Summer LivingIf you’re reading this blog, I feel like you’ll get this.  I mean, you only arrived at this page via a very few choice avenues.  Perhaps you’ve been following my bullet journal/art posts on Instagram.  Or maybe you were Googling the very same topics.  Regardless, I can pretty much guarantee you are a thoughtful person who wants more out of life than just survival.  You want to thrive and notice and experience the present in a very tangible way.

Me too.

You see, I’ve been doing a lot of surviving.  For a lot of years.  Okay, bad grammar, but you get me, right?

When I was a middle schooler, I was pretty much perpetually mindful.  I was taught at home and wasn’t allowed to watch more than two hours of TV a week.  I know you’re shedding some tears for me right now, but its okay.   I got over it.

I managed to drown the pain of all those non-TV hours in roller-blading, playing basketball (including many hours by myself practicing free throws), reading voraciously, and dreaming.  Oh the endless dreaming.

I spent a lot of time walking or sitting still and just noticing things.  These days, we call that mindfulness, or being present.  They were all beautiful, calm, I-am-here soaked moments.  The birds singing, leaves rustling, and hot sun glinting off baked red and brown brick buildings.  The solid feeling as I placed one foot in front of the other, watching children play in my lively Berwyn neighborhood.

Even in high school, when I finally was able to return from my solitude to the hustle and bustle of student life, I remember long walks home, contemplating the present, firmly grounded in my own skin.

How that mindfulness was shattered is a very long story, a story that I’m sure I’ll share piece-by-painful-piece with you, my dear reader.  What is important is that in small moments, it has always returned to me, and now, in a quiet whisper, I am choosing to be present as a regular part of my life.

That brings us to this summer.  The summer of 2016.  This beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime-summer.  Let’s not talk about how we want to make it to next year when more debt will be paid off and we can take that vacation we’ve been needing for so long.  Let’s not get caught up in how it will be so much better when we’ve lost that “x” amount of pounds.  It’s time to start living!

I’ve seen several lists of things to do over the summer and have been contemplating making one for myself.  So here goes:

  1. Spend porch time with H. (my sister)
  2. Ravinia concert with Mike
  3. Stop the car on the way to work and breathe, relish, be
  4. Go to the Art Institute alone.  Take sketch notes. Enjoy.
  5. Go to as many of J. and I’s games as possible (the nephews).
  6. Read or reread all of the Game of Thrones books.
  7. Walk and laugh in the rain
  8. Game night with Jenn and Brant
  9. Graue Mill with H. and the boys
  10. Refinish chest of drawers and china cabinet with Mike
  11. Build domino run with Mike
  12. Buy bikes and ride them in 5 state/national parks
  13. Visit the lakefront downtown at night and walk there with Mike
  14. Take Mama for 10 walks
  15. Write 1 positive note to a friend or coworker per week.
  16. Walk the Naperville Riverwalk and take couple selfies
  17. Write 1 sweet note to Mike per week
  18. Paint fingernails with girlfriends
  19. Cubs game with Mike
  20. Water games with boys and Kuhr littles
  21. Walk to the local library
  22. Make iced chai tea
  23. Find out people’s stories
  24. Spend lots of time at my art library (making art)
  25. Watch Mr. Robot
  26. Watch American Nina Warrior
  27. Work out
  28. Watch Korean dramas
  29. Get out there!

What are your plans for Summer Living in 2016?  Comment or leave me a link to your list.  I’d love to see what you’re up to.

Summer Living
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