Some of my fondest summer memories aren’t of big milestone events. Instead, they’re the days when I was free to do nothing or anything I felt like.
The days when I woke up at sunrise and went to bed long after the sun had set, never looking at a clock or having to be anywhere on time. The days when I ate non-standard stuff at odd hours because we were at a picnic or happened upon a random ice cream stand. The days when I napped in the shade or I played games or swam or rode my bike without any regard to fitting it into a window of time.
I’ll bet you have memories of summer like that too.
Maybe you get lost in a daydream of a time when you had no responsibilities and felt free enough to enjoy the long days that stretched out before you.
One of the things that tends to suck all the joy and fun out of summer is the sheer volume of stuff we’re trying to squeeze into it.
There are BBQ’s and picnics, festivals and fairs and parades. There are camps and schools and lessons. There are parties and concerts, events and celebrations. Going to the beach, camping out, resting in the shade. Summer-only sports and occasions and family gatherings.
There is A LOT of fun to be had in summer!
But a lot of fun is still a lot.
And a lot can be too much.
Doing a lot of activities can steal our joy and create stress around ending this bit of fun so we can hurry to the next bit of fun so we can leave early and still make it to the other bit of fun we have planned.
And all of a sudden, the summer we were dreaming of disappears as we race from thing to thing, barely experiencing or remembering any of it because we have to get on to something else somewhere else (in 45 minutes or less!).
Anyone else feel exhausted just thinking about it? Maybe you’re ready to hop in your Delorean to time travel back to a simpler time?
Here’s the thing.
We don’t have to travel back in time to make summer fun again (but if you have that option, call me!).
Instead, we need to get clear on priorities.
We don’t need a lot of activities to experience a lot of fulfillment and fun.
Just because there are a kajillion things you CAN do during summer doesn’t mean you WANT to do all those things.
You can have an intentional, super fun summer by deciding what’s most important to you and then focusing your energy on that.
Hate sand in all your parts and getting sunburned? Don’t make plans to go to the beach. Even if that’s what “they” say you have to do in summer.
Hate how the family BBQ with all the relatives you don’t enjoy seeing ends with them giving you life advice (and super judgy looks)? Stop attending it! Even if that’s what “they” say a good child, cousin, or step-aunt-twice-removed would do.
Hate sweating outside in the blinding heat when there’s perfectly good air conditioning to be had? Stop dining al fresco with your friends. Even if “they” say that eating outside (with the bugs and the weather) is fun.
You know those experts that have advice and sayings about everything? I give you permission to NOT DO ANYTHING “they” say.
Instead, take some time to focus on you and what would make your summer fun. Like actually, honestly, truly, looking-forward-to-it-like-the-first-day-of-vacation fun!
Of course, when we try to do that it takes us to the next challenge we all have in making summer fun again (which we’ll talk about next week).
Until then, what’s one thing you’re planning to stop doing this summer?