Whatever happened to the lazy days of summer?
I miss summertime. You know the feeling I am talking about. The long days stretched out ahead of us with nothing to do but wallow in the warmth and wonder from activity to activity. Months of not being tied to a timetable. Granted, I haven’t had a summer like that since I was probably about 15 years old, but still, I miss it.
These days, as everyone can probably agree, we are so caught up in the to-do list and everything that we have to do, that we rarely get the chance to do things that we really want to do.
Take a typical weekend as an example. After putting in my time at the office, we arrive home Friday night, burned out and needing a glass of wine. First though, we have to do the “farm chores” – feed the cats, scoop the cat boxes, fill the bird feeders, hose the bird poop off the back step and the car roof :), take out the garbage, contemplate dinner, change into comfy clothes, look in the cupboard again, order a pizza, go get the pizza, take the pizza box out to the recycle bin and do the dishes, medicate the cats, pour that glass of wine and flop onto the couch too tired to even think about writing or doing anything creative.
Saturday and Sunday somehow manage to fill up with more farm chores, running errands, doing laundry, cleaning the cat boxes, washing the cars, mowing the lawn, weeding the flower beds, going to the grocery store, running the kids (in our case, cats) around, cleaning the house, figuring out what to make for lunch and dinner, family obligations and other commitments, and if we are lucky we manage to sneak in a nap. Again, the thought of turning on my creative brain doesn’t even get the chance to cross my mind.
Don’t you wish we could have time like we used to have back in school where summer truly did mean longer days? Oh, how we squandered them on meandering walks and bike rides, games under the setting sun, lounging by a pool, dipping our toes into the creek, camping out in the backyard, chasing fireflies, laying in the cool dewy grass at night, never realizing that long summer days would not always be there.
I think that we as adults and creative individuals need to take back the summer time feeling and allow ourselves to step away from the stringent rules of should haves and have tos and let ourselves feel that expansive freedom that we used to feel every summer. Let it enter into our lives and help us breathe easier, knowing that the day is long and there will be time to do everything we need to do even if we allow ourselves to do first the things we want to do.
Yes, there will still be chores. That just comes with the territory of being a responsible adult and a home owner. But there needs to be time and space to enjoy our lives too. The same holds true for our creative pursuits. We need to be able to stretch out and let ourselves go. I think it is the only thing that will keep us sane and healthy in the daily grind of earning a living.
I hereby pledge to allow myself the time to wallow in words and dip my toes in the pool of creativity. I will do so without guilt and without checking my watch to make sure I am adhering to a schedule. We have to do too much of that from 9-5.