What I've Learned This Summer

In May I wrote the post How to Make the Most of Summer. It was a list of dos and don'ts to help myself, and others shed the unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves. We did a podcast on it too.

I took it a step further a wrote a letter to my summer self to remind me of both the joys and the pitfalls of working from home when my kiddos are off from school. The letter was about balancing work and home plus record what I learned about myself in the previous season to equip myself for the new one.

In the podcast The Next Right Thing, Emily P. Freeman shares the importance of recording what we’ve learned. She says it’s a grounding practice that keeps us present in our lives and causes us to pay attention.

I have found this to be true! I am just beginning in this exercise, but I have already seen the fruit of it this past summer. Although mine was a letter and not a list, I checked it frequently to center myself when I felt I was lost in the hustle.

Now that the summer is over I am pausing to reflect on the past few months before I head into future.

Here are a few things I learned this summer:

1. You get less work done than you think you will.

Thankfully I recorded a handful of podcast episodes and wrote a few posts before school let out. Even though I set aside early morning hours to do work I was always interrupted.

2. I’m prone to distraction when I am home.

Even though I am physically present, many times, I am anticipating what comes next, or figuring how I am going to find a chance to do more on my to-do list. Those distractions go away when I am at the park, the pool, or a friend’s house which allows me to enjoy my kids fully.

3. I get car sick in the RV.

I counted on the 9-hour drive to Quebec to get some writing done. It didn't take long for me to quickly realize this was a bad idea. Movies, audio books, card games were okay, anything on a computer is a no go.

4. Working in the cracks doesn't work (at least for me.)

If I have to get something done, I am better off going to the library or Starbucks. I get more done in one hour in a coffee shop than I do at home. When I’m home, my kids confuse et my presence with availability too.

5. I miss my kids when they are gone.

My kids went to sleepaway camp for the first time. The length of time and who went varied. I was surprised how much different this was then sending them all to their grandparents for a week.

6. I love playing Tennis.

Our pool membership comes with access to Tennis courts and this year I was determined to make the most of my membership by actually playing. I managed to play a handful of times over the summer and have now signed up for a few lessons this fall. The best was making new friends that share my interest in the sport.

I look forward to doing this at the end of every season. I have no doubt that it will help me usher in the future with enthusiasm and intention.

Join me on Instagram for more lessons learned!


For more on the topic listen to:

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Episode 56 Lessons We've Learned this Summer

Join my co-hosts Elise, Noelle, Kimberly, and myself as we kick off season 3 with this follow up episode to see how each one of us did and discuss what worked and didn’t work for us over the last few months. Plus we’ll share a few of the things we learned about ourselves along the way.