I just read this post by Emily Freeman and I was like, “Sing it sister.” I think the hardest thing about the rhythm of summer is that by rhythm, I mean chaos. We talk about our summer schedules, our Bucket Lists and Reading Plans and summer camps – or maybe we talk about how we’ll be unscheduling and just embracing the lazy days of summer. Whichever path you choose, you know that what you are getting is three months of crazy. Three months of every day looking nothing like the day before – of your daily planner looking like a riddle with no answer. How do we survive?
The first step seems to be to just succumb to the crazy. Allow yourself to be that plastic bag floating through the wind and try to pick up the pieces or at least take a picture when you can. Next, you are going to need some coping mechanisms – here are some of mine:
1. I saw the most amazing thing at my grocery store a couple weeks ago and summer has been deliciously easier ever since – Gevalia iced coffee made with almond milk – one carton lasts me about a week if nobody shares with me and I don’t even have to wait the 1.5 minutes for my pod brewer to brew me coffee anymore – and cleanup is a breeze. Summer months for me are incomplete without easy access to iced coffee.
2. Decluttering my way through the house helps to me feel like I have some modicum of control over our lives. Marie Kondo’s new book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is blowing up the internet and you know sometimes I get annoyed when books become such a media darling – but if this book’s popularity encourages people to live with less, I think I can get behind that. My office has certainly never looked better.
3. Finding your oasis from the storm, wherever you can. Breakfast or lunch at chick-fil-a in between swim classes and play dates has been a blessing for me. My good friend and I were talking about how strange it is to find a fast food restaurant that is over the top friendly and accommodating – isn’t it sad that we are bowled over when we encounter good customer service, so surprised that we barely know how to respond? I wish that service like this was expected instead of being seen as a diamond in the rough.
4. We are making good use of the Kids Bowl Free program, meeting up with friends from school or just escaping to the bowling alley on our own. This was not a sanity saver for me immediately. I had to stop ringing my hands over how poorly my children bowl – and worry a little less about smashed fingers – but with the free bowling coupons, this manages to be a very inexpensive diversion on a hot summer day – and those little kids’ bowling ramps are a god send for kiddos who can’t quite roll the ball on their own yet. Pro Tip: Enlist the help of the big kids! This was a lesson I learned this summer and it was a major game changer.
5. Throw them in the pool! We’re on week four of swim lessons this summer and I can’t stress enough how much I love the swim lessons at the pool that we’ve been going to. Swim lessons have come a LONG way since I was a kid and both of my children have seen major improvements in their swim skills and swim confidence. And although it requires a little bit of planning and a lot of driving (and lots of sunscreen), it’s been worth every morning of hunting for swim suits and beach towels. Plus I get 30 minutes each day to catch up with a good book or finally read my email.
6. Game nights with friends – have a supply of card games or board games that you don’t hate playing with small children – and some games that you love to play with your grown up friends, too. It’s been a summer of games for us with lots of rounds of Munchkin, Pitch, Aquarius, Apples to Apples and more. Don’t let the kids have all the fun this summer – make sure you get in on the games, it’s your summer, too!
What has been saving your sanity this summer?