I ran into a friend at an Ann Arbor summer festival last week. She is an adventurous person that backpacks India with her husband and fills her home with art that she collects as she travels. She’s purposeful as well, and despite of the noise of a nearby stage and beer tent, she unpretentiously began to explain the ways she was intentionally slowing down her summer.
She was inspiring. I left and thought about how hard I push during the summer to get things done that I can’t get done during the kids’ school year. I thought about the lists, the renovations, the planning, the projects. I thought about the fact that my oldest son, my 6’2″ man-child, is graduating next year. Graduating. (He was a chubby thighed, jolly baby yesterday, I’m pretty sure…) I don’t want to miss what really matters.
Sometimes it seems like the lists, the work, the projects are what really matters…I sure do feel myself pat my own back when I get them done. But they are not what’s important. The solitary misty morning walks with the birds and crickets matter. The sound of my kids laughing on the hammock, the hot hours I pass watching them jump in the pond, the meals shared with friends, the books that alter my course, the rare and precious dates with my husband – these are real life. I’m determined to not get that backwards.
So this week I did a photo scavenger hunt with my 9 year old daughter. For fun. We got ice cream at our favorite spot. We invited friends over for a spontaneous swim. I didn’t get my list done, but I put down my phone every morning and picked up the book that is changing me. I made little pockets of time to think and be alone.
And as my sweet friend asked me, I ask you: What are you doing this summer to slow down? Are you doing the things that make life restful or reflective for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.