Is Summer Only For Fun?

How can it be summer already? Weren’t we just celebrating New Year’s? I am sure it is my age, but the months and years seem to just fly by. I am sure that some of you can identify with me. Yes, summer is in full swing again.

Living in the South has its benefits … and, of course, its drawbacks. One of those is one and the same – the long, hot summer. We are usually experiencing summer weather by the end of April, and can expect the long hot days to linger around until late September, and sometimes longer. Once the children are out of school for the summer (recognizing that some are in year-round school) vacation times abound. Many are going on beach trips, swimming in backyard or neighborhood pools, or boating in our area’s beautiful lakes. Some children enjoy a portion of their summer at camp. 

Regardless of the activities, there is much to do to keep us all busy during summer’s prime. There will be plenty of time for people to relax and enjoy the various recreational activities. But I wonder about the end of the summer coming soon and us having nothing to show for it, other than perhaps good memories and maybe a tan for those who throw caution to the wind and still engage in such. As I think of my own last few summers, that is what I remember. And I am beginning to wonder, “Is that all there is?” And if so, is that enough? I can hear the thinking of some of you, wondering, now what is wrong with that? Can there be anything wrong with fun and memories? Hang with me for a few more minutes, then decide. 

What if today we set a goal for something tangible that we want out of this summer, and work to accomplish it before this time is past? Something more than fun – as important as that is. Would doing so give us a sense of accomplishment that we will remember when the time it took to do so is past? I know this sounds like work, and isn’t the summer for play? Bear with me a little longer as I develop this idea a little further.  

I imagine there is something in your mind that needs doing, that if you completed would bring a great sense of accomplishment. I have more than one. In fact, I have three.

This summer, I will clean out my storage shed and sell or donate what is in it, so I am no longer making monthly payments to store things I will never use, and don’t even want. That will not be fun, which is why I have avoided doing it already. But it needs to be done. When I think of the money wasted for years – yes, years – I should be ashamed. No, shame is unnecessary. I just need to do it now and not waste any more money. I imagine some of you could also do something similar. 

By summer’s end, I will have cleaned out our daughters’ closets, and donated what they do not want to keep. At soon to be 40 and 42, I doubt they will come home to live here again, and if for some reason they did, they wouldn’t want that stuff, or they would already have taken it. My friend, Debbie, has a head start on me, telling her children that their old rooms are going to be like hotel rooms. She is preparing to downsize, and doing so in a manner that will result in someone else wanting to purchase their house when it is time to sell. I think she has it right. While her girls will always have a home, it will not be in the house they lived in, so why keep their stuff in it?

Now, what about my closet? That is my third thing “to do,” to accomplish, this summer. By the end of July, I should be able to finally rid my closet of clothes that no longer fit and that I will never wear again. Now, I should change the wording of that sentence to read, “By the end of July, I will rid my closet of things that no longer fit and that I will never wear again.” This will require steady progress on my weight reduction plan that is in process. Wish me good progress on that! 

Perhaps my list of three things I will accomplish this summer has you thinking about yours. It doesn’t have to be three; it can be whatever you want it to be. Just decide on what accomplishment you want out of this summer, and do it. The summer will pass regardless of how we are spending our time. I want to look back on it and know I accomplished something important. I also want to have plenty of fun, and hope that you do as well!