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.
Here’s how I’m planning to celebrate summer, while still honoring the life and business I’m building for the future:
Creating a Summer Bucket List
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.
Tuning Up our Summer Survival Tools
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!
Blocking Time Weekly for My Must-Dos
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 a creative consultant, strategist, and thinker constantly seeking inspiration and balance. As a writer, artist, and founder of The Color Kind she seeks to inspire others to live creatively every day. She can often be found making art and messes alongside her 7-year-old daughter and Goldendoodle puppy.