Summer Summer Summer, Oh Joy!!
As a kid summer had all kinds of meanings; schools out, swimming pools open, endless days of playing and exploring, movies, books, sun tanning, bicycling, hiking, and visiting relatives, camping, or vacationing somewhere away from home. Summer was a chance to give your brain a rest and give your body a chance to move.
Now that I’m an adult, (okay that’s questionable), summer still has that same meaning for me. I still feel as though schools out and it’s time for me to go swimming, playing and exploring. It never made sense that I had to work all summer. Where is the break? When do I get to stop? When do I get to play?
From Kindergarten through College we’ve had summers off. We had it off for all the years we were in school, which are the formative years that set the basics for the rest of our lives. Then we get a job and the rules change, what’s up with that?
Europeans take many months off, so why is it that we think it’s okay with only 2 or 3 weeks per year? Does that really give us a break? Does that give us enough time to rest and renew ourselves? Does that give us enough time to play and explore? No, that gives us just enough time to quickly get out of town, see a few sites, one night of partying, one day to recover and it’s back to work. Or we do that vacation where we stay home and do all the projects that have been building up. OH JOY!
So as most of you know this is my 3rd summer off. Granted the other two were not filled with much fun, as my father died the first one, and my mother had a heart attack the second one. But prior to that, I spent probably 3 years with just taking the month of June off. Man was that great!
The first week is just recovery, like a detox from a year of work. The second week you feel more rested and ready to venture out to see friends and family. The third week it’s all about you, doing whatever you want, exploring new things and creating new adventures. The fourth week is a combination of resting and reflecting back on your life at home. Are there changes you would like to see? Are there problems that need a better solution? It’s really hard to look at your life while your living in it. Time away is like looking at it from a different perspective. You can see it much more clearly, and with time away you can perhaps see ways in which you can change it to make it more user friendly.
Let’s face it, when you are living in the daily grind, there is no time to reflect, only time to do errands, pay bills, try to rest and recover enough to do it again.
So before you start with the negative comments like, “Oh that’s good for her, she doesn’t have a mortgage, and kids, or no way my boss would never go for it, or not in my line of work, or I can’t afford it”.…..blah, blah, blah. Just open up to the idea, and just for fun, entertain the possibilities. Play with the idea, roll it around and see what comes up. What would a month off look like for you? Where would you go? What would you do? And notice how you feel just dreaming about it! Maybe your shoulders would release down away from your ears. Maybe that little space between your eyebrows would release.
I totally believe there is a way to make this happen. Maybe not the whole summer, maybe not as fast as you would like, but I believe it is possible to regain our summers!
Don’t cut off your possibilities, just get creative. Start brain- storming, put all your ideas down, no matter how insane or ridiculous it might sound. If you present a well thought out plan to your employer or to yourself, if you are the boss, and give them time to adjust, you just never know.
The first response usually is out- right denial and maybe even you get laughed right out of the office. Pay no mind to that, it’s just a conditioned response. Be patient, be serious and be willing to put it out there. The worst that can happen would be a flat out no, and that’s no worse than where you are right now. And the good part is that you’ve planted a seed, because I’m sure everyone out there, your employer included, would love a huge chunk of time off too.
So take a chance and get creative and let’s get back to the real meaning of summer: rest, swimming, playing and adventures. Your health and well-being depend on it.
So as I leave for the summer, I do so with the hope that others will follow and begin a journey back to the summers of our youth.
See you in July for Beach Weekend then in September for an exciting fall.
I leave you with a quote from Eduardo Galeano
The Church says: The body is a sin.
Science says: The body is a machine.
Advertising says: The body is a business.
The Body says: I am a fiesta.
Namaste, Lauren Davis