The Summer Slip
Don't let summer slip away. At our house our summers are purposely restful. We aim not to fill our summer with places to go and things to do that make us feel like we are on a schedule. The school year dictates that we keep a schedule weekly while summer offers promises of slower mornings, quiet late afternoons and early evening lounging by the pool.
Often families celebrate the end of school, but pick right up with the busyness by jumping into camps and other commitments. If children are in your life, remember that you only have them for possibly 18 summers. What summer are you living this year? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to live your best life this summer. Consider some of these ideas to fully embrace all that is wonderful about the summer.
Farmer's Market & Berry Picking
Summer for us means frequent trips to the farmer's markets and nearby berry picking. What is more awesome than a counter full of fresh food washed and ready for eating?
In early April when we can hardly wait for summer to begin, the kids and I sit down and begin to plan our summer on paper. Sometimes we aim to work on a new skill. Several children at my house are working on music goals such as learning to play the guitar and piano better. Scrapbooking and home improvement projects are usually at the top of our list.
Early in the spring I determine what books may be left over from the school year or what books we should read to be prepared for the next semester. Reading occupies a significant part of our free time each summer. We look for reading contests that offer rewards for our hard work. Due to diligence and an insatiable interest in reading, several of my children have won first place in summer reading programs. Prices have varied from a $50 gift card to a collection of gift cards, recognition, free food and gift cards for the bookstore.
For my reading I gather many books that I have been wanting to read.of some that are partially read. Usually, I limit my stack to ten books. These books range from self-help, spiritual growth, educational, biographical and other interesting subjects. I personally love this part of my summer.
For all of us, summer also promises more time to spend with friends. Early in the summer before the weather is too hot, we venture to the zoo or a park. Play days with the children’s friends include snacks and trips to new locations. I work to catch up with adult friends who don’t cross my path regularly during the school year by treating them for lunch or meeting for coffee. These days I am also planning time with older high schoolers or college kids that are my friends. Several of my former writing students have been at college all year. I am eager to catch up on their news.
Did I mention that summer also gives us long hours to complete cleaning projects and yard improvements? While this is no one’s favorite choice for a summer day, the results are rewarding. Cleaning often unearths lost treasures and forgotten toys. The joy of a partially empty space or more efficient work area proves satisfying. Summer offers time for seasonal cleaning and purging.
During the school year I find it difficult to focus on projects around the house. My mind is occupied with school. Summer offers time for repairs and house projects. Long stretches of time offer efficient work blocks. Since summer offers a vacation from schedules, be sure to use this flexibility to meet your goals. Plan game nights, movie nights or cooking days along with those workdays.
Rest, then Rethink
While taking much needed rest from the routine, don't let your summer slip away without the potential advantages of planning. Take time to evaluate, to organize and to dream.
What are your plans for this summer?