– Sit in my favorite garden chair and read every day, even if only for a bit. – Take a whole day to go for a hike in the mountains. – Once a week make a big cup of coffee, go to the park, and gaze at the sky. – Invite more people to enjoy simple meals by our pool
When our minimalist journey began over 4 years ago, I had no idea just how powerfully it would support my deep desire of keeping our summers about play and connection. During those 2 years, and 25 layers, of releasing of stuff (we moved through lots of emotion too), I had no idea how this would set us free to really experience life!
“I realized summer is an especially sacred time for me. It’s a time when I crave–and need–to slow way down. To embrace expanses of unscheduled time, to enjoy spontaneity, adventure, more time in nature and less time online. As delicious to me as homemade peach ice cream–I lap up spaciousness and big open creative windows where I get to sit with ideas, meditate on my life purpose and personal hopes and visions, integrate all I’ve learned from the past six months, explore new ways of being and reconnect with soulful friends for long hikes and late night swims in spring-fed waters. Summer is when I re-calibrate and am reminded of who I am and what I love.”
Your Guide Marla Dee. I love teaching the Clear & Simple Way to live free of clutter and get organized at last.
My entire adult life I have fantasized about having a summer off. I have dreamed of open time to play, to be in nature, to be a kid again. This year my dream is coming true. At the age of 58, I have lots of open space on my calendar. And I know how fast the summer will fly by. So I am taking today to go through the See It and Map It steps for my summer. I invite you to do the same.
What did you long for most from your childhood summers?
For me, it was freedom. Delicious freedom from predictable schooldays. Freedom to lay in the sun, devour ice cream, and float for hours in a turquoise pool.
My summer longings have not changed much. A sun-drenched break from the routine sounds too good to be true, honestly. As a working mom, however, I know poolside paradise will elude me. Instead, the season will welcome busyness.
From where I sit, summer’s two major opponents are sky-high expectations and the pressure to “do it all.” Corporate socials and family get-togethers. Planning a picture-perfect getaway or entertaining kids from dawn ‘til dusk (and then some). Then there’s laundry and groceries and shouts of “who left the screen door open again?!”
The tension is palpable. Often times, our knee-jerk reaction is to purely survive. Sanity, money, rest—these are common sacrifices on the altar called Summer.
But believe it or not, a simpler more satisfying summer is within reach, regardless of our individual situations. The pursuit is straightforward and anyone can start today.
It boils down to pausing before the chaos and tuning into your desires.
Time for the SEE IT. MAP IT. & DO IT. Steps!
If you could choose a word or theme for this summer, what would it be? My summer theme is Summer Sabbatical.
Sit down with your loved ones and ask what do you most want to do for –
fun & play
travel & exploration
relaxation & healing
My choice for fun is 2 motorcycle trips with my man Bob, for travel I am taking a road trip to my home town of Bozeman Montana for my 40 year high school reunion, for projects I am creating a family picture wall in our new home, and for relaxation I am sitting on our deck in the evenings to wind down and breathe in the sweet country air.
Now take your map it list and put those things on the calendar. Make them happen by putting them first.
SEE IT – get in touch with what is most important to you
MAP IT – make it happen by writing it down on your calendar
DO IT – then enjoy each event to its fullest!
Put FUN First – Choose the most important fun activity and fill up on the juicy energy it offers.
Before you leave on vacation – make two copies of each document in your wallet. Keep one in a safe place at home and take one with you to put in the hotel safe. Then you are prepared if anything should happen.
Connect with the Earth – Choose one morning or evening each week to be your time to connect with the earth – a long walk, sitting outside under a tree, a bike ride, or soaking up the sun. Let this be a time that fills you!
Garden – If you want to garden but just never have the time, plant a container with a favorite flower or vegetable. You will still enjoy gardening but on a more manageable scale.
Family Passes – Buy a family pass to your favorite summer place, then as a family review the schedule of events and mark your calendar with those you don’t want to miss!
Three Most Important Things – Every morning, when you are planning your day, write down the three things that truly matter most that day. The sense of accomplishment that you will feel when you complete these three things will free you to do other things.
Organize Last Years School Papers – Make a date with your child to spend an afternoon to go through all of the papers you saved from the last school year.Lay them all out on the dining room table or the floor. Enjoy reliving the last year. Then choose the keepers and treasures. Next simply three hole punch them and put in a fun binder so your child can look at it whenever he/she wants too.
Birthdays, Graduations, Weddings – Take one hour and make a master list of all the birthdays, graduations, and weddings, which are coming up this summer. Keep a copy with you so you can jot down gift ideas and have it handy when you are shopping
Weekend Project – Take one weekend, pick one project, (i.e. a closet, pantry or storage) and using the Clear & Simple Systems (see download below) organize the space. Then mentally let go of the rest and enjoy your summer.
Keep it simple, take a deep breath. Our favorite app for simple breathing and meditation is headspace.com
We would love to hear from you – what are your favorite Summer Tips?