As the school year ended I began to think about what I hoped our summer would look like. I also began to reflect in general; ever wondering if what I say I want my life to look like is actually what it is.
Essentially, I asked myself, “Do my actions and time reflect what’s most important to me?” For the past several months there has been a stirring, a discrepancy, and a desire for realignment.
I decided to write about that process and document it here over the course of four months; May-August. It’s summer and there’s no better time to hit the reset button. I want less stuff, less distractions, and less time spent on Facebook. I want more intentional time with my family, more fun, and more opportunities for practicing good health.
What could be so difficult about that? Why don’t I do the things I want to do and set aside the bad habits of things I don’t want? It seems simple enough, and yet, as humans that is the battle we face against our flesh.
I’m about two weeks in and that battle has been ongoing. I knew habits wouldn’t change overnight. I knew this would be a process. I knew that I’d have to be intentional with my choices, thought processes, and even where I chose to spend my time.
Here’s an update at the end of week two:
This collage represents 16 highlights of the past week:
| having the kids with me when I made my last trip to campus of the semester | getting creative with teacher gifts that relied more on thoughtfulness than giving trinkets | reading a book for pleasure | giving away another bundle of homeschool items I’m no longer using | taking time to write out thank you notes to express gratitude to the kids’ teachers | enjoying a night of baseball that started off stormy, but ended with a rainbow | kids’ playing a board game instead of being lost in screens | finishing a book that I read for pleasure | finishing up West Wing with Ryan after months of evenings spent watching together | our last day of co-op and honoring a commitment that was one we wanted to abandon | teaching my kids to play Egyptian Rat “Slap” and absolutely wearing them out at it | having an awesome date night with Ryan that was fun from start to finish | putting a fresh reminder on my beloved chalkboard | donating more unused items to Goodwill and emptying the house of more clutter | l.i.v.i.n.g. out on our back porch | and hosting company (18 people in total) at our house to say “see you later” to some treasured Army pals |
And not pictured were some of the struggles of this week; not pictured were some of the heart moments where I had pause with this experiment:
- got onto Ryan’s Facebook to check one thing my sister asked me to look at; I looked and closed it…felt the immediate “hook” and “suck” and remembered exactly why I needed a break
- the day before our date night to a marriage event I stood in my closet feeling dissatisfied with my choices and felt a strong urge to go buy a new dress for the occasion; I didn’t like what I had and believed for a split second that nothing in my own closet would be dressy enough without being too formal. I went with a basic black dress I’ve had a while, added some fun jewelry, did my hair up big, and didn’t think about my dress all night
- “celebrated” the end of co-op with a drive through Little Caesars and Sonic for drinks; I know I made these choices out of tiredness and the excuse of having baseball games later that night. I justified it because it was our first “treat” in over a week. In the end, it really was a treat because it was something out of the ordinary, not our typical every other day stop
- after a long talk with a friend about a homeschooling opportunity I was second-guessing our plan for next year for Thomas; I went down a rabbit trail of thinking “maybe we should do this…” and when I later talked to Thomas about it in private, he was the one to jolt me back to what I’d determined earlier (adding no more commitments for fall). He said, “Mom, it sounds sort of fun, but didn’t we decide to do X instead? Let’s just stick with that.” …out of the mouths of babes
Here’s to week three of our Simple Summer. What have you done lately that felt like a win for intentional living? What have been your struggles? I’d love to hear from you.