Lessons from the Summer
Happy back to school for all the parents out there. Can you believe it is September already? It's always bittersweet when September rolls around.
Nonetheless, I hope you had a wonderful summer!
My summer was filled with camping trips, family time, and a road trip to the Rockies. It was lovely and wildly different from our normal. Our kids are getting bigger. They’re long done with naps and diapers, and we were ready to take advantage of the freedom.
My husband works shift work, which makes the summers feel shorter because of our lack of free weekends. So this summer, we decided that we would try to work around his schedule. That’s what we did.
I worked less. I took a break from social media. I spent more time with my kids. We went on way more summer adventures. We made great memories. I spent more time in a bathing suit than I have in years.
And while our adventures were plentiful and incredible memories were made, I can say that I did not fully love how our summer felt for me. My work time was limited, and while most people would wholly embrace taking the summer off, I really freaking love what I do. It’s more than just a job for me—it’s my career, my passion, my purpose. And when I don’t have some at least somewhat regular time to put into building my dream, my soul feels cramped and squished and ornery.
It’s hard to even say this out loud because I instantly feel guilty. Like, as a mother, I should be fully fulfilled by spending every waking minute doting over running the household.
And don’t get me wrong—I had a blast this summer. But I also felt claustrophobic at times. Stifled, even. I felt like I had to get up at 5am in order to get some time for myself to reflect on what the heck I was even feeling. And if I tried to get up at the crack of dawn to pack in a couple hours of work, my mental state was nowhere near productive.
It was no one else’s fault that I felt this way. I definitely stretched some of my beliefs, limits, and expectations this summer, and I knew that I would. Some of it was great, and some of it was not. My comfort zone was definitely stretched by all the new adventures we had, and for that I am grateful. I learned a lot about myself and where the edges of my boundaries need to be placed for next summer.
Reflecting on what feels light and heavy is something that I make part of my self-care routine. It’s how we can connect with what is aligned with us and what is not.
If it feels heavy—trust that.
If it doesn’t feel good—believe that.
If it feels light—choose more it.
That’s how you connect with your inner compass.
Here’s what I’m keeping from this summer:
> the family adventures
> the camping trips
> the chasing waterfalls
> the kiddo cuddles
> the beach time
> the evenings around the fire bowl and campfire
> the friend time
> the outdoor workouts
> our hammock chair
> the break from social media
> reading all.the.books.
> playing sports
> soaking up the sunsets
And here’s what I’m leaving in summer 2021:
> putting myself last
> doing the 150 errands to prep for camping while my hubby works
> irregular work days
> leaving for camping immediately after my hubby wakes up from nights
> inconsistent self-care
> not having boundaries in place
> not sticking to said boundaries (with some flexibility)
> having an illustration deadline that runs into summer
What are you keeping from summer 2021? What are you leaving behind?
All of this to say, hats off to all the mommas out there—the stay-at-home mommas, the working mommas, the off-for-the-summer mommas, the lake mommas, and everything in between. You are freaking superheroes!
Make some time to reflect on your summer.
Hit reply and let me know what you discover.