Well summer has officially begun. You can argue that summer started as soon as the kids got out of school or you can argue that technically it doesnt begin until June 21 (Summer equinox) but regardless of the details, its definitely hot enough to be summer in my book! Along with the heat comes the more relaxed attitude that is characteristic of the season. Does anyone else have a problem accepting this?
Dont get me wrong, I WANT to accept this idea. Every year I count the days down until summer where I fantasize that my days will be filled with exciting travel plans balanced with lazy days in a hammock reading a breezy novel and sipping ice tea. Family and friends will come over for dinner more frequently (since were all in vacation mode right?) and my nights will be spent with good friends, good food, good conversation, and a damn fine wine. Sadly, this never seems to happen. I feel awkward having so much free time. I feel like Im not being productive. I feel that my time can and should be spent in much better ways. And instead of being recharged at the end of the season and ready to begin the fall with a newfound energy, MY summer ends with less energy than I began it with! And I suspect Im not alone in this.
People are busy. I get it. You cant possibly take time out of your day to relax, take a nap, read a book, watch your puppy chase a butterfly, etc. Theres work, housework, appointments, even vacation has become stressful nowadays with all the planning that must be done before hand and all the financial repairs done afterwards! I feel the same way. Yet I also feel increasingly like this is something I MUST make a priority in my life. If for no other reason, for my sanity. I have to have time to recharge my soul. My boyfriend knows firsthand the repercussions that come about when I dont take time for myself. Im in a blah mood. However, that blah mood can quickly become an upset. I walk around exhausted, complaining about things, etc. My normally optimistic attitude will rapidly become me seeing the glass as damn empty! This is definitely not the me that I know (and certainly not the one my boyfriend fell in love with) and yet I just cant seem to find the time to do what I know is necessary to my well-being.
So what are we to do? I have started with baby steps. I am compiling a list of what I would do if I had absolutely NOTHING to do for a day. I also have another list of how I would spend my time if I had a week left to live (with no boundaries including financial, etc). Now hear me out before you write me off as being morbid. This list really helps me realize where my priorities lie and THEN I can also see where Im not living in accordance with my priorities. For example, one of the things on my list is that I would see the world during my final days. However, whens the last time I traveled and actually saw the city/country I traveled to? Not only taking pictures, but really experienced that place? Thats a perfect example of not living in accordance with my priorities. Now of course its not feasible to travel every day of my life. But I can start with baby steps. I can plan a trip for next summer. I can figure out what country I would like to visit the most and do some research into that country. It can even be as small as eating at a restaurant serving the cuisine of the country of my choice. The point is not WHAT you do but that you are DOING something!
SO, suggestions for comments on this blog:
any thoughts or comments you have about summertime and its lackadaisical attitude
ideas of small, feasible ways that one could start to reclaim their time to nourish their soul
for those of you that have this practice mastered, how do you do it?!
And with that, I challenge each and every one of you to take just 15 minutes for yourself today to do whatever you feel like doing. AND not feel bad about it!
Thanks for reading,