Once upon a time, the transition from the school year to summer was a difficult thing for me. I’d feel out of sorts with all that unscheduled time on my hands, as if I had lost my anchor. That was a while ago and for at least the last 6 six years, my unscheduled summers off were a lovely break in a very busy life of work and parenting. JT and I would plan activities for some days; for other days, we’d relax and let summer have its way. I came to relish the generous unscheduled time.
This summer, as a result of my new job, I’m working. The workdays are shorter and the pace is considerably more relaxed, but I still go in to the office with a list of tasks to complete. Happily, almost all of those tasks will help to male the school year less stressful. I’ve had some time off and will enjoy more, but most days I get up and head to school.
The more scheduled summer days have found me missing my relaxed summers, with day after day of sleeping in. I’m determined to make the most of my time. I sleep in a little later than I would on a school day and getting ready involves neither blowdrying nor makeup. Flip flops are my only shoes.
Each morning, I sit outside with a cup of coffee and I appreciate the day. I repeat that in the afternoon, armed with iced tea and a good book. I plan chores, errands, workouts, and time in the garden to maximize relaxation. I make two daily walks through the garden, always making sure that one is at the point in the evening when the lightening bugs are first awake and twinkling their magic in the hazy twilight. I take the time to appreciate the small daily changes in the garden and admire the state of every dahlia bulb in my care.
Earlier this week, my morning visit happily coincided with the first of my zinnia flowers making an appearance, which thrills me.
I keep an eye on the progress of the season’s first tomatoes.
I count the pears left on my fruit tree, hopeful that a few will escape the notice of the wildlife who like to eat my produce.
When I get home from school, most days I put work away and choose to relax. I take the time to really soak up the relaxed pace of the days. I still miss the prospect of dozens of lazy mornings, but I’m loving my summer days. I appreciate the way that my new summer schedule reminds me to strike a balance between work and play, mindful that relaxation is a good thing.