A year ago I started this blog with the intention of recapturing the spirit of long summer days as a child. This is what I wrote in our very first summer 2011 post:
I’d like to reclaim that feeling of endless time and endless possibilities that I used to feel at the beginning of each summer. I say no! to doing things because we “have to” – and yes! to enjoying free, unstructured play – even as adults. Who says everything we do has to be utilitarian? Go for a run without keeping track of speed or miles, eat that ice cream sandwich because you want to and forget the calories, go barefoot, or do a cartwheel in the grass just because you feel like it, no matter how silly you think you look.
What do you want to reclaim this summer?
I originally intended this to be a creative back-and-forth with my sister, but circumstances have changed and I’m going it alone this year. But I still feel strongly about what I said above, and I also wanted it to be more than just a summer project. So I spent much of the winter wondering how to do that. Then, my husband and I spent a week together on a “staycation” – no obligations, no schedules, nowhere to go. We just woke up each day and decided what to do. We went to local places we’d never been to, watched a play by our neighborhood theatre group, spent a rainy afternoon in a 3D movie matinee, soaked our feet in tangerine-scented foaming bath and watched all four seasons of Felicity on Netflix.
It was the most fun I’d had in a very long time, and I didn’t even have to go far, or spend a lot of money. I thought, “why can’t we just live life as if we were on vacation?” Sure, we all have responsibilities, but why not recapture a little bit of that wonder and fun every day? So this summer I’m challenging myself to living every day as if it were a vacation.
Well today summer is here with quite a bang! Hot, hazy and humid with temperatures in the 90s. I like heat, but the humidity at this level is a bit of a challenge. This evening on my commute home I had a choice between a seat on a non-air-conditioned train car or standing in one of the air-conditioned ones. Call me crazy, but I chose to sit. As I got warm and then sweaty, I realized, I’m really not hating this. It’s kind of like being in the sauna. Or hot yoga. So what if I’m a little sweaty? It’s the longest day of the year – the sun is shining, it’s summer & I’m on my way home!
I’ve got lots of fun projects planned for the summer, but tonight we’re ordering pizza, watching some trashy TV and possibly finishing the night off with an ice cream sandwich. And reclaiming the right to relax & enjoy life without feeling like every moment needs to be productive. Because sometimes, doing nothing at all is more important than any of the items on your t0-do list.
- Summer Manifesto. (thegoodlife.typepad.com)
- Summer Manifesto (aliedwards.com)
- dear summer: (thelifextraordinary.com)