After living in Florida for almost 8 years, I grew accustomed to only living with one and a half seasons – summer and “sorta spring”. So when we moved back to New England, it took some getting used to having 4 solid seasons again. When the summer finally arrives for its short, 2 1/2 month visit, it is pretty common for north-easterners to go into serious overdrive. July is fun and relaxing, albeit busy busy. Then all of a sudden August arrives and everyone freaks out saying things like “summer is practically over!!” and then starts packing in the beach, mini vacations, play dates, day trips and more! Or you are just so damn tired that you waste away in the air conditioning… then have serious guilt set in!
Down in Florida there was always “another day” and “next weekend” to make up for things like sleeping in on the weekend or lounging around being lazy when you fully intended to get out for a long bike ride or a beach day with the kids. In New England if you say one of those phrases even once, there’s immediate shame and guilt associated with it because it’s well known that summer doesn’t stick around forever…
So this year, when the nice weather started approaching, and school was drawing to a close, I made a decision to have the “best summer eva!” (those who know me know that I mysteriously don’t have a Massachusetts accent, despite being born and raised here and in NH). I knew that I would have the ability to work my business wherever I needed to whether it be poolside or away for a weekend, and having a beautiful pool in our backyard was a key factor in my best summer ever vision. I would be able to have a well-balanced, fun, adventurous, restful, peaceful summer… yeah right! For the last two weeks all I have been thinking about is how “it’s almost August” and “I can’t believe the kids will be going back to school soon” and “I don’t ever want this hot weather to go away”.
Then I said to myself, “self… chill out! Pump the breaks. Enjoy the moment like you have told yourself to do the entire last year…”. And then my other self, the one who likes to plan and write and evaluate, came up with this list:
TIPS TO HAVING A QUALITY SUMMER THAT DOESN’T FLY BY IN AN INSTANT:
- Don’t over-schedule yourself OR your kids. Multiple camps for your kids will leave them overstimulated and exhausted, then bored when they aren’t at camp being entertained. Plus you have to be their chauffeur, and that’s NOT relaxing. And multiple vacations or weekend after weekend on the run will leave the whole family feeling drained and it’s a sure way to feel like the summer flew by. There’s nothing like the anticipation and excitement of an approaching vacation only to have it over in an instant and feel instantly disappointed.
- Schedule time to do NOTHING. When you have busy schedules with kids and/or work, sometimes it’s necessary to put a block of time in to do nothing. And if you can’t handle not having anything planned in this “down time” then schedule a relaxing day reading in the shade on a hot day, or by the pool or beach to force yourself to slow down.
- Don’t schedule your weekdays more than a week in advance. With weekends mostly reserved for traveling and making plans with friends and family, it’s quite possible that you’ll end up only having weekdays left. If you start booking up your weekdays in advance too, you’ll get frustrated that you can’t fit everything in. Leave the weekdays up in the air so you can unwind, clean the house, go to bed early and generally catch up with your life.
- Pick at least 2 weekends where you aren’t allowed to make any plans in advance. Then when the weekend arrives, be open to whatever comes up, even if that is nothing!
- Take random weekdays off from work to just hang out at home with the family or relax quietly by the pool. There’s something really exciting about being home from the office when it’s not a Saturday or Sunday.
- Get up early and go to bed late, then take a nap at the beach 🙂
- With all this talk of pool and beach… if you spend a lot of time at either or both, plan a day each week where you don’t hit up the water. Take some down time and give your body a rest from the action. Not to mention your hair and skin from the sun, sand and sunscreen. (By the way if you need help repairing or protecting your hair or skin… I’ve got you covered 😉 Just message me if you need help finding ways to save!)
- Let Friday evenings come along without a game plan and just go with the flow… snack for dinner while you enjoy the fresh air and cocktails on the back deck!
- If you can’t afford the time or money to do a big vacation, try planning little overnighters or day trips here and there to hike a mountain, go visit a new lake, or just hang out with family and friends.
- Lay off the booze during the week… the warmth of the summer leaves many people drinking extra beers, fruity cocktails and whatever else comes across their lips! By August you’ll feel like you need to be checked into rehab if you’re drinking extra on the weekend AND consuming regularly throughout the week… trust me…
All-in-all I am terrible at taking my own advice. I freaked out when August arrived. I over scheduled myself. I drank too much in the past 4-6 weeks. So, guess what? I feel like I’ve been hit by a freight train and it’s August 4th… Time for this mama to go sit pool side and nap!!!