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A Summer of Discoveries

Sunset over Rocks

Some say Fall or Spring is their favorite season (and a few even claim Winter!).  As for me, Summer is where my heart belongs.

I seem to feel much more alive and open in the summer- almost like a desert flower that blooms after the rainy season when all the conditions are ripe.  I feel more relaxed and exposed to experiences and discoveries that come my way.

So what have you discovered this summer?  I’m glad you asked!

1. People are fascinating.

I’m sure this is something I’ve already known, but its really begun to emerge these past few months.  I’ve bumped into a few extremely intriguing people lately and its made me hunger for more encounters like them.

I met a woman on my trip out West who was trying to climb the highest peak in every state. Recently, a fellow artist who photographs my work explained how he began an art exchange with a group in Japan.

Dartboard against orange wall

I met a fascinating woman at a local Irish Festival last weekend who shared her love of playing darts and how she met her husband at a competition.

I now realize why we were always one of the last families to leave after mass on Sundays, when my mother began talking to other parishioners. I have become one of those people. My children outwardly groan when they see me bump into a friend at a grocery store.

Sorry kids- people are just too fascinating. Hopefully you’ll understand someday!

2. Let go of expectations.

August has rounded the corner and I have only achieved a fraction of the projects I had planned for the summer.  Rather then let this eat away at me, I’ve come to a few realizations.

Getting ready to paint

The tarps are up and the hardware is down, yet I still haven’t painted the boys’ rooms.   Upate- Painting has begun!

I’ve realized that the reason things haven’t been achieved is that I’ve had a fun summer with the family.  We’ve swum, bowled, vacationed, visited local fairs and festivals, and eaten at open air restaurants.  We’ve done summer!

Isn’t that better then crossing all the to-dos off my list and missing out on all the fun?

But it hasn’t stopped me from feeling guilt for not crossing off those to-dos.  Next summer I think I’ll make a bucket list instead of a to-do list so that anything I accomplish will be a bonus!

3. Keep the creative gates open.

I’m in the post-vacation, pre-school mode and have had little time to be creative.  But this summer I have a lifeline.

I began a new 365 project in June. I vowed to create a drawing every day based on a song I was listening to. Have I succeeded? Not quite, but often enough so that it has become something I either do or at least think about doing every single day.

Drawing in my 365 music sketchbook

A drawing in my daily 365 sketchbook based on the song, Happy.

My paints will have to wait just a little while longer.  But at least I have my sketchbook to carry me through!

4. Connect.

I’m so glad I was able to see my sister (actually, my half sister) in Colorado while were we were vacationing out west. We actually hadn’t seen each other since our Dad died 3 ½ years ago! But It was a hurdle to make it happen. We had to dodge a few miscommunications and juggle our schedules.

Family gathering in restaurant

My sister’s 4 kids and my 3 made for a very rowdy reunion, but it was fun to reconnect!

Those 2 hours at the pizza parlor (driving the poor waitresses crazy with our combined 7 loud and rambunctious kids!) made a world of difference to our distant relationship. We were able to reconnect.

Just last weekend my brother and his family came up for a last minute visit. Again, connections were strengthened as the cousins romped around the backyard and the grown-ups caught up at the dining room table.

Family is a blessing. There are many differences among us, but blood is a powerful bonding agent!

5. Deadlines make things happen.

This seems counter-intuitive to letting go of expectations, but some things needed to get done this summer and deadlines made it happen.

In fact, the reason you’re able to read a new blog post from me just about every week (except when I snuck off on vacation!) isn’t because I always feel inspired to write. I wish it were the case and I’m sorry to say that it’s not! It is because I have a self-imposed deadline.

The same goes for just about everything else that I’ve managed to achieve this summer. I have good intentions, but unless I give myself a deadline, it doesn’t get done. It’s a fine line- relaxing expectations yet creating deadlines. I guess it all boils down to priorities.

A list of things to do on a computer

I recently discovered the program, Todoist, and love it’s versatility and simple format.

——————

There are only a few weeks left before the kids go back to school and the summer season ends, at least in our household. My plan is to make the best of the time we have left and enjoy it to the last drop.

How about you? What discoveries have you made this summer?

Have an enchanting week and enjoy your summer while it’s still here!

 

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