This Time Around…

Open mouth, insert foot. Face palm. Just imagine me being embarrassingly humbled. Why? I tried to give you advice on how to navigate your summer…when I was the one who desperately needed it. 

Photo May 23, 4 51 51 PM

At the beginning of last summer, I wrote a blog post about how teachers can survive the summer. And the summer of 2017 was indeed one of the hardest summers of my life. I couldn’t WAIT for August to roll around. If you want a little eye roll action, read it HERE.

So I’m going to start THIS post by saying that I don’t have all of the answers. But what I can share with you is what I plan to do differently. It’s two-fold, really: perhaps what I’m writing about here can help you as a mama navigating the summer. And perhaps writing this post and checking in with you periodically will help to keep me accountable. 

Photo May 22, 8 52 40 AM

This photo was taken of me at the beginning of last summer…I remember telling myself that I wanted to put myself together every morning. Spoiler alert: That SO did not happen.

A typical question I get when I meet someone new: “So what do you do?” I answer, “I teach high school English.” And it’s usually one of two responses: “Ugh. I don’t know how you do that.” or “Well, I bet you sure enjoy those summers off!” 

Yeah…how about NO?! 

Here’s why: I THRIVE on routine. I thrive on having a plan and executing it. I don’t know how to handle life when there is nothing to write down in my planner. Sad but true. Summertime breeds a lack of routine, and it drives me absolutely nuts. 

So I’m vowing to do better, and here’s how:

  1. Send in the reinforcements. I plan on hiring a babysitter once a week. I also am considering restarting my YMCA membership so I can both work out and have two hours of child care provided. The kids LOVED going last summer, and I loved getting my workout in.
  2. Loosely schedule every day. I would like to better execute a plan for each day. Last summer, I tried to implement the “no plan” plan, and I hated it. The kids were bored, and so was I. Also, I was sitting in my sweats at like 10 A.M., and it made me feel icky. Now I’m not judging if that’s your thing…it’s definitely not mine, though.
  3. Bucket list. Make a list of things we can do this summer, and involve the kids! Ask them what they want to do…now that they’re older, they can give great feedback. Shockingly…I’ve never done this.
  4. Institute quiet time. Everyone needs a break from each other, so I plan on instituting at least an hour a day where everyone chills by themselves and reads or plays quietly.
  5. Do something I love to do every day. Summer is about having a little bit more free time, so I want to spend my days pursuing my passions and hobbies: working out, writing, reading, empowering women through fashion, Instagramming….you know, nothing crazy.
  6. Actually keep some parts of my “school routine.” Getting up before everyone and having an hour of prayer and journaling time has done wonders for my sanity as the school year draws to a close. I plan on keeping up with that routine.
  7. Dependence on God. I know summer is a time when I am just emotionally weak. I need to depend on the One who gives me strength when I have none. I actually signed up for Jess Connolly’s SUMMER TO THRIVE SUPPORT GROUP to keep myself accountable for staying in The Word AND learning other ways to find joy in my least favorite season.

I’m sure I will add to this list as I learn and grow over the next few weeks. What steps will you take to ensure that you find joy in your summer?

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