Put More Summer in Your Life

summer funAhhh, the lazy, hazy days of summer are finally here. Now is the time to create a summer plan that will put more summer into your life. Working five days a week, we tend to cram all our summer fun into the weekends. A summer plan is designed to change the routine and add some time to be spontaneous. Being spontaneous applies to what happens naturally rather than being planned or influenced by external forces and the summer is the perfect time for it.

First you will need to take a look at your schedule to see where you can squeeze in summer. I hope you have a vacation already planned, if not, that should be your first priority. We all have the same 168 hours per week how are you using yours? Are there any weekly or monthly activities that you can cut down or put on hold? Could you get up an hour earlier now that the early mornings are bright? Ease up on the hectic pace and change the routine to see if you can’t gain an hour or two a day for yourself. Block out some time in your planner then if something comes up it will be easier for you to say “No, I am sorry I already have a commitment on that day.”

Just by changing your routine and easing up on some things your attitude will change.

Next add some summer fun during the week such as;

  • breakfast on the deck
  • lunch at the park
  • a picnic dinner at the beach
  • read for 30 minutes in the hammock
  • or camp out in your own backyard with s’mores over the barbecue
  • Stargazing, walking the beach at night
  • riding your bike around the neighborhood are all activities that get you outside in the good weather

Be creative and look for other opportunities to add summer fun to your life and maybe it won’t seem so short this year.

Serendipity, according to dictionary.com, means “good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries.” I wish you a serendipitous summer!

Turn Off the TV and Turn On Your Creativity

The third week of April (April 20-26 2009) is Turn off the TV week. In Massachusetts this is also school vacation week – not a typical week for children but perhaps one with more flexibility.

            So, how much TV do you think you watch in a typical week?  I think you may be surprised. Often times, we as adults, just want to stop and slow down for a few minutes. Having that big black box staring back at us has the effect of a black hole….it pulls us in. We turn it on; we sit there and then wonder where the time went. Take a look at your TV habits. Do you have special shows that you watch or are you constantly flipping channels? Do you turn it on for the news and then watch the 6pm and 11pm news and everything in between? Well this is a good week to go “cold turkey” and turn off the TV. You might just realize that the hours of 7pm to 10pm are some of your best.

            Let’s face it, with TIVO and other DVR ‘s you can be the one in control of your viewing. By fast forwarding through the commercials you can save 15 minutes off each hour long program. I guess what I am saying is take a look, are you wasting valuable time getting hooked into something that really doesn’t interest you? Or are you deciding what and when you will watch?

            Families can work together to plan activities for the after dinner hours that are typically spent watching TV.  Be creative, you can bake cookies, play games, do crafts or read together. The options are limited only by your imagination. Even Barnes and Noble bookstores are getting into the act. They are providing story hours and game nights at many of their stores.

            Try it for the week and let me know what you do instead. If you’re a typical 3 or 4 hour a night watcher, that could mean 15 to 20 hours gained in just 5 days! Think about that! My husband doesn’t know it yet, but the TV is going off for the next four days. One thing I do want to mention, these three or four hours that you gain, should not be used to get more “work” done. Think of it as your “self-care” time or “family” time and use it wisely. Check out this website for more information: http://www.tvturnoff.org/  

Good luck.