Remember childhood, when summer months stretched out before you for what seemed like 100 years? Fast forward to today, and my 8-year-old self would not even recognize my hurried pace and anxious eye on the clock as hours, days, and even years speed by. I long for summer to live up to its reputation as lazy. As a mom, I understand that sadly, that isn’t entirely realistic, but that doesn’t change my desire to take a step back and try to recapture those long, slow, sun-kissed days of youth.
This year, slowing down and appreciating the first few weeks of summer take on particular poignancy for my family. As my two-year-old passes milestone after milestone, I am desperate to slow time and soak up every moment of her waning toddler phase. We are also preparing to welcome our second child into the mix imminently (and maybe already have by the time you are reading this!) and want to cherish these last days with just our daughter (and dogs) to dote on.
Since I can’t actually slow the pace of time, nor can I eschew my grown-up responsibilities entirely, I’ve given the matter some thought and plan to take the following approach:
This is a little woo-woo, but “they” always say that a regular meditation practice offers a greater sense of calm and the ability to feel more fully present in the moment – both skills that strongly lend themselves to treasuring small moments. My goal this summer is to spend five minutes each day – at any point in the day – in meditation to either create an intention for the day or reflect on what I’m grateful for that day.
Make a wish list, not a bucket list
I fully support the joyful anticipation of creating a to-do list of fun summer activities and having an intentional approach to planning our days. That said, I want to create a list without pressure or expectation that we must check off every item. Instead, I’ll embrace whatever we make time for and let the rest go.
Soak up seasonality however possible
Without the seasonality of a school calendar, every season can feel more or less the same. To better fully embrace the uniqueness of summer, I plan to spend time outside with my family in nice weather and watch summer storms with the lights off in poor weather. We’ll engage in summer-specific activities like catching fireflies, eating our body weight in seasonal fruit and sno cones, grilling dinner, and spending an outrageous amount of time each day in swimsuits.
Put down the phone
I hate this one because boy, do I love my phone. My phone, however, encourages me to multitask rather than focus squarely on what’s in front of me (most likely, my kid) and allows minutes and hours to blur by. I am here for everyone’s recommendations on how best to accomplish this goal. My current plan is to ask myself “what else can I be enjoying right now?” every time I’m tempted to open one of my beloved scrolling apps.
And that’s it! I want to slow down, but in a way that feels manageable. I’d love to hear about your family’s summer traditions and how you embrace the different pace of life that summer offers.