Recapturing the Spirit of Summer

9 comments

in Personal Growth

When I was a kid, summers seemed endless, sunny and bright. Days were filled with adventure – whether that adventure was found in the pages of a gripping book or wandering barefoot through the neighborhood with my friends picking blackberries, climbing trees, or just … well … playing.

As an adult, summer has become just another season.

The dawning of the first hot sunny days don’t fill me with that little thrill I experienced as a child. The thrill of knowing that a whole day stretched before me where my only “job” was to have fun and to grow myself. Instead, summer has become a season to get more things done. Projects accomplished. Kids organized into activities.  Doing stuff that didn’t get done before.

I miss summer.

An article in the latest issue of Success magazine (June 2011) notes that “we are more productive when we regularly take vacations for in-depth renewal, but Americans aren’t doing so. Americans fail to use 439 million paid vacation days each year.”

This is a sad statistic.

This is a statistic we must change. Vacations are vital to achieving renewal; however, I would say that we could enjoy a greater level of renewal if we remembered to play. If we remembered that our only real jobs in life are to grow ourselves. And, sometimes, the best way to do that is to play like a kid. Like we did when summers were wide open and full of possibility.

Even though we have jobs and multiple competing obligations, maybe it is not too late to recapture the spirit of summer.

We just have to remember how.

Take a few moments and give some thought to the following questions:

  • What does summer mean to you? What do you want it to mean to you?
  • What activities do you associate with summer?
  • What actions can you take to create your ideal summer?
  • Are there activities that you loved as a kid that you long to try again?
  • Can you build in time for play?
  • Can you build in time for just appreciating beautiful days?
  • Have you scheduled a vacation that’s long enough for you to recharge?

Recapture the spirit of summer. Play. Grow. Renew.

What’s your favorite summer ritual of renewal?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rasheed Hooda June 1, 2011 at

Andrea,

Love the new layout. Nice and clean.

I have one question though. Why is your back against the wall? (look at your picture)
Rasheed Hooda recently posted..One Day at a Time

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Andrea June 1, 2011 at

Thanks, Rasheed! Always love your observations… the wall provides the contrast, of course. :)

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Rasheed Hooda June 1, 2011 at

I understand the photographic aspect of it.

The thought in my head “she’s got her back against the wall” shocked me, and that’s why I asked the question.

Rasheed
Rasheed Hooda recently posted..One Day at a Time

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Andrea June 1, 2011 at

I don’t have quite the same take on it but totally understand your perspective. Don’t worry … I definitely don’t have my back against the wall. :)

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Vanessa@Luxuria June 1, 2011 at

Summer now means for me returning to the UK to see family which sometimes = duty/obligation. I think my summers were more creative when I lived in the UK and I planned exciting adventures as a way to dis-connect from our work. Now summers just mean family, and altho’ that’s lovely, I do miss being able to be more spontaneous in what I choose to do. Also since living in Spain where Summer is soooooo long, I now prefer the other seasons more (which really is a 360º turn for me).
Great new look Andrea. Love it (especially the gorgeous blue).

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Andrea June 1, 2011 at

You are making me jealous with your long summers! We are hoping for sunshine here. :) Thanks for your comments and your support, my friend!

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Janeen Joyce June 1, 2011 at

Recapturing the spirit of summer is a beautiful reminder that we all need to keep experiencing in our lives, the freedom and freshness that we got with the ‘summer feelings’ of our youth. Even as adults, when our lives seem to have little space for that ‘summer feeling’ of our youth I think you make a very good point – we still need to make room for it.
Love your advice: the best way to do that is to play like a kid; like we did when summers were wide open and full of possibility.
Once again you’ve got me thinking. Thank you Andrea~
Janeen Joyce recently posted..Face the Sunshine

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Andrea June 1, 2011 at

It just strikes me that summers go by so quickly and if we don’t play a little bit – really play, they’ll just go by so much faster. Thanks, Janeen! Hope you have playful plans for summer.

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Shingyo Shelley June 3, 2011 at

What a beautiful site, Andrea – so still and strong and spacious. Fun conversation about your photo – and here I thought that you were just on the other side of the wall, facing a vast horizon of possibilites…ahhh, metaphors.

I love summer and especially remembering running around barefoot and the fresh smell of mown grass – yum.

And, I also like the metta-message about renewal. I am always reminding myself that living systems are self-organized, self-managed, self-renewing, and self-sustaining. We in the west so often leave out self-renewal.

And your message was just in time for some sunshine, too! I am looking out at the Olympic Mountains through a container of summer flowers stretching their necks upward toward Seattle’s sunny rays – a rarity and they are digging it just like me! I am going to take my shoes off and go outside and find some grass…

Thanks for the inspiration!

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