What I Learned on Summer Vacation

One of the benefits of having children is I still get summer vacation. I know that in a few short years, these teenagers of mine will be grown and off on their own. Then, I will have to adjust to a life I have never known: one without a major break in a year’s cycle called Summer.

In an article he wrote for our church, my minister George Mason said “Summertime is a good time to take account of what counts. Vacation vacates the mind long enough to fill it with thoughts we had no room for before.”

But typically, my summers as an adult are much different than the vacation summers of my childhood. Those times were carefree, mostly unstructured, and never came with to-do lists. As an adult, my summer mind is full of thoughts of accomplishing big projects and completing tasks.

In those terms, this summer was a bust for me. I didn’t write. I didn’t blog. I didn’t paint my kitchen. I didn’t organize the garage. I didn’t attack the growing pile of filing in my office.  I didn’t unpack the boxes still remaining from our move. I checked few things off my list.

Focusing just on that list is depressing and overwhelming. So, this morning I made up a checklist of what I did do. And it is much more in line with vacating my mind long enough to fill it with thoughts.

So, here is what I did do: I read. I took a vacation. I spent time with my best friend. I studied my craft. I read. I knit a sock and started its match. I joined a new Sunday school class with my hubby. I visited family. I read some more. I took a vacation with my family. I spent time with my kids. I let laundry pile up. I let housework go undone. I took naps. I lived a bit more stress-free. And in doing so, I gave grace more freely to others and to myself.

Now that I look back on my summer, the list of what I accomplished far outweighs the list of unfinished tasks and projects. Both in terms of quantity and quality. And as I look to the weeks ahead, already full with their own tasks and schedules, I do it with a mind full of new thoughts and renewed spirit. And because of that, I just may be able to take a bit of what I learned this summer and spread it throughout the rest of the year.

So what about you? What was your summer like? How was your vacation? What new thing do you have to take away from it?


4 comments on “What I Learned on Summer Vacation

  1. Jenny Hansen says:

    Sounds like a lovely vacation, Michele! We’re taking our summer vacation NEXT month when the weather gets better in the Midwest. 🙂

  2. bootsnbikes says:

    This post really reasonated with me… I recall a time about a year ago when I was completely overwhelmed by the notion that I was accomplishing NOTHING each day. Laundry was never caught up and neither were dishes. In a moment of desperation, I had the idea to write down every thing I accomplished during that day. Some things were small, but I realized I was doing a lot. It was just that the tasks were so mundane, they didn’t seem to “count” in my mind… I had forgotten about that episode until i read your post… With your permission, I would love to use this as a jumping-off point for my own writing…

  3. […] I was reading a friend’s blog entry yesterday, I was reminded of a time about a year ago that I was bogged down in the sense that I […]

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