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!
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s prompt was “”What I’ll miss about summer…”
Hosted by: Kristi at findingninee.com, Lisa at flingome.com, and Allie at thelatchkeymom.com.
Mimi it sounds like you had the best summer. I must admit, in jealous. Although I enjoyed my summer, there was much leisure. So glad we got to meet. And I can’t wait to hear about your birthday plans.
Thanks Allie! I’m so amazed by the road trips you do: The time spent with the kids in the car, the organizing and planning. It’s so much work, but you are making the most amazing memories for you and your family. I can’t wait to read the book! 🙂 Loved meeting you this summer. It was a highlight! And you saw me the first part of my summer when it was all kids (almost) all the time. xo
I immediately chose no 3 for you and I am so happy I was right :)! Yes yes to the “the large exhale that came with a little bit of freedom and fun.” As moms, we often forget how important our own happiness is to the overall happiness of our families, and I am delighted you chose you this summer xo
Thank you Nicki! I love how you chose number three, and how we’ve come to know each other so well through our words. It’s amazing how writing works that way isn’t it? Could not agree with you more about moms’ happiness and the family’s overall happiness. That feeling helped propel my choices this second part of summer. First part was mostly all about the kiddos, though I snuck some “me” time in there too. 🙂 xoxo
Kristi Campbell says
Yay for meeting up with friends for walks and bike rides. What a nice way to prioritize! I love the photo of you in front of the fountain! You’re so adorable! Thanks for linking up again, Mimi! I hope you have a great rest of the weekend.
Thanks Kristi! My hubby took that photo on our vacay. 🙂 Glad I linked up too! You always inspire! xo
Erin Johnston says
I am so jealous of your summer – I felt inspired to rework my future summers and take on your plan! Love!
Thanks for joining me here Erin! My first part of summer was mostly all about my kids in one way shape or form, so I really embraced the “me” time I got during the second half. I hope you can get that opportunity to have it too! 🙂
LIsa Sadikman says
I like how proactive you were about making the summer what YOU wanted it to be (well, the second half at least): “I found myself with time I could carve out in ways that I desired,” It’s not always an easy decision to do that, to make ourselves the priority. Love that you did the most of #3 – yes!
Thanks Lisa! I appreciate your saying it isn’t always easy, because as much as I admit to enjoying myself the second part of summer, I did sometimes find myself wondering just who did I think I was to play hooky? I’m grateful for the support!!! 🙂
I too am happy to be back to have lunches with my GF’s and laugh all my troubles away although needless to say these lunches add a pound here n there 😉
But, yes gotta get regular on my walks too!
Nothing like laughter and lunch with friends! Thanks for visiting me here. 🙂
Ooooh, that does sound like a fantastic summer! I had sort of the opposite. Not a bad summer at all, but we have very little in the way of day camps. The oldest went to overnight camp for three weeks and #2 went for four nights. There were some random day camps here and there but never a time when all were busy at once. We had some great adventures and good times, but I was for sure counting down the hours for school to start. And NOW I have a bit more carefree to time. I’m meeting friends for walks, etc, and doing the blogging stuff too, which I really enjoy. I’ve been planning the writing class I’ll be teaching. I really love the feel of the school has just started atmosphere. It’s full of so much hope and possibility for the kids AND for me.
Love that picture of you guys on the water!
Sounds like your fall is off to a great start after a busy summer! Good luck with the new writing classes you are teaching. Can’t wait to hear all about them. Wish I were there to take one. If you ever decide to do a one night course here in Chi-town, I’m in! 🙂
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