I do classic time management. That is to say, having established my priorities, I make a list of goals each year. Then, each month, I choose a subset of those to work on. My weekly and daily to-do lists come right off the list of goals, plus all those maintenance things we all have to do. People who are not familiar with this approach sometimes find it impressive, but they shouldn’t. I am only halfway through a huge goal I started on a couple of decades ago — produce four productive adult humans — so all my other goals are pretty small and important only to me.

But in August I do not attempt to accomplish anything except two essentials: get everyone back to school, and try to not to whine too much.

Not that this is all I do. I finished Siv. I finished the first pair of socks made with Siv’s leftover yarn and started the second. I’m singing in the Mendelssohn trio. I’m reading, visiting with friends, doing minimal housework. I am continuing to do the tough things my doctor told me to do. The key to surviving August is not that I don’t do things, but merely that I don’t have to. If I want to spend all non-work time watching TV, then as long as I also end up with three kids in school, clean and dressed and fed, I have had a successful month of August.

As long as I don’t whine too much.