“Did you check off watching clouds?”
We are doing our weekly Sunday night Summer of Intentionality checklist and my five year old wants to make sure that I haven’t forgotten the cloud watching we have been doing from the comfort of our backyard hammock.
“Got it,” I reassure him.
“And the bike riding on that bridge?” He asks. I point to where I’ve checked off bike riding on the greenway in our town.
Satisfied, he turns his sights forward.
“So, what are we going to do this week?”
When I first conceived Summer of Intentionality, it was because I wanted something to gently remind me not to spend all of my summer working to make up for the lack of teaching income that was coming in or recovering on a couch somewhere from the latent school year exhaustion that felt like it took months to overcome.
Now, it is a way for everyone in our family to look forward to unique opportunities on these insufferably hot but more open summer days. Every May, we sit down and brainstorm and write our list for things we can do as a family or individually and then every Sunday, we look over our lists and celebrate what we’ve done and plan for what might come next.
So far this year, we’ve checked off: go to the beach, bird watch, host the neighbors for dinner, go to a baseball game, go to a movie, play mini-golf, take the bus to the city, go to a splash pad, go out on the lake, clean out toys, ride the greenway, visit my parents, go to the Penguin Palace (shaved ice!), watch clouds, and use sparklers.
We are actively working on finishing our kindergarten workbook, finishing Handwriting Without Tears, reading 100 new books, and participating in the library summer reading program and there’s still plenty of time (one more month, not that I am counting my return to school or anything) to get in some more one-time items like going bowling, hiking, camping, fishing, and to the amusement park.
Meanwhile, I am tackling things off my own little list. I’ve checked off take at least 10 yoga and 10 pilates classes, trying a new to me local restaurant, trying 10 new recipes, reading at least ten books and actively participating in the library summer reading program. And I’ve got plenty more to look forward to checking off like stand up paddling, trampolining, checking out some local stores that I am interested in exploring, enjoying thai yoga, and finishing up and submitting book proposal.
Since I was a high school teacher, I have said that the pace of the school year is only possible because of summer (and, now, I always add AND REALLY GOOD SELF-CARE) and now I think it’s true in general about being a mom or just an adult running through life. For me, getting the most out of summer means not just zoning out but tuning into what I most want to be learning, doing, and experiencing.
How is your Summer of Intentionality going? I’d love an update!