LemonadeWelcome to the first day of summer! Ah, summer. For me, this season brings back childhood memories of swimming with my siblings, picking raspberries at dusk, smelling the roses in our garden, and enjoying al fresco dining on our brick patio on the West Coast. Some East Coast friends remember playing on Cape Cod’s beaches, hiking in the White Mountains, and bicycling on Nantucket.  And a few friends from the Midwest recall summer sleep-away camp with favorite activities like horsemanship and archery, as well as trips to a variety of places, including Lake Michigan. Regardless of where you reside, today is the perfect time to consider how you’d like to enjoy this summer. So grab a lounge chair, a cool drink, a notepad and pen, and let the ideas flow. Remember, there are no bad ideas in brainstorming!

  • Consider your daily routine (say, in the months of November and March). Now, consider the brilliance of today. Identify how you’d like to mix things up a bit so you can enjoy the good weather and outdoor activities that abound. Do you want to relax? Travel? Be adventurous? Be productive? Do some combination of these things?
  • After identifying desired themes and goals for this summer, jot down an action plan of sorts. No contracts or fine print are needed – but carving out the time to achieve your goals is key. If you want to relax then make time for (read: actually schedule): a day trip to the beach, a picnic in a meadow, a visit to an art gallery, or an afternoon swim in a local lake or pool. If you want to be productive, identify the projects you wish to tackle. Schedule time to do those things, follow through, and productivity will ensue. Looking for adventure (and perhaps some spontaneity to boot)? Block off a Saturday for a day trip to a yet to be determined location. When trip day arrives, head out and see where the road takes you.
  • Don’t forget to smell the roses. Or to enjoy your nearby farmers’ market, concerts in your town square, your local library’s offerings, the backyard hammock, and the deliciousness of homemade ice cream, cherry pie, and lemonade.
  • Take time for yourself this summer. Carve out some time each day for reflection, prayer, contemplation, or quiet. Moments of stillness are always a good idea. This summer and year-round.

Wishing you an enjoyable summer filled with laughter, blueberries, amphitheater concerts, and plenty of sand and sun. Cheers!

* Photo by ilker

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