School’s out for summer. While my daughter is predictably ecstatic, I too find myself getting giddy with excitement about summer in a way I haven’t in YEARS. As a work-from-home-creative, I’m looking forward to finding a different pace for life in the months ahead. A big serving of unstructured time to play + explore with my daughter, with a healthy blend of quiet time to focus on my work + building my business. The dance all of us mothers do daily.
As I plan, I’m approaching my goals differently. Looking for what can stay UNDONE. This is new for me, as someone who likes to jam-pack my schedule and to-do list to the max. This year, I’m taking a note from my daughter, who, at seven, is the person in my life who shows up just as she is—wholehearted, full of optimism and joy, curious, compassionate, and most definitely present for every interaction she has.
Eager to soak up just a tiny bit of this authenticity and be present for all the small moments ahead, I’m looking forward to this little experiment to see what I learn. I’m only one week in so far, and am already feeling so much more relaxed and centered.
My daughter and I are building a summer list of must-dos. On it are simple things like snow cone trips, hosting a lemonade stand, sleepovers, berry picking + pie making, dinners outside—you know, all the things that make summer summer. Building our list has been fun; we add to it daily and are having fun talking about all the things we’re looking forward to.
Making sure we are ready for an impromptu workout, play party, or backyard BBQ is key to a stress-free summer. We’ve tuned bikes, jump ropes, restocked bubbles + sidewalk chalk, cleaned the grill and outdoor furniture, and bookmarked our favorite recipes for last-minute get-togethers. Bring on the social season!
Most weeks, S. has a camp or activity each afternoon. A 3 to 4-hour block for me to work, write, and do the job of adulting so I can be very hands-on in the other parts of the day. For my list, I’m paring back to the barest of items—putting 3 things ONLY on my list each day that must be done, leaving the rest for another day or week.
I’m hoping this simple approach to summer will help to connect me with the present moment, to find joy in the imperfection of these days, and purpose in just being.
Tell me—how are you celebrating the season ahead?
Jill Elliott is an artist, wallpaper designer and writer constantly seeking inspiration and balance. You can find Jill’s wallpaper and original art at Color Kind Studio. She can often be found making art and messes alongside her daughter and puppy.
BY Jill Elliott - June 13, 2019
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
Jill – this article is simple, to the point and really resonating with me. My summer survival tools are on hand and ready! But the summer bucket list and blocking time is what I need to incorporate. I hope I can take on these simple approaches to shred some weight off my shoulders and to help block more time for creativity in my day to day life.
Happy Summer Mo! You can do it!
We’re taking the kids on a road trip through Mexico for the 2nd June in a row. The freedom of waking up and deciding our agenda for the week spontaneously is amazing.
I can fia into work as long as I have internet and am much more free to create when on the road.
Hi Maria! Love seeing all your photos and would love to learn more about your tip! So inspiring! xx.
Great post. I actually created a summer bucket list myself. I hope you and your daughter are able to complete yours and have so much fun.
Thanks Rochelle! Love your list, especially learn a famous dance routine + 24 hour unplug. Adding those to our list STAT. Happy Summer!