With the official arrival of Summer, the pace of life has begun to shift. Schools have released their charges, families are departing for vacations and visits to grandparents, and everyone seems to be moving just a bit slower to guard against the heat.
Even in highly organized and routinized home like ours, the past few weeks have found us relaxing our rigid adherence to schedule and structure. Until this point, my days have reflected a carefully cultivated balance of teaching, writing, and caring for my daughter - with little variation from one season to the next. But this Summer, our rhythm has been interrupted by the babe's first foray into a "camp" experience - three hours a day of creative play with new friends in engaging settings.
I, of course, had grand plans for productivity during the window in which she has been occupied with arts, crafts, and her trusty ukelele. I intended to use these two weeks to tackle lingering projects at home, run inconvenient errands, and engage in some long-range planning. Instead, I have found myself embracing the spirit of Summer - joining a dear friend for a mid-morning run, visiting a new yoga class, and daydreaming.
And I have taken the initiative to reinforce the sense of playfulness in my time with my daughter before and after her activities. The camps have been located in areas of the city in which we rarely spend time, inviting us to step off the well-worn paths around our neighborhood. We have explored breakfast offerings at new coffee shops, strolled through beautiful neighborhoods, and treated ourselves to midday gelato.These simple shifts have turned ordinary days into adventures and transformed the mundane into something memorable.
Whether or not your life follows the academic calendar, summer offers an opportunity to embrace a change of perspective. Instead of powering through these months on autopilot, stop, take a deep breath, and look around. Can you slow down and savor Summer?