Can I want the summer to stay but still be excited for Fall? It’s sort of ironic how the weather here in New England, specifically northeast mass, seemed to change overnight! Labor Day came and it’s our first taste of cool breezes, rainy mornings, and everyone is talking about PSL’s. Seesh! Give me some time to grieve! This summer was exceptionally good for me. It was unexpected to have the ability to enjoy the weather and seasonal activities as much as I did.
I’ve never been better at making time for myself even while being busy at work and with loved ones. I’m not even sure I can pinpoint a desicion or remember a motivating thought that compelled me to be wiser with my time. I just did it! This may sound strange after reading other posts here on the blog about being balanced and making time for self care… but I still struggle with it. If I had to guess I would say it could have been two factors. The first, is my schedule changed a bit. Rather than having two jobs I just do ministry now and I’m very focused at work. So even though things were very busy (and often emotionally draining) I only had to balance one job and at that one that is extremely fulfilling. The second, may be the age I’m at. Trust me, I’m not one of those annoying late 20’s girls who want to boast about her “old” age and soon to be “30 and wiser” sort of business (I think?!). What I mean is… I’ve finally caught on to how fleeting each summer is. Now I experience a faster passing of each year. I realized that if I continue to work away my summers that the years will just keep on passing and passing. Summer won’t wait for me or rearrange for me. Self care and time with husband or loved ones won’t magically happen. Instead, years could pass and I would miss out on family and other relationships. Time flies by and I continue to overwork so my physically health and also mental/emotional health could diminish. N-O-! Not this time! I recently heard a blogger describe her early 20’s on a podcast that I very much related to. She said she doesn’t even really remember her early 20’s right out of college because she was always so busy trying to keep up with work that the years just filled up and passed on by. Now that she’s older she works less and instead has found ways to be more productive in the office and get things done faster in order to have more time off of work. I’m have to say, I’m done (soooo done) with that early 20’s life as described. I experience so much more joy, more meaningful love, and quality time when I balance my life in a healthy way.
My proportion of work to personal to family time also relies on me being in touch with my needs. However, what is even more important for me is to feel no guilt over my wiser time management desicions. Previously, a big feeling that I allowed in my mind was guilt about not living up to others [unhealthy] standards of working. Many wear the label of “busy” like a badge of honor. As if being busy somehow meant you were more important, productive, or valuable.
This summer I valued my work but also valued life outside of work. At the end of each summer my family has a wonderful tradition of doing a lobstah fest dinner together. This year I saw a groupon for whale watching and suggested we all do that together before dinner. It was fabulous! Not only was whale watching wicked cool and very educational but it also was a very meaningful family time.
We went with Cape Ann Whale Watching – the best – out of Gloucester, MA. We saw 15 whales from 3 different species- including two mommas with their babies! The photos could not capture the beauty we saw. We were so close and saw the whales feed, breaching, and having fun. It was extraordinary! Also very educational. One of the whales had permanent injuries quite noticeable from a boat that got too close. Protect our oceans and animals!!
If I had been so busy with work I would have been like an ostrich with her head in the sand. Unaware! Just focused on that sand. I wouldn’t have even thought to check groupon or think of fun things to do together. I would not have been been in that mindset. Business takes part of my personality that I love – creativity and spontaneous! Doesn’t it look like we had fun? See, this is why I’m so conflicted about loosing summer!
Normally I am very excited about the Fall and all the food and festivities that come with it. Fall has always been my favorite season even! I’m still excited for those things and I don’t know if I can officially say my favorite season has changed. However, this summer really made me fall in love all over again (um, no pun intended). So, thanks summer 2016! I hope the Fall is just as special. Bring on the cider, donuts, fairs, and cute sweaters!