Monday, November 27, 2006

Success By the 6 P's

Without doubt this was my best trip east, at least for my parents and my relationship, since I moved back west to Idaho more than three years previous.

It required strategy.

The problem I face with both my family and my friends is time. Invariably I short change one or more of my friends and I always leave my mother feeling jilted.

This trip I took a different tact. Instead of emailing my mother my flight schedule the second I purchased it, I emailed her an itinerary of our time together. The main problem is one of expectation. Once she sees I will be home from a-z, she plans out every moment between the two and when I schedule time with friends from c-g and m-t she feel short changed. So this time she didn't even see my flight schedule until she begged for it, and in the process she learned she had an additional evening with me on my arrival date. Once on the east coast, she discovered she had another part of a day with me. It may sound small, but this peace is huge. This is the first trip I didn't spend half the vacation stressed out trying to appease everyone and failing miserably.

One negative to this plan is I had several very tempting offers to hang out with friends I couldn't accommodate because they violated the pact we had already established. It stunk to tell my friends no, but in the end I think it was worth it.

I am such a spur of the moment fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person it is almost unfortunate this succeeded.

I am already in trouble for my trip home for Christmas. My mother knows my flight times and I haven't scheduled one visit with friends yet. This could be bad.


Anonymous said...

A tip that helped me maximize my time... Invite friends over to the house so your parents and friends get to see you at the same time. My parents also liked seeing most of friends too. It's a little clunky but it is also a great time saver when making the holiday trip home. Also talking several times a week to the folks by phone/email alleviates the pressure to catch every one up when in town.