A Summer of Scaling Back

August 1, 2012 at 7:10 am (General)

This summer, we’ve been taking things easy. Which isn’t as easy as I thought. With the busyness of the school year comes routine; habit. And it was a little harder than I had planned on breaking some of those habits. I had to ease into “easy” this summer.

Like getting up early to work…If I don’t get up at 5 am, I don’t get any work done. This is the time I have dedicated for my writing and all of the extra tasks that go with it. After years of getting up at 5:00 every day, my body is primed to do so. I seem to wake up at 5 at the drop of a hat. But lately, I have eased into sleeping in. It’s nice. I needed it.

And it’s not just the sleeping in that has helped me unwind this summer. Other things have contributed to de-stressing, namely keeping a slow pace of life. We’ve been sticking close to home quite literally, not doing anything. It’s been boring, it’s been creative, it’s been conducive to bickering, it’s been conducive to bonding.

It’s been what a sumer should be so far; it’s been filling my cup. It’s been making me a better mom.

When I mentioned to another mom that I had not signed my kids up for any classes or camps this summer, she gasped. “But what are you going to DO?” This what we’ve done:

We’ve been catching frogs in the pond. Tiny, tiny frogs.

We’ve been making forts.

We’ve been picnicking and swinging on trees.

We’ve gone berry picking. Lots. Strawberries, blueberries and cherries so far. Time for blackberries and peaches next.

We’ve been baking.

We’ve been lounging in the grass for hours at a time with no plans for the afternoon.

We’ve been playing Gnome-Ball (and clearly getting creative with our time spent doing nothing).

We’ve been experimenting with gum.

We’ve been entertained by rats and bubbles. Simultaneously.

We’ve had an outing to the Renaissance Fair.

It’s all of this that has filled my cup over the last several weeks. These are the kinds of things that make me a better mom. Rest. Nutrition. Exercise. Fresh air. Thoughtlessness (I don’t mean rudeness, I mean lack of thoughts in my head; time to daydream). I don’t really enjoy the scattered feel of a busy, scheduled life. I prefer to keep things simple and focused. By slowing down and scaling back, I am taking care of myself while nurturing the connection of our family. Summer is the perfect time for this. And we all know: when we feel better we do better!

2 Comments

  1. Christine said,

    Your rats are adorable! Great photos! (And the blog post ain’t bad either – but I’m a sucker for cute ratties! 8D )

    • Kelly said,

      Oh Christine, we sure love our rats! They are just the best pets for kids. (And we also call them our ratties!) 🙂

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