Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer Simplicity

It always amazes me the transition from school to summer and then summer to school. I used to think that summer time was less busy than school time, but it really isn't. It's just a different busy.

During the school year, our evenings are filled with regularly scheduled activities. We have something going every M-T-W-F night. As soon as May hits, two of those activities drop off, and it feels so freeing. I mean, we love those activities, but it makes for life having to be a well-ordered machine.

And that is the thing. Summer is busy, but the is nothing "well-ordered" machine about it. There is some structure, some rhythm, but mostly every day just flows by.

Summer is simpler. I feel less driven to scrub the tub and floors every week. I dust only if I must.

Our evening activities are more social and less structured. There is time allowed for chatting and sipping and listening.

My days are filled with writing and biking, swimming and running, reading and sitting. And to a lesser degree-cleaning and cooking and errands.

And, it is good.

Summer is more streamlined while simple. Summer is the time to get back to the basics. Summer is when I focus most on what I enjoy and what is important to me. I use my free time to less of what I don't enjoy, and more of what I do enjoy.

Dinners become lots of veggies and meat, or main dish salads. We do fewer official side dishes. I grill meat, and serve it with melon and a salad. I make a pasta salad that lasts a couple dinners. We eat a meatless dish alongside spinach. We eat out on picnic table, and the kids play outside in the evenings.

Bedtime gets scooted later as the days get longer. And some people sleep in longer, and spend time reading in bed on lazy mornings. (It's not me, but it allows me to do my triathlon training.)

Summer is a time to recover. To ponder and soak in the sunshine and warmth. To thaw out, and veg out.

Usually during the summer, I try to chuck my daily to-do list. If there are things that MUST happen in a week, I write them in my notebook, so I don't forget. It is a reminder, not a drill sergeant.

The older I grow, the more I appreciate the nuances of the different seasons. Spring is a time of training, hope and new life. Summer is a time of healing. Fall is a time for new and change. Winter is a time for hunkering down, bolstering and surviving.

What do you like about summer?