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Summer Manifesto 2015

For the last few years I've put together a Summer Manifesto (20142012 finished album2012 list). It's a nice way to set some specific intentions for the summer months that help guide our activity and leisure choices. 

Some years I've made a mini-book or created something to go along with it - documenting the process or telling the story after the fact. This year my creative plate is already pretty full and I'd like to work on Project Life® if/when I have extra time so I'm not planning on adding any other memory keeping projects besides Week In The Life™ in August. 

And the truth is there is really just one thing I want to focus on this summer. One simple thing. It's a gift I want to give to my kids and to myself:

I want to get in the pool with my kids. 

Now I know some people out there have body issues that keep them out of swimsuits and out of the water - that's not really my issue. If that's your issue there's a great article that Jessica Turner wrote about that last summer that is so worth your time: Put On That Swimsuit.

Is it fear of the water? Nope. Swimming has been a huge part of my life and I actually love being in the water. 

So what keeps me out of the pool? 

Sometimes I want to read (Dear Kindle, I love you). Sometimes it's just too cold (dude, I'm getting old). Sometimes I just want some time by myself to chat with my friends who are often at the pool at the same times we go. Sometimes I just don't feel like it. All generally valid reasons for not getting in the pool, but this summer I want to make a different choice. I want to do those other things I just listed AND I want to play with my kids in the pool. 

My kids regularly ask me to get in the pool with them and I regularly say "just a minute" or "not today" or "no thank you."

This summer I want to say yes.

Yes to being with them in a playful, fun environment. Yes to diving down to the bottom to retrieve toys. Yes to throwing Anna up in the air. Yes to letting Simon tickle my feet under the water. 

It's time for me to get back in the pool and that's exactly what I plan to manifest in my life this summer.

If you were to have just one thing on your Summer Manifesto what would it be? 


Just an update on Week In The Life™ Kit pre-orders. If you pre-order before 6/15/15 you'll receive the digital/printable cards and digital stamps (shown above) for free. Already pre-ordered? You are awesome. These files will appear in your Ali Edwards account under "My Digital Files" when your order ships. Full details on the kit can be found here

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33 thoughts

  1. shayneb says…
    06/08/2015

    THANK YOU for providing the digital files. I pre-ordered almost immediately, and thought, "I hope I don't fall TOO in love with the kit, and hoard the pieces..."
    Now, I don't have to worry about that at all.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. ciahansen says…
    06/08/2015

    Yay for getting in the pool!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. herbannative says…
    06/08/2015

    I love the idea of making a conscious effort to say "yes" to the people in our lives. Especially when we have often said "no". Thank you for the digital files. They are perfect.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. angiemaynes says…
    06/08/2015

    To just PLAY with my kids - take them places, jump in the pool, do fun games and projects. Basically enjoy them. :)

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. sarajeanne12 says…
      06/08/2015

      This is mine too. To forget about all of the other things I "have" to do, and say YES when they ask me to play. And to soak up every bit of them being little.

    2. CraftyCat says…
      06/09/2015

      Agree 100%. It goes by quickly my son is now 11 and I am going to SAVOR every minute before he becomes a teen and no longer wants to hang out with mom.

    3. mtercha says…
      06/09/2015

      They will still need you, but in a different way. And don't be surprised if your future 15 yr old could go for a game of Apples to Apples. ;)

  5. icequeen says…
    06/08/2015

    Love the digital surprise. Thank you.

    As for getting in the pool: do it now while they're still asking. Some of my best summer memories are boogie boarding at the beach and endless lazy river rides with my niece and nephews. You miss it once they have work, college, and boyfriends/girlfriends to ask instead.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. minkaclark says…
    06/08/2015

    Kids grow up so quickly (a cliche but true) and it won't be long before they will no longer ask to play with you. Too many parents say no until it's too late for them to do so. I am glad you have realised this. Enjoy the pool. Going into Winter now in this part of the world. Would love to be in the pool.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Carolyn_andthenthey says…
    06/08/2015

    I love this! Getting in the pool is a wonderful goal/manifesto. I love the simplicity of it. You will be giving your children memories, for sure. My goal list is a lot longer, but believe me, there is swimming involved! http://andthenthey.com/summer-to-do-list-2015/

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. CarolAnne says…
    06/08/2015

    Get in the pool and play! My kids are too old to want to play in the pool with their mama (16 and 13) and I miss it. But I did have many years of playing with them because I made it a priority. We have precious memories and catch phrases that still make us smile.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. kristeng says…
    06/08/2015

    I wrote out a summer manifesto last week! It's full of little and big things I want to do to savor the season and stay in the moments. My very top item to "manifest" this summer would be to stop giving myself a hard time. I'm way too much of an over-analyzer. And right now, I just want to be sweet on myself.

    http://okenjoyblog.com/2015/06/04/summer-manifesto-2015/

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. LakeLady8186 says…
      06/09/2015

      I enjoyed your blog, Kristen.

  10. jchurch2 says…
    06/08/2015

    If I had just one thing on my summer manifesto, it would be to spend more time outdoors...walking, gardening, reading on the patio.
    I am so psyched about Week in the Life and am looking forward to the digital files!!,

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. desilei says…
    06/08/2015

    I started a list with my almost 7 year old son this evening. We were trying to come up with 50 big and small things to do this summer - many are things we would have done anyway - but so far only got to 30. I always feel like the summer goes by so quick and that I didn't enjoy it. And now that I have to share every other weekend with their dad, I want to make our weekends together even more special! "Go to the pool" is the #1 item on the list. I always get in with them. You will not regret it. :) --Desiree

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. PamV says…
    06/08/2015

    Thank you Ali for the wonderful surprise gifts! On my summer manifesto is to learn to digital scrapbook so your free gift of digital journal cards and stamps is perfect! Thank you so much!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. AnnetteH says…
    06/09/2015

    yay for saying Yes and getting in the pool! I'm working on this too as well as saying yes to kayaking and other adventures I may normally pass on. Here's to saying Yes! have a wonderful summer!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. leannelee says…
    06/09/2015

    To just do what I would like to do, without waiting for someone to want to do it with me. Making the concious choice to enjoy myself, and live in the moment.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. wendyg says…
      06/09/2015

      Love this!

  15. tinka323 says…
    06/09/2015

    YES to getting in the pool!!! We practically lived at the pool every summer and my parents were among the few that would actually get in the water and actually play with their kids so we have great memories of those times. As adults, my siblings and I are in the water as much as possible, playing around with the kids, as well as each other!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. LucyBrophy says…
    06/09/2015

    Yes! I don't swim, I'm afraid of the water. I will soon tackle this by taking swimming lessons once I tackle getting my driver's license. Body issues? Oh yes! Hate the way I look in a swimsuit....and not a fan of water. But I want to share I did this very thing last summer. I went to the pool with my kids and the beach and instead of standing on the sidelines, I got in the water. The smiles, and laughter and the joy was all worth it. I fake it til I make it. They have no idea I hate the way I look in a bathing suit. They are aware I'm a bit afraid of the water because I can't swim but they encourage me! I made the choice to get out of my own head, ignore my ego and go for it. Great fun, great JOY! I plan on doing the same again this year.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. mjacchina says…
      06/09/2015

      Go Lucy go!

    2. mtercha says…
      06/09/2015

      You are beautiful, Lucy. You are.

  17. Debthork says…
    06/09/2015

    Love that you are saying yes!

    In just a few weeks I have to say yes to my high school graduate moving a thousand miles away.
    Yes, he is following his dream
    Yes, I am super excited for him
    Yes, I will miss him like crazy, every day

    I am hoping to be able to be happy and open to the changes that are coming. Love reading your upbeat and positive stories. I need a summer manifesto of my own. Thank you

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. mtercha says…
    06/09/2015

    I'm not allowed to go in the pool (various pieces of plastic tubing in my body) and my daughter did have sort of a fit one day last summer. Felt bad (the mommas guilt does rage on here for one reason or another),but told her there were lots of other things I do with her, just not this. And I try. That's all anyone can do.

    I love the simplicity of your summer manifesto. It's beautiful.

    And thanks for your kindness.

    Michelle t

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. CraftyCat says…
    06/09/2015

    One thing: CAMPING. My husband and I used to camp every summer until my son was born. He is now 11 and has never been camping. So my Summer Manifesto is GO CAMPING. Thank you Ali for getting me focused to achieve one thing this Summer.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. jaimeelynn says…
    06/09/2015

    My summer manifesto is to relax a little bit on bedtime routines. As a "full time work outside the home year round mama", my son (6 yr old) has a hard time watching his best neighborhood friend have the "summer off" while he goes to daycare every week day. In past summers I have been fairly rigid of bedtime routines on the week nights, knowing he has to get up early. But in the midwest where nice summer days are limited, if we are able to stay outside a little longer and soak up the summer sun, I am going to try not to worry so much about bedtime, within reason. See if I can't get a few more joyful moments for him this summer.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. deniseweatherby says…
    06/10/2015

    One thing...???
    ZIP LINE ADVENTURE!!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Joelaw says…
    06/11/2015

    LESS documenting, writing, scrap booking and MORE just being in the moment - 100%

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. jocelynk says…
    06/11/2015

    I want to get outside more. I want to heal and be well - moving a little more and getting some sunshine on my face will only help with all of that! Thanks for your inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. ktber says…
    06/14/2015

    I love two things about this so much: one, saying yes to kids right now. Trying so hard to remember to stay focused on them when I'm with them and not drifting off into the agenda in my head. //These are the days.// And two: the simplicity of ONE goal. Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. fannyathome says…
    06/23/2015

    Thank you Ali!! I also felt overwhelmed to think about a long list. And actually the only thing I wanted for this summer is go to a family camp with my husband and kids. Your post inspired me to embrace this as my summer manifesto.Thanks!!

    Reply 0 Replies

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