Today is the first day of summer vacation for the schools in our area. It’s the first day of summer and it is currently 65 degrees and cloudy.
The weather doesn’t define the day. Nor does the season. We do.
We define it by how we feel about it.
In years past, Week One of Summer of Love has been about creating a list of little moments to do during the summer.
This year, we’re starting things out from a slightly different perspective. Instead of what do you want to DO, the question is: how do you want to BE YOU?
Crickets. I can hear them. And I can hear you wondering, what on earth does she mean?
So often we define ourselves by what we do. By the roles we play. The checklists we accomplish (or more likely write, rewrite, and add to endlessly).
Not. This. Summer.
This summer we begin with you. How you want the summer to feel. But even bigger than that, how you want you to feel.
Because how we want to feel is shorthand for who we want to BE.
So take a moment. Grab a scrap of paper. Let your mind drift over all the possible feelings you want to experience this summer. (and if you are at a bit of a loss, no worries, you can check out this list of 250 emotions right here.)
These are your emotional twinkle lights. The feelings to find. The emotions to hang from the ceiling one by one as the weeks go by. Let’s hold on to them for a moment.
Now let’s get curious. How are we going to find them? What are ways to get there? To feel them?
The fun part: there is no right answer.
The funner part: you can set yourself up to feel them as many times as you want. There is no limit.
One on my list for this summer is giddy. There’s a carefreeness to it. A lightness. A sense of not being too serious. A sense of being all of me. Where will I find it? It might show up with time on my paddle board, or when my hair is blowing in the wind on a convertible ride, or as my lids grow heavy underneath the stars. Giddy is somewhere out there. Just waiting for me.
And yours are just waiting for you. So look at your list, and think through where they might show up.
The funnest part: scheduling it to happen. Seriously. Most of the appointments on our calendars run from the necessary to the mundane to the potentially painful (I’m looking at you bi-yearly dental exam.) Not these appointments. These are all about scheduling who you are into the midst of what you do.
It feels a bit reckless, doesn’t it? A bit crazy? A bit like summer felt when we were kids? Exactly.
Speaking of, shall we include them, too? Have your kiddos pick the top three things they want to feel this summer. (Yes oh-so-observant-one, I am giving you more. You got four or five. The kids get three. This isn’t about life being the same, it is about life being fair. You’ve been missing out on these emotions for far too long.)
Now brainstorm with them where they might discover those feelings. Tell them bonus points for the smallness of the places they can find them. Because if we can see magic in a croissant, we can take it everywhere we want—it’s not just something we can feel when we stand at the Eiffel Tower. Smallness is Bigness.
Now calendarize those for the kids.
You did it. You created the best start to summer ever. Sure, the months ahead are strewn with camps and camp-outs, activities and appointments, but scattered throughout is YOU. This is a summer in which you see yourself clearly, know what you need, and set out to get it.
No amount of clouds can stop us. Here’s to your Summer of Love.
p.s. The funnestier part: hearing from you. I’d love to know what emotions you picked and where you want to go with them. You can send me an email, or join the conversation here.
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