As an adult there’s no such thing as a summer vacation. Not like as a kid when summer was full of lazy days, playing with friends and a long break from any responsibility. As an adult you’re still expected to work every day even though the weather is beautiful and you’d rather be lying in a hammock.
That’s why I was so surprised when last week suddenly felt like summer. Like lazy day, laid back, kid summer. Maybe it was because Big E had his last day of kindergarten or maybe it was just beautiful days of sun and warm weather, but something changed from the mundane. And it was awesome.
I found myself planning a barbeque for family dinner, spending time in the garden, swimming with my kids, and hiking to a nearby creek. When opportunities to be outside arose I took them and put off my regular work (and blogging too). I appreciated the warmth and fun and happy vibe.
I was happier just being outdoors playing with my kids. And doing that I realized that my kids have a Summer Mentality ALL THE TIME! Here’s one lesson I can learn from them. Their outlook is always to look for the fun whether it’s playing with rocks or splashing in a stream. Is there a way I could look for fun even in the work I do? Can I have a Summer Mentality all the time?
Life requires work, which by definition isn’t very fun. Laundry, for example. The constant pile of dirty clothes on the floor of my kids’ rooms does not contribute to a laid back, happy, summer mentality mom. But is there a way I could look for fun while doing the laundry?
I’m not sure if this will work all the time but here are some things I’ve tried to help focus on the things that really matter (like my kids) and off the things that don’t (like cleaning the house).
1. Go somewhere. When I’m at home with my kids I can easily ignore them. When we’re out in nature I’m much more interested in what they’re thinking, saying and playing.
2. Break a dreaded task down into 100 steps. If there’s something I’m avoiding, like cleaning out the garage, it helps to write out the project into micro steps. One – gather garbage bags. Two – walk outside. Three – open garage door. Etc.
3. Lower expectations. I don’t need a clean house. I can live without tackling the home renovation project we had planned. If my family is healthy and happy that’s good enough for me.
As I try harder to have a summer mentality I hope it will make life a little happier and more relaxed. That will be best for everyone.