Summer in Opposite World

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I can’t believe we are almost in the last month of summer. Other than that small detail of moving, we have had the most low-key, slow paced summer I can remember.

We didn’t create a big list of places to go and things to do. We aren’t going on vacation in the first time since forever. We haven’t even planned a camping trip or a weekend getaway. The only real planned activity we’ve had on our calendar is a few weeks of diving and swimming lessons for the girls and the end of baseball season.

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I’ve realized that I almost feel entitled to my summer vacation. I have such an urge to go somewhere and get away from it all. I will admit I’ve had my moments when I’ve felt like one of my kids and wanted to throw up my hands and scream, “I’m bored!” Sometimes I can’t look at one more person’s glorious vacation photos without wanting to have a pity party for myself.

But lately, I’ve been challenging myself to re-evaluate how I usually view my summer bucket list. Can my bucket list be not having a bucket list at all? In other words, can we be happy when there’s nothing on the calendar? No destination to cross off the list? Can we be content in the everyday? Can we enjoy a summer with more staying home?

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It feels like Opposite World from our usual go-there-and-see-that kind of summer.

The reality is that we are super blessed. So blessed that our “normal” has become a little over the top. But even our “boring” is really pretty awesome. We get to go to a big pool/waterpark on a very regular basis.

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Our new house often feels like a vacation because of the peaceful setting. The kids have had play dates and sleepovers. We’ve gone on family bike rides and spent time with friends. And we’ve been able to host people at our new house.

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That leaves me trying to enjoy every day like it’s a vacation. Relax and enjoy those moments at the pool. Take a camera along on a bike ride. Play games with the kids and enjoy family dinners.

I’m trying to soak in the normal of this slower pace.

When we all start getting stir crazy, I want to pack everyone up and go create an experience. It seems so much easier than hearing kids argue because they can’t agree on anything they all want to do. Instead, I’m trying to find joy in whatever is before us. Right here. Usually in our own backyard or a nearby park.

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I wonder if I will look back at this summer and regret that we didn’t have a big family getaway. We aren’t going to remember a trip or a destination. Or maybe our expectations will start to change. Maybe we will start finding more in doing less.

2 Responses

  1. Amen to all of this. We, too, have been having similar thoughts. This is the first summer where we have not gone anywhere. Part of me feels like we have missed out on things but another part of me has thoroughly enjoyed the low-key-ness of it all. I keep reminding myself to take things slower, relax and enjoy the moments. Because- a lot sooner than any of us want- the craziness of the start of school, fall, and all the holidays to ensue will be upon us. I just know that I am going to look back and want this time back.

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