Five Changes I’m Making So I Don’t Waste My Summer

My younger son James has nine more hours of school left (he goes three hours a day for three day a week). And then–it’s game on. We’ll start our routine of making popsicles, playing in the pool, swinging, going for walks, finding new parks, picking tomatoes, visiting the library, and counting down the days until we see the grandparents. Summer makes the saying, “the days are long but the years are short” feel true.

I don’t want to miss it. Sure, I hope to flip the pages in my book while David tries to flip into the pool, but I don’t want to miss the triumph of his best flip ever. Or the biggest splash ever. Or the biggest tomato ever. Or the biggest belly laugh ever.

So I have a plan. I’m making five changes I believe will help me focus on living in each moment this summer. Here’s what I’m doing:

  1. Taking a few apps off my phone. I don’t need to check Twitter from the back yard. I don’t need Facebook Messenger popping up when we’re at the library. Sure I’ll want to post a picture to Instagram, but maybe it doesn’t need a frame, text, and bokeh. Etsy browsing can wait. Pinterest searches can wait. 
  2. Limiting the canning. In years past, I’ve spent hours heating up the kitchen with my big canning pot bubbling. I didn’t want a single tomato to go to waste. But this year we planted a much smaller garden. That means less canning. I’ll still do pickles, but no salsa. I’ll focus on what we love and not the extras.
  3. Greeting my husband with a smile. The summer is going to be stressful for James. People with autism do best when they have a routine. In the summer, he’ll have four weeks off school, three weeks back, and then four weeks off again. His stress is going to cause me stress. My stress is going to cause me to want to unload or lock myself away when my husband walks in the door from work. But then my stress will stress him out. Instead, I’ll focus on greeting him with a smile. We’ll hang out as a family for a little while. Then I may slip off and take a quick break, but I’ll try to keep the stress from spreading.
  4. Asking for help. Some days, the stress may be too much. Or the wet bathing suits may be too many. Or the breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner dishes may be stacked too high. On those days, I will ask for help. I will say yes to a play date at a friend’s house. I will call a babysitter. I will call a laundry folder and errand runner. (Are there such people? I need phone numbers for them please).
  5. Saying no to some editing jobs. Lee and I are releasing a book in September. In order to make each deadline I’ve set with my editor, formatter, and designer, I’ll need to use my evening hours to write, not edit. So I’ve said no to editing jobs in June. I’m excited about having time to focus on my writing again.

We’re all looking forward to more time outside and fewer places we have to be at certain times. I don’t want to waste the down time we’ll have. These changes will help me live in each moment and enjoy them to the fullest.

12 thoughts on “Five Changes I’m Making So I Don’t Waste My Summer

  1. If I was closer to you, I’d be your laundry folder!! I love how intentional you’re setting your time up to be. Looks like it’ll be an awesome summer!

    • Thanks! We have a lot to look forward to, even with all the laundry. 🙂

  2. Good changes to make! As far as helpers go, why not ask your church family? When we had twins, our church family was invaluable! Just an idea. 🙂

    • Great idea! I’m sure extra help with twins was appreciated! Thanks for the idea.

  3. Great ideas! I am definatley feeling the time has rushed by. No more elmentary students for me! I feel a great pull to squeez all the “juice” from this summer!

  4. Smart mama and wonderful ideas. I, too, feel like this very short and precious time this summer will be best spent soaking up my kids rather than the latest book.

  5. Anybody ever tell you that you’re awfully wise for such a young ‘un? If you can believe it, even in our really slow island paced life, we can get distracted too. Just like you, we have to stop, refocus and “tune in” to our kids and what’s really important. Hope you have a splendiferous summer. May there be few times of stress and many happy memories made….SB

    • 🙂 Amazing how we all struggle with the same issues. You’re right, tuning into our kids helps put things in perspective!

  6. For a laundry-folder or errand-runner, see if any of the teens or college students you know need volunteer hours for school. Win-win!

  7. Great ideas! =) We actually planted a bigger garden this year and plan to do more canning. But it is a family project and we’re enjoying the time working together. I need to make my own changes list. I need to add in #3 and have been doing better about #4. Thanks for the inspiration! =)

  8. I have a laundry folder and an errand runner 🙂 She is a mother’s helper/nanny person that comes twice a week for five hours each time. She does whatever I want but primarily it’s laundry folding and putting away and putting the kitchen back together. But she also goes to Costco for me or anything else I need, like returning library books and mailing packages. After we adopted our youngest child (#5) I found it invaluable.

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