Although summer technically started a couple of weeks ago, in many ways I feel as though summer with my family is just beginning. And with the kids slated to return to school on August 30, we have eight weeks, or 56 days to be exact, to enjoy our summer to the fullest.
Now, I don’t mean I’ll be scheduling and over programming every moment, because that certainly is not the case. That would be tedious and grueling and pretty much no fun whatsoever.
However, I’m also cognizant of going to the other extreme—not making any plans, flying by the seat of our pants, and leaving everything to chance. I speak from experience when I say this approach is dangerous. This amount of boundless freedom has a tendency to lure me into a state of submission, inducing an intoxicating false sense of security, which in the end only leaves me feeling lazy and lethargic.
I’ve finally come to appreciate that I’m a creature of habit. I crave routine and structure. I thrive on predictability and order. I’m at my best when I’ve got something specific to hold my attention and focus.
When I contrast my affinity for structure and routine against the fact that I’ve habitually been making time my arch nemesis, it’s really no wonder I’ve been feeling a little stuck in a continuous loop of “there’s never enough time in a day to do all of the things that I really want to do.” And as I’ve been working with a fantastic coach to help me unravel this and some other limiting beliefs, I feel like the time has come for a 360 degree turnaround and re-framing of my opinion about time.
I know some of you may be nodding your head in agreement with my time-as-enemy mantra, but I honestly believe this is just one of those things we all say to make ourselves feel better.
Because the truth is there’s plenty of time available when we: get intentional about scheduling our time according to our priorities, minimize the negative effect of distractions (insert social media here), and don’t let our limiting beliefs cloud our vision.
I’ve suddenly been able to put the pieces together and see, with amazing crystal clarity, my blockage about time for what it really is. It’s not that I don’t have enough time. Pppffffff! The truth is I have trouble putting myself and my needs ahead of everything and everyone else. And because of this, all the stuff I’ve been talking about—my deepest desires and the whispers of my heart—often end up at the bottom of my list.
With this new understanding I see an opening—an opportunity to form a new habit of making myself a priority, more often. As I see it, I have 56 days ahead of me right now when I can both be present for my children AND make myself and my needs a higher priority on my to-do list.
This summer, I am choosing to make friends with time by seeing it as a gift. No longer will a replay the broken-record soundtrack of “not enough time” over and over again in my head. This summer, I am choosing to be intentional about how I spend my time. And this summer I will value myself and my self-care needs by making time for me a priority.
Over the next 56 days, my intention is to dedicate some time every day to my passions and the activities that make me feel more alive and whole.
Starting today, movement (yoga and exercise), stillness (meditation), and words and language (reading and writing) have moved from the bottom to the top of my to-do list.
No attachment to objectives, no entanglement in specific outcomes. Just a dash of intrigue and a touch of excitement to see what changes and possibilities the next 56 days will bring.
Coincidentally, one of the first blog posts I wrote was about my perceived lack of time to do all the things I want to do in life. It’s kinda cool to see how much I’ve grown and how much my perspective has shifted from October 2013 until now.
Wishing you all a happy and intentional summer!