When you have twelve weeks in a year of fifty-two that are distinctly different, that are highlighted in yellow on the school calendar, that have been labeled BREAK in big bold letters, when you are given a change of pace for a few fleeting months, making the most of it is a non-negotiable aspiration. You’ve got to enjoy summer. The grass isn’t usually this green, the river doesn’t always run so high, the sun never gets up so early nor stays out so late. Mornings aren’t typically this laid back, evenings this empty are so very rare.
So I scrawl out a few lists, I plan ahead a little, I look for the things that weigh me down, the things that trip me up on my way through each day. I look for the small things that overwhelm me, the daily tasks that seem insurmountable. And I look for smoother paths.
I’m streamlining my summer.
to design or provide with a form that presents very little resistance to a flow of air or water, increasing speed and ease of movement.
I’m looking for a way around the things that I get myself tangled up in during the days. I’m after a summer with a slower pace and to-do lists that match my priorities. I’m hungry for all this season has to offer. So I’m designing a form for my summer that presents these rare warm days with little resistance. I’m providing the few months ahead with a path that flows easily.
Five Ways I’m Streamlining My Summer:
- Simple Breakfasts: I want to be a cute wife who provides her husband with a homemade, farmhouse style breakfast before he heads out for another day on the river. But I bought him a large box of frozen breakfast sandwiches (These sandwiches got 4.7 stars out of 5 on the Jimmy Dean website. That’s high quality, right?) and he is popping it in the microwave five minutes before he leaves. My granola (its even organic) and yogurt combination is so standard I don’t even have to think about adding it to my grocery list. Less dishes, less meal planning, more time to enjoy these summer mornings.
- A Capsule Wardrobe: Because limiting myself to a few shirts that all look the same and a pair of super comfy shorts allows me to roll out of bed in the morning and get dressed without having to make a single clothing decision. Less laundry to do, less standing in front of the closet agonizing what to wear, more time to sit in my comfy shorts and sip my coffee. (I wrote more about my experiments with limiting my wardrobe last week over here.) (We also could talk here about my recent dutch braid obsession and the way it keeps me from needing to decide what to do with it in the morning, checking on it through the day, washing it (most of the time), or getting baby spit-up in it.)
- Limited Social Media: I check it in the morning and in the evening when I wrap up the work day. I might post something if I have the perfect caption planned. But otherwise I am avoiding touching those appealing bright icons on my iPhone and enjoying moving more seamlessly from one task to the next – without the twenty-minute transition time spent scrolling through photos of other people enjoying their summer.
- Summer Reading List: I made a book list with more titles than I probably will get to, and then proceeded to check most of them out from the library (at the gawking librarian’s distress). They are kept next to my couch, ready to grab and read a page or two if I have a few minutes. I’m not spending anymore time this summer wondering what I should read next or waiting for a book to arrive at the library – I am just reading. (Stay tuned for a complete list of all I end up reading.)
- Easy to grab snacks: I only eat healthy if it is easy. So I’ve been cutting up my veggies at the beginning of the week, measuring the right amount of almond-to-cranberry ratio, and pre-bagging these in single serving sizes. Less time scrounging the pantry for something that tastes good and more healthy food in my body.
I’m all for doing hard things, absolutely. And come fall I’ll probably be motivated to make four-course dinners and do my hair again (maybe). But for now I’m looking for the easiest path through the things that don’t matter that really don’t matter that much in order to have space to savor summer. Are you choosing to streamline your summer? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!