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The 7 P's

I am very excited to be sharing with you today a piece that my dear friend Megan wrote for me. She’s one of my closest friends and lives within walking distance from me. Our kids are super close and play together almost daily. She’s very kind and caring and has a big love for her family and friends! Check out her amazing blog about her dear Grandad and the HUGE impact he made on her and her fam to shape them ❤️

“The 7 P’s.

Our beloved family Patriarch, who we affectionately called GG and who passed away just shy of 96 years old, left our family with a myriad of valuable advice and life lessons: Be kind, clean up after yourself, people who care share, leave big tips for good service, don’t pat people on the back when you hug them (it’s insincere!). But one the most often repeated is that to be successful in life you must ALWAYS practice the 7 P’s! Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. In a nutshell, it simply means that if you take the time to prepare for a situation you can prevent a lot of life’s stressors - big and small. Yes, its most frequently directed at my kids when they forget to bring their laundry down and therefore have no clean socks, but its equally valuable for the big events in life. I took this advice to heart when, in early March, we started to hear that we might have to stay home for a couple of weeks because of a virus that was threatening to shut everything down.

7 P’s - Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. So I planned! I filled the pantry and the freezer, turned the dining room into a make-shift school, bought puzzles and paints and clay, and stocked up on books.

Time wore on. We did weekly zoom calls to stay connected, made lists of movies we wanted to watch, pulled out all of the old toys that never got used, baked 345 loaves of banana bread, went on bike rides and hikes and tried to remind our kids that this is what OUR childhoods were like when they balked at going for walks instead of playing video games with their friends.

Time wore on. Summer plans were revised, we became a little more flexible on-screen time, rescued a puppy and bought that trampoline we SWORE we would never get. We had our groceries delivered and participated in drive-by birthday celebrations. We read all of the literature about wearing masks and standing 6 feet apart and using hand sanitizer and flattening the curve.

Time wore on. We mourned the sports seasons we missed, bought a movie projector and made an outdoor movie screen, used hundreds of water balloons, abandoned the zoom calls, bought a jeep (because why NOT?!) and ultimately acknowledged that the immediate future is going to look very different than what we know or what we could ever imagine. So now what? Over four months into a pandemic with no clear end in sight, how do we prepare for what feels like the unpreparable? How do you avoid stressors when EVERYTHING feels stressful?

Part of the reason the 7 P’s is is so often repeated is that it is a very basic, straightforward piece of advice. Think ahead! Try to see what’s coming and plan for it the best you can! Don’t get caught with your pants down! Unfortunately, I am waking up and realizing that every day, regardless of how hard I may try - I’m caught with my pants down. I’m simply not able to prepare for the Groundhog Day of bad news, closures, illness curves, and frustrated kids.

For me, embracing the fact that you CAN’T plan for everything has been the biggest lesson during this pandemic. Stop. Slow down. Breathe. Be Present. So in honor of my GG, who was able to learn and grow and adapt during his 96 years in so many ways; who made it through a depression, wars, illnesses, and loss but with a perpetually positive attitude - I’ve decided to add to his famous advice...always practice the 7 P’s, UNLESS you’re in a Pandemic and then throw all advice out the window and focus on the most important P: Be PRESENT. So for the time being, you’ll find me over here, trying to potty train this new puppy, eating some banana bread and living in the present.”

-Megan is a mom, wife, Baker, and was GG’s #1 Princess. She lives in Vienna, Va. Megan owns DecoBake Cookies LLC., specializing in sugar cookies - sorry, no Banana Bread.

You can find Megan on Instagram @meganbrwn

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