Are you ready? I’m not sure I am. As the checklists for back-to-school readiness are completed I am trying hard to savor every last drop of summer break. There is something magical about a lack of scheduling, later nights, and lazy days. Maybe it is because it brings to mind the summer vacations of my childhood or maybe it is simply the increased quality time I have with my family during this season. Whatever the reason for my adoration of summer, I know I am not alone in my sentiments.
For those you who share my fondness for this time of the year, instead of mourning the passing of this year’s summer, we should take stock of all that it has offered us, and consider how we can incorporate some of those meaningful things into our life throughout all of the seasons.
School and work schedules don’t allow for the amount of unscheduled time we experience during the summer but we can be more mindful about how much we try to cram into our days and weeks. Make downtime a priority. This is surprisingly hard for people to do these days. It seems as if most people are scheduled every waking hour, even on the weekends! There is societal pressure to be busy all of the time, lest you appear lazy or unproductive. This is not only bad for our emotional and physical health but for our relationships as well.
Incorporate family time into that busy schedule; whether that means more meals together, more walks around the neighborhood or, as the temperature drops, more time at home playing games or reading together. Just as those simple moments create summer memories, so too can they fill your year.
While school schedules make it tough to take extended vacations during the year that doesn’t mean you can’t sprinkle in a few small ones here and there. They don’t need to be grand trips just little getaways that allow your family to be together, away from the demands and technology that are ever present at home.
Think about the things that make summer special to you and your family. Create a list, which includes input from every family member and then commit to finding ways to incorporate, where possible, those activities into your year.
As we bid a fond farewell to summer break and all that it has to offer, we can welcome the fall with open arms; with the knowledge that the things that are truly important to us, and that give us joy, are not dependent upon the seasons but instead upon our commitment to making them a consistent part of our lives.
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