Dealing with unbreakable dates

I have five brothers and five sisters. When people with fewer kids or siblings hear that, one of the first questions is, “How do (or did) you ever get anything planned?”

Generally, they are talking about family outings (when we were all mostly children) or family get-togethers, now that we are grown.

Believe it or not, the whole bunch of us (including nieces, nephews and grandkids) do manage to get together a few times each year. Christmas, Independence Day and others are fairly easy. They are special days printed right on the calendar. But how about weddings, graduations, christenings and other uncharted dates?

We all learned long ago that there’s no convenient date to fit everyone, anytime. If we had to all agree, we’d never all get together. Instead, we’ve learned to pick any special dates as far in advance as possible, let everyone know and stick with the date.

I’ve heard sad tales too many times to count – even from parents with growing kids:. “I tried to set up a fishing trip, camping weekend or other activity but we just couldn’t come up with a date that didn’t have conflicts.”

My dad would say, “We are going to the lake next Saturday” or “We’re heading to Torch Lake the last week of July.”

Then the whining would start with brothers and their Little League games, sisters with birthday parties with friends, 4-H activities for any of us and countless other reasons to plan for a different day. We may have whined, but we knew we wouldn’t win. We went and somehow managed to plan around those dates.

Whether you are planning an activity with your own kids, other family members or just friends, you can try to find a day suitable for everyone, but don’t count on it – just announce the day.

“We are going fishing next Saturday.”

You’ll be surprised how many schedules can be changed, how many unbreakable dates or appointments can be worked around.

Categories: Blog Content, Michigan – Mike Schoonveld