Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This Summer

I am not at all ready for the summer to be over. This is a good thing, as August has just begun and we still have more time for leisure and play and to enjoy the freedom and joy of being outside. This is by far the best summer of my life as I offered myself permission at the beginning of it to to enjoy myself. I pushed my endless to-do lists to the side, looked at my kids and Jason, and decided I deserved to have some fun.

These are new concepts for me. I didn't even know that I was pushing myself too hard until I unwrapped the braided cord which contained my faulty ideas that that my value was wrapped up in what I did and not in who I was. Carefully untangling this braid and slotting my value in under who I am instead of what I accomplish allowed me to experience leisure in an entirely new way.

Resting didn't mean I was lazy and uninspired. It was a deliberate choice, designed to help me enjoy the life I was living, and recognizing that my worth as a person would remain high regardless of my performance output gave me the chance to enjoy leisure with impunity. I shudder to think of what my stress level must have been like before, because now that I have tasted leisure, I want more in order to feel any semblance of balance in my life.

Summer is for recharging our tired batteries. It's designed to renew our perspective and give us memories to live on over the winter, as a squirrel hoards nuts in order to stay alive in the barren season. I really didn't understand this before, but I'm glad it's not too late for me to make these kinds of memories with my kids. I was always with them before, but stressing about all that I wasn't getting done, and longing for fall and routine so I could accomplish more.

Now I know how short these days are, and how much I want to put into them and squeeze out of them. Leisure is a big part of that, and so is travel, and finding things to do which maximize the outdoors before we are all inside again for winter. And an unexpected byproduct of pushing aside my to-do list has been productivity without stress. I have an influx of business ideas, and I'm finding time here and there to work on them, and the satisfaction derived from this relaxed pace is incredible.

I'm sad that July is already over, but thrilled that we still have another month before the machine of school and activities grinds back into gear. For now, we will enjoy every moment we have, mixing activities and rest, and taking care to remember that these halcyon days will not last forever.

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