The Goal Of Summer

With the onset of summer vacation sweeping the nation I have noticed a theme.

Long summertime goals.

Look, I’m a fan of lists and goals and if you have been reading my posts for awhile (back in my Typepad days) you know that I am all about organization, goals, and to-do lists. In fact, I’m staring at a general list tacked to my bulletin board at this very moment. And in years past I used to organize our summer weeks into themes with daily crafts and reading charts. I used to think that summer was the perfect time to get all kinds of things completed – maybe it is the absence of school projects and homework along with nice sunny days that spark that concept…but in reality summer hits and everyone is home, bored, and under foot and the weather is so hot I just want to – sit.

This year I have zero interest in any of the plans.

I have a friend on Facebook who posted the five hundred things they hope to do this summer. Things like, “go to Las Vegas”; “host a swim party”; “roast marshmallows”; “go to Disneyland”; “go to SeaWorld”; “go camping”; “have a water balloon fight”; and so on and so on. Another friend tells me that everyday she has a list of projects she hopes to complete before dinner.

Ohmygawd, no.

This summer has taken on a new meaning for me.

Simplicity.

I don’t even have a list.

Not a formal list, anyway.

My “list” is simple:

Exercise daily. In fact, every morning I am walking between 3 and 4 miles before breakfast.
Water and tend my garden.
Straighten the house, maybe throw a load of laundry in the washer.
Plan a simple dinner.
Work in the office (writing, research, etc.).
Read and other hobbies (quilt, mosaic projects).
And by late summer: deal with ALL the harvest as it comes in (freezing sauce, pesto, and meals).

That’s it.

We are planning one trip to the Oregon coast for my oldest son’s graduation from culinary school. And I have a friend from San Diego flying up for a weekend in July to visit.

Summer.

If I get into the shed and maybe go through some boxes, great. If I can get my recipes thinned out and organized, super. If I manage to take the kids one day to the water park, splendid. Otherwise: do whatever. There is a pool, plenty of books around, televisions in every room – find something to do – even if that means doing nothing whatsoever and disconnecting for a couple of hot months. I don’t know about all of you but by the end of the school year I need a break from it all and I love the notion of lazy summers. Reminds me of growing up in Los Angeles with our air conditioning running at full speed, smoggy afternoons, cold watermelon, swimming at my uncle’s pool with friends, reading a lot of books, riding bikes around the neighborhood with my cousin as we tried to sell lemons off my tree, and taking a nap on the couch.

My only goal for this summer is to keep it all simple.

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