free online courses from Hillsdale College. And hang a new blind that I’ve owned for at least 8 months but is still in the box!

June 4, 2024 3:45 pm

Could you expand more on “Deep Work” – I apologize if I missed it before! I absolutely LOVE that term, but would enjoy hearing how you define that. Great post, as always!!

June 4, 2024 8:50 pm

Are you doing anything to prep your old MacBook for your new one?? I think I’m going to need one soon also, having the same weirdly complicated emotions about it since I’ve had mine 10 years, but I don’t know where to start as far as prepping any backup for it to transfer over- if that’s possible? I hope that makes sense, ha!

Katherine Bossardet
June 5, 2024 6:15 am

Always love your monthly goal posts! Our oldest, Sam, will be finishing his daycare/preschool at the end of June, so this will be our first summer with a kid at home. Luckily my husband works in a local school system, so he has most of the summer off. I am a little worried about how Sam will transition from the freedom of summer (which I think he will love) to starting kindergarten and being in school 5 days a week again in August. Is this something you’ve had to manage with June? Or have a plan to manage with Shep? Always appreciate your insights!

June 5, 2024 8:22 am

I would love to hear more about the neighborhood kindergarten breakfast – it sounds like such a cute idea!

June 5, 2024 3:17 pm
Reply to  Em

This is such a great idea!

June 5, 2024 8:23 am

Happy summer!
I live in Holland, Michigan, just a couple minutes from Lake Michigan – I live where everyone else vacations! And Holland REALLY shines in the summer!
We don’t have kids yet, but we do have busy summers – I’m making every effort to embrace a slow summer pace :)
To prep for summer I: put a beach chair, beach towel, and extra bathing suit in my trunk – that way I can get to the water at a moments notice after work or when a friend calls. I buy a BUNCH of s’mores stuff so that we are never low and load a basket. I get extra cash to use at our legendary farmer’s market, I put a hand towel by the back door so bare feet don’t track in *too* much dirt, and I “schedule” several days to make NO plans and do no travelling but just enjoy summertime. :)

June 5, 2024 11:37 am

Where do you visit in Michigan? We are thinking of that next summer since Liz & Sam are in Ann Arbor.

June 6, 2024 9:57 am

Sharing a super small thing, but I ordered Nippies on Amazon. LOL Going on a beach vacation in a few days so I’m gearing up!