Every year, for 13 years, I walked into an English class and someone asked me to write about my summer vacation. It was usually pretty easy because I always had baseball or vacations or summer cottages to talk about but as time went on, I found it more and more difficult. And then, school ended. Suddenly no one cared about my summer vacation. There are no jobs where your boss says, “Ok…now today we’re going to talk about your summer vacation.” I mean, none that I know of anyways. If you know of a job where they’re planning on paying me to tell them what I did this summer, please let me know. But in the meantime, I’ve decided that since you’re here, I might as well tell you about my summer vacation.

If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don’t…what the hell?) you probably know that I spend my summer at the cottage with my family. One of the advantages of two self-employed people is that you’ve got a little more flexibility to set your own schedule. And so we spend 50% of the time at our cottage during the summer. We don’t have internet at our cottage and so I spend a lot of my time thinking and writing. This year, I wanted to do more with my family so I made a plan. This is the plan for my summer vacation.

Put In The Groundwork

Today is August 25th. I haven’t done any writing since the beginning of May. That’s because I wrote every single post I would need to write for the entire summer before my summer started. This meant that I could spend my summer vacation…VACATIONING.

Sure, I’ve got client work to do and it has put a LOT of pressure on me to be SUPER productive when I do have internet access. But I’m able to get that done when I’m home and then I get to spend most of my time at the beach. Aside from some tantrums here and there by a 4 year old who has suddenly decided that nap are for suckers, it’s meant a really incredible summer. But it simply would not be possible if I had not overloaded my spring and got everything done in time.

Make Connections

One of the great things about this summer has been the people I’ve got to spend time with. From days on the beach with my MP and his family to teaching those from abroad everything there is to know about Nova Scotia in general and our beach in particular.

But the really great thing about meeting all of these people has been coming to an understanding about what people are like. It turns out, I’ve learned this summer, that people are pretty much all the same. Whether you’re talking to a politician, or a tourist or a neighbor, it’s mostly just people trying to do the best for their family. And when you start to see people that way, as you start to push aside what you THINK are motivators for the way people act, and start to see the way they really are, it changes your perspective.

Breathe and Stop

I’m someone who tries to fill every moment of every day. I multi-task as though it were my job (I guess it sort of is…right now I’m watching Jerry Maguire) and I always thought that made me a better person. I took pictures of everything that happened, EVER, just so that I’d never miss anything. And it turns out that when you do that, you miss a whole lot of things. This summer I’ve sat more. Just sat and watched my family play. Just sat and watched the wind move through the trees.

The result of being so extraordinarily lazy and sedentary I that I’m actually much more focused when it comes time to actually get down to a little bit of work. My writing hiatus combined with slowing everything down meant that when I got back to writing this week, everything flowed smoothly.

It doesn’t really matter how you decide to spend your summer. Maybe you work. Maybe you play. Maybe you leave the country. Maybe you don’t leave the couch. Whatever the case, do your best to make the most of your summer. You only get so many.

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