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So, we finally broke down and made a family schedule today. It's not etched in stone, but it covers all of the bases. My wife Pam was the one who organized it, as it had been a long-standing goal of hers, ever since we had our third child.

Our instructions were simple:

"Write down what you have to do each day, along with things that you would like to do."

So, after my list of chores, which includes the dishes, trash, and other sundry tasks, I have entries like this:

  • Write a book - humor, parenting, real estate?

  • Learn HTML

  • Teach kids writing skills

  • Exercise - biking, running, swimming

Tonight, we were officially scheduled to go for a swim at the pool which is about a block and half from our house. It is almost uninhabited when we go, since we prefer swimming in the evening, starting around 8pm or so. Our kids are very fair-skinned, so we don't have to worry about sunburns then.

On a related note, and I am virtually certain that I wrote this on my blog months ago, but I think my favorite song by R.E.M. is "Nightswimming". I don't seek it out very often, and it's not on my iPod (yet), but every time I hear it, I feel relaxed and transported back to 1992, when my wife and I were still dating. This song has a simplicity and a beauty that I have difficulty putting into words. I read once that it was written as an ode to a sort of eternal summer.

The funny part about liking this song is that when I first heard it, I probably hadn't been swimming at night more than a handful of times. Now, it has become part of our regular family routine during the late spring and summer months.

The kids helped me to get a good workout tonight, and I look forward to our next outing. Enjoy the tune:

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