Embracing Summer and the Essentials

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

As I was preparing for last week Wednesday’s ABCs of a Purposeful WIP video,* I realized I was overdue in revisiting my own priorities. In their usual fashion, these lazy days of summer have been anything but, and I have often found myself easily distracted and distanced from those things I had deemed essentially important at the start of the season.

I had so many plans for these warmer months. I was going to slow down, spend more quality time with my family and close friends, take long bike rides with my hubby, and get more involved in the community. But all I’ve seemed to accomplish thus far is an out of balance sprint from one thing to the next. And a lack of focus doesn’t help. When I waste large chunks of my scheduled writing time because my attention flips from the need-to-do’s to the want-to-do’s before coming back around to the currently doing, every task takes twice as long as it could (or should) and rather than leaving my late afternoons/evenings free to spend as I wish, I am instead in my office until six or seven o’clock.

But as much as I’m annoyed with myself for allowing a full month to race by in this fashion, this knowledge is powerful. Complete and honest awareness of the areas in which I tend to shift into autopilot and backslide into old habits is useful in determining not only how I don’t want to spend my time (with both mind and body pulled in multiple directions at once), but also how I do (with a spirit of presence and engagement, fully immersed in the joy life has to offer).

So, as we head into the last two-thirds of summer, I have pared down my essentials to just three (in no particular order):

  1. Family and friends. This needs no further clarification because, really, what’s more important than our nearest and dearest?
  2. Writing. Not just work on the manuscript and blog/social media posts, but also a return to personal journaling. I haven’t cracked open my journal since May and it shows. My brain chatter tends to get a bit heavy and loud when I leave it to simmer rather than letting it out.
  3. Health of mind/body/spirit. This includes time for outside activities, time to rest, and time to reconnect with God. Like journaling, engaging in these practices on a daily basis also magically transforms me into a better version of myself.

Naturally, my entire existence cannot revolve around only these three categories. There are always other obligations and those pesky, time-consuming adult responsibilities that must be tended to. But what I can change is my approach to them. By centering my mind on what I’m doing when I’m doing it, I can accomplish more in less time, thereby leaving a larger space in my schedule to embrace these three essentials.

What about you? What essentials will you embrace for the remainder of the summer?

*You can get the gist of the video by reading the post, A Purposeful WIP Embraces the Essentials.

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