Around here we're in that transitional phase when one season merges into another. Anna finishes school this Friday and Simon follows next Tuesday. Both keep asking over and over when they will be done.
Some people ease into these kinds of seasonal transitions, some people jump in feet first and some people fight it. I'm really just trying to embrace it.
This summer what I really want is LESS and SLOW.
I want to take the long way. Wander. Linger. I want to practice being slow and deliberate.
I want to walk and bike vs. taking the car whenever possible (and even when it's not convenient).
I want to hang out in my backyard. I'd like to say "period" right there and have that be the one and only thing and just leave it at that, but there's a bit more already planned for our summer.
A family camping trip, a camping weekend with friends. A business trip for me at the end of the month and another in late July. Camps for kids.
The last couple of years I've written up a manifesto and turned it into some sort of a memory keeping project. This year I'm just jotting down some ideas here and going with it - I've got enough memory keeping projects in process that adding one more feels counterproductive to my desires for the next few months.
Here's a few thoughts about the next few months:
CREATE A SPACE | Designate an area in my yard for a fire pit. I bought one from Home Depot and it needs a permanent home in my yard. Now here's the deal - knowing myself and my tendencies from time to time I might keep putting this off because what I can do right now might not be the perfect thing I have in my mind (hello Pinterest inspiration). I need to push through that and simply get it set up so we can use it spur of the moment vs. waiting for the whole set-up to be perfect. A couple of simple inspiration images from Pinterest can be found here and here.
A BIT OF ROUTINE. Simple daily chores and educational time for the kids. We like these Brain Quest workbooks plus daily reading/quiet time. In addition, Simon's going to be charged with making a batch of cookies each week (teaching all kinds of practical skills) and I'm sure Anna's going to want a part of that as well. Both kids will be attending a few different camps over the course of the summer. Simon's signed up for a comic drawning/stop motion camp, a sailing camp, and a Harry Potter camp. Anna will be doing a local community center camp, a gymnastics camp, a ballet camp and a more traditional outdoor camp with some of her school friends. Both will also spend time with my parents for at least a week at Grandparents Camp (as we like to call it).
INVITE SLOW | This hammock and stand. Not really less (because it needs to be purchased) but it definitely invites slow and it will add another opportunity to spend more time doing nothing in the backyard.
CHOOSE LESS & SLOW. I've got a whole lot of work stuff happening this summer that might at times feel like the antithesis to less and slow. Ha. Forget "might" - "will" is more like it. I still want to be able to turn that intensity off and practice lingering in the evening when I'm done with my working day. Turn off the electronics. Ride our bikes to the pool. Lay out a blanket in the backyard grass and having a picnic dinner. Set up the projector and screen for a movie night in our backyard.
SLOW = FOCUS | Read one book at a time (vs. a bunch at the same time) from beginning to end. I'm currently consumed with Gone Girl.
I loved reading this fantastic post the other day that came along at just the right time for me (written by Courtney Carver at Be More With Less): The Greatest Secret To Productivity.
As I write this out I think the main thing I want to keep in mind is slow - even more than less. How can I take the slow route or the long way this summer and what happens when I do?
Have you taken some time to think about what you want in your life as the seasons change? I know many of you are in the Southern Hemisphere and are transitioning to a completely different season all together.
Like the word art used at the top of this post? It's available here.