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I recently saw a TikTok going around in which a guy said something to the effect of, “If you want to hang out, I’m free in late August.” On one hand, the fact that every weekend of his is booked for the foreseeable future is cool. I’d like to think all his plans are fun, classic summer weekend stuff, like going to the beach and doing karaoke or playing boozy mini golf with friends. On the other hand, it sucks. What if something really amazing, like a hot first date or a last-minute invitation to a party barge, comes up?
If your calendar is already filling up with pre-planned activities every single weekend, may I offer you a humble solution: Consider the two-plans weekend. Between the moment the work day ends on Friday through the end of the day Sunday, have no more than two (2) prior engagements. Fill those in however you like. Maybe it’s a group dinner on Friday night, and a long day in the park on Sunday. Could be a Saturday afternoon bike ride to the museum, with a Sunday morning brunch.You’re picking up what I’m putting down; the only parameters are that you make no more than two plans in advance, and leave the rest of the weekend open. What does “in advance” mean, you ask? In this case, it means about a week out. The benefit of having only two set plans for any given weekend is that you open yourself up to the possibility of saying yes when, say, someone hot asks you, late Thursday afternoon, on a date for that weekend, or when your friends arrange a last-minute park hang on a beautiful day. Preordained “fun time” on the weekend is a nice thing to look forward to, but aren’t some of the funnest times the ones that were laced with a bit of spontaneity? Two plans is always ideal, but is especially good right now, as we’ve all forgotten how long plans take, and we’re all soaking each other up. For instance: I recently spent three hours nursing a single drink at a happy hour with friends I hadn’t seen in a year. Pre-pandemic, I would’ve banked an hour for this, tops; now, I find it’s nice to sit and let the conversation ebb and flow, and feel no pressure to close the tab and move on to the next big thing. Making only two plans inevitably means turning plans down. That’s OK; there’s nothing wrong with being choosy about how you fill your time. If your next few weekends are already bubbled in with your maximum two plans each, politely let inquiring friends know you’re booked and suggest a future date or weekday alternative. The worst-case scenario, if you only make two plans? No last-minute plans come up, and you are left with a Saturday evening all to yourself. Quel dommage! A necessary component to “having plans” is “not having plans,” which enables you to do things like “recharge,” and “rest.” Something we all may have forgotten, as we’ve gotten our vaccines and are still remembering how good it is to see our friends in person: Alone time is a necessary buffer to busy time, even if that busy time is all fun and games. “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,” said someone once, and it’s true. As the summer unfurls, resist the temptation to squeeze the pulp out of every single moment, and free yourself from the tyranny of busyness. Instead, go into weekends with no more than two set plans. This summer is full of possibilities, and not all of them can be penciled in on a calendar.Follow Hannah Smothers on Twitter.