Mind Matters — Summertime

Here we are, “summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” Or is it?

How many of us languish in winter waiting for summer to give the big breakthrough—more time to relax picturing the grand vacation with lots of free time.

Summer solstice arrives bringing more light and yet we still may fret new frustrations despite the lovely weather, perhaps because of it. Some of us may get frustrated when our kids get out of school and they ge6t to play while we work. A yearning in this case for those days of childhood when summer gave a reprieve from school and structure.

Another frustration may arise with vacation plans: organizing for a vacation can precipitate its own stress. Planning, packing, preparing: and in the midst of it all perhaps wondering if it’s worth it. Of course, the hope is that it will be “worth it”. What is important to remember is that the busy-ness before the vacation is normal. And so is the lag afterwards. Give yourself three days back home before you’ll feel in the groove again.

However, we can also get so overwhelmed in busy-ness through the summer that we forget to relax! Relaxation doesn’t need to be saved for “the big vacation.” How about going out in the backyard with the kids one night to watch the stars (August is a great time for the Pliades); or, have a campfire and tell stories; or an evening walk. Find ways to slow down and take time to smell the honeysuckle!

Summer can present particular difficulties for working parents (usually working mothers). During the school year, schedules are set. Summer presents the challenge for the working parent of how to balance work with children’s new schedule of activities.

So how can we make the summer living a little easier? Perhaps by allowing ourselves not to over schedule; finding time to enjoy simple pleasures in our own backyard; and not getting overwhelmed with expectations of how “perfect” it all should be; greeting each summer morning with the gratitude for a new day!