Holding my breath as today marked the first official week of school in the beautiful Evergreen State. Okay, it’s only pre-school for a few hours, a few days a week, but somehow I still feel like I’m losing an appendage for the next 9 months. Mom’s you feel? I looked at them, waved goodbye and already pictured them at 18. Being a parent is not for the faint of heart.
As much as I’m sad to see Summer go, I really am excited to see what this next season holds for our family. For me, every passing season always seems to bring a fresh shift in focus and perspective. What did I learn/gain/accomplish the past three months? And what can I anticipate going into Fall?
(Besides hello, the obvious obsession with boots, scarves, pumpkin spice and everything nice…OMG, there is nothing better than Fall in the PNW. CAN I GET A WITNESS?!)
I am already the proud owner of two new sweaters. Bless.
BUT, what I really want to talk about for a minute is Summer…because let’s be real, I think I get around to jotting my thoughts down about every three months anyways (err…sorry) so I’m overdue to tell you. #badbloggersyndrome
Summer was incredible. One of the best I can remember. And yet, while most people were planning their vacations, I was transitioning into a full-time working mother. I was grateful for a new opportunity, but deep down I was aching for those beautifully warm months with my kids. I didn’t think I would get to enjoy, let alone see, much of that big ball of fire in the sky. And well, I was wrong. Really wrong. Because the reality is that transition brought out a new shift and fresh perspective in my way of thinking. I recognized my time was going to be more limited and therefore, I needed to figure out how to live Summer with more intention.
So I did.
We saw more sand and water than I can remember. But mostly sand…because sand. Everywhere. Forever. And we spent every extra minute we could soaking up the sun because it was more than generous to us this year. We filled our extra time with less stuff and more people, places, and things that really mattered. And sand. I’m still finding sand.
And we got to fit that all in despite the busyness that is life because- intention.
I’m sure there are a million different articles and books out there in regards to living life with more purpose and intention, but there were a few areas of my life that I really wanted to give more devoted time and attention to:
1) Being present. Not just physically present but aware. Especially with my kids. This meant being intentional about putting my phone down. A lot. Actively listening, approaching, engaging in the big and small moments of their day. This meant being aware of how they were emotionally. If they were acting out, it was usually a good indication something else was going on and I needed to be intentional about understanding and being responsive to their feelings. Big and small.
2) People. People are everything. I’m so thankful for new friendships this past season, and how especially important it is to have people in your life that cultivate and foster vulnerability. It’s so important to be intentional about your peeps. Relationships are key to survival- in parenting, partnering, and faith. Two cents- Recognize who God has put in front of you, and take care of them. When you do, it will create a friendship that will take care of you in the process.
3) New skills. It is possible to teach an old dog (hey thirties) new tricks. The past three months I decided to try my hand at a few new things because what the heck, just start somewhere. #noregurts. So I became a back up dancer for Beyoncé (in my sleep). But really, be intentional about going after something you’ve always wanted to do. I started taking a few photography lessons from a friend and I never realized how enjoyable it could be. I also never realized how much it could annoy my kids in the process. #paparazzimom
4) Simplicity. Life is hectic and hurried. It’s important to be intentional about taking a step back and simply embracing and evaluating your season. Less is always more. We didn’t go anywhere extravagant, although we hope to someday. Instead, we found fulfillment and joy in the every day things. I’m so thankful for my boys who slow me down (and hurry me up) to enjoy the moment, round all my rough edges and keep my life in perspective.
And we had watermelon. Always have watermelon.
So as we kiss our sweet Summer good bye (and our sweet babies at the door of their classrooms), what are some things you want to be intentional about this next season?
Besides the obvious flannel, scarves, beanies and boots. PRAISE HIM.
“If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present…gratefully.” -Maya Angelou