It’s summertime! Summer in the Pacific Northwest is one of the best kept secrets around (shhh…don’t tell anyone). We live with a lot of gray clouds around here, someone explained it as “living with the lid on”. While I think that is somewhat melodramatic, he wasn’t far from the truth on certain days. So when the summer comes, people come out of their houses. The sun shines, gardens grow, people are doing yoga on wake-boards (well some) and people smile just a little bit more it seems.
Summer can be an easy time to “remember what it’s all about”. People take vacations and spend more time with their families. We spend time outdoors and in nature. We gather among friends in the backyard and BBQ.
Tonight my family and I went for a walk after dinner. We held hands, picked flowers, gathered raspberries from the neighbors plants hanging over the fence. It was 80 degrees, but a sweet breeze was blowing. It was lovely.
The other part of this story is I worked 11 hours days this week. I would kiss the kids good morning at 6:30am, on my the way out the door and not get home until it was past dinner time. I have been coming home exhausted while getting used to the summer schedule of 4 10 hour days.
Life is certainly about balance, isn’t it? The ongoing practice of figuring out what our priorities are, messing up, realigning and doing it until we slowly remember more and more what feels right to us and honoring that.
There are things we need to do in life to make things work well. Having an income is one of those. Finding good work is a great thing and working hard is important too. I heard a story once about the top regrets people seem to have at the end of their lives. They wished they had the courage to live a life being true to themselves and not what others expected. They wished they didn’t work so hard and that they spent more time with friends. They wished they had the courage to express their feelings more and they had allowed themselves to be happier.
I wouldn’t wish regrets on anyone, but I am glad they were talking about it. What a gift of wisdom these elders have shared with us.
What makes you come alive? What makes you loose track of time and smile from the inside out? For me, it’s spending time with my kids, painting, walking, sharing wine with friends, and being outside in nature. So then the question becomes, what am I doing about that? Am I enjoying that “in theory” but really checking my work email on my phone? Or am I unplugged enough to notice how the light shines on my daughters golden hair, or the fresh taste of the lettuce from our garden? It’s a choice where our attention goes. The question is, what is life really about to you? Exploring that question leads to more time doing more things that you love.
Happy exploring and happy summertime!