I’d like you to take a moment to stop what you’re doing and look at the next three months on your calendar. I’m guessing there are way too many obligations, meetings, and work-related commitments and not enough moments that spark joy in your heart. Summer is a time to rest, have fun, and make family memories. But for far too many of us, the busyness of our lives have bled into this season, leaving no room for the stuff that really matters.
I’d like to make a case for bringing back the simple, unscheduled summer. We recently had a long family meeting to discuss our summer plans. There are some camps, but only ones that made my daughter squeal with anticipation. A trip to the beach. Some outdoor concerts. But we also kept adding things to the list like this:
- Catch fireflies
- Pitch a tent in the backyard
- Swim at Jenny’s house
- Buy a watermelon every week from Beech Springs Market
- Make sun tea
- Hike a new trail in the gorge
- Go to more baseball games (preferably on fireworks night)
- Stay up late and sleep in (Izzie kept yelling, “No alarms!”)
- Watch more sunsets
- Watch lots of movies
- Grow tomatoes and basil
- Piddle and ponder (David’s favorite life activity ever)
It occurs to me that this list speaks to the heart of summers-past, of creating space to simply be. These things are free or relatively cheap. What they cost is the commitment to carve out the time and space to actually DO them. We all need to learn to create our own fun, to have large amounts of blank, unscheduled time. To have an opportunity to get bored and restless, since those feelings spawn the most fun and creative projects. To actively construct a less complicated existence.
Below is the Smith Family recipe for a great summer:
- Have fun.
- Get dirty.
- Clean up later.
- Get wet.
- Say no to commitments that don’t spark joy.
- Sandals or bare feet.
- Spend time with friends and family (especially the cousins)!
- Laugh every day.
- Sleep as much as we want.
- Piddle and ponder daily.
What would you add to the list? I’d love to know!