For the first time in years, maybe ever, I found myself this summer with time to spare. Perhaps “to spare” is too generous. Rather, I found myself with time I could carve out in ways that I desired, instead of ways that were dictated to me by my work, my children, my parents, depending on the stage of life.
This rare and exciting gift didn’t happen by accident. I crafted the situation. After Mr. C headed off to overnight camp, which you can read all about here and here, I decided to sign up my littlest guy, Mr.B, for five days a week of full time summer camp. He already had been going three days a week the first part of the summer, and Mr. B had done well at camp thus far. So I decided a little more consistency would do me him good.
Second session began, and off he went, getting onto the bus every morning with his older sisters around 8:40 a.m., and then returning home with them on the bus every afternoon a little after 4 p.m. That gave this mama more than seven hours all to herself! Oh, what to do? What to do? Here were some of my options:
- Organize the kids’ rooms.
- Tackle the never ending piles of paper work.
- Meet up with friends for walks and bike rides.
Guess which one I chose time and again? If you picked anything but number three, I appreciate how highly you regard my sense of responsibility, but you are incorrect. That’s right, this almost 40-year-old decided to go rogue this summer and play hooky from the daily grind.
That isn’t to say I got nothing done. If you follow this blog, you know I posted regularly during the second part of summer. I also took care of some appointments I needed and started making plans for my 40th birthday. I ran the errands required to keep the household humming, and I did do some, though not nearly all, of the organizing that seems to taunt me on a constant basis.
I didn’t shun my obligations, but I made leisure activities a priority, instead of the usual other way around. Sometimes I felt guilty as I walked by the pile of mail that required sorting or breezed through the mudroom that desperately needed some TLC. But isn’t that what the colder months are for? In a climate like Chicago where summer is all too brief, I decided a little Carpe Diem could go a long way. And indeed it did.
Taking time to meet up with friends and going away with my husband, helped me realize how much I needed the large exhale that came with a little bit of freedom and fun. I realize I’m fortunate to have these opportunities, and they are not something I took for granted. I relished them. Every. Single. One.
When school for my older ones started up again this week, I was sad that our time to sleep a little later and stay up a little longer had come to an end. But I felt more ready to tackle all the tasks at hand and be the responsible adult I typically find myself being. I already miss summer’s carefree days, but I’m grateful for their effect on the days ahead.
How about you? What will you miss most about this summer? Please share with me in the comments below. I look forward to hearing all about it!