I know that it's the most wonderful time of the year and all, but somehow, this holiday season has been a bit of weird one. And I know I'm not the only one feeling that way.
Friends who always have family professional looking photo cards made or do holiday letters just didn't get it together. Those that did seemed to squeak in last minute.
Family members who normally finish their gift shopping by October 31st are calling me three days before Christmas to ask what my kids would like.
And I really knew something was up when even kids (who are most likely about to be bombarded with more gifts than a third world village will see in 3 years, and are probably well aware of this fact) are lamenting throughFacebook about their inability to find the Christmas Spirit. It's a sad, sad situation.
I don't know exactly what's up with the world at large this holiday season, but I know that for me, it's a different one. It's the first time I'll juggle post divorce logistics with kids. It's the first Christmas without my sweet Grandma, who really was the glue that held together a whole section of my family. And just to keep me on my toes, there's a massive pile of BIG LIFE STUFF that all needs to be negotiated and dealt with right friggen now.
These things are cumulatively not very conducive to a Happy Holiday Spirit. My tendencies first lean towards the urge to punch someone in the throat, but when the extreme fatigue sets in, I'd rather curl up in a ball and cry. Notice that I said urge. I know, I know...Actually punching people is wrong. And since it's Christmas Eve tonight, there's just too much to be done and no time for crying about it.
So, what on earth is one to do in order to make sure they don't become that woman who flipped out at the mall and started throwing things and screaming at everyone? (For most of us, I'm guessing that this is probably not the bit of fame we are seeking.)
Here's what helps me stay semi sane during the holiday season (and keeps me from any punching of throats or other body parts)
It only takes a minute, and in all honesty, many of us spend more time frantically complaining about how hectic life is than it would take to just calm ourselves down and make a game plan. So stop. For just a minute. And breathe. Shut your pie hole, close your eyes and breathe. (I tell myself this all the time. I'm not just being rude to you all..)
Seriously, a wee bit of time invested in getting centered pays off in huge dividends with the prevention of angry eyebrow wrinkles.
I can't even tell you how much the gift of laughter means to me. Seriously, there are a lotta times when you have to either laugh or cry, and if you followed step 1 above and took a minute to breathe, you might just realize that some situations are pretty darn funny.
For example, many people are stressing right about now over the upcoming holiday gatherings, and they do it every year~ not about the food or decorations or gifts~ but because they know they will have to deal with relatives that they feel are crazy, weird or just plain unpleasant.
I could tell you that your relatives really aren't that really bad, or I could tell you the alternative truth. We all have crazy relatives. There is no perfect family.
Whenever possible, I just try to laugh about it. I mean, think about the Griswold's or the Costanza's. If your holiday festivities don't include a metal pole, an official airing of grievances or wrestling feats of strength, well, then...your laughter may evolve into gratitude, which is really kind of deep stuff, don't you think?
3) Let Go
It's not gonna be perfect. That's just the way it is. But, it probably can be pretty darn nice. If you let go that is.
I'm super guilty of NOT following my own advice on this one, and doing a mental freak out about all the things that aren't the way they used to be, should be, or could be. *** But when I'm giving myself (and other people) all sorts of grief about what isn't perfect, I'm missing out on all of the ways things are awesome.
It's ridiculous really, and it never ever helps. What does help is figuring out what really matters and putting the energy I have into making those things happen in the best way I can.
My kids probably won't remember if every gift wasn't right or we forgot rolls, or have to skip crafts because I have to work. But they will remember if we were happy or not.
So, what matters to me this year is loving up the people around me, including myself. I'm still going to hustle and do what I can to pull off some holiday magic, because that's just what I do. But, I'm also going to give myself and everyone else a break, and know that whatever it is, is good enough, imperfections and all.
In the words of the ever wise Dr. Suess:
"And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
'Maybe Christmas,' he thought, 'doesn't come from a store.
'Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!
Wishing you all the happiest of holidays!!!!!! Breathe, Laugh, Let Go and Enjoy!!!
I recently did a little flipping out. OK, maybe this isn't news because I kind of have little flip out episodes on a semi regular basis, BUT they are usually internal and aimed at myself (although the people in close proximity may witness them and wonder, but anyway....)
External flipping out is usually reserved for people who are in some way or another causing me a large amount of grief, but the flip out episode I'm referring to here revolved around a friend that I normally find very enjoyable, and have no desire whatsoever to flip on. That's what was so weird about it.
It started off as girlfriendly chit chat, and somehow rolled into a conversation with deep and penetrating questions about all sorts of future stuff. The kind of stuff that I really have no idea about, and very little control over. The kind of stuff that I get heart palpitations if I think about too intensely. Big Stuff.
And that flipped me out.
I'm not sure exactly why, but somehow the whole conversation had me feeling (and possibly sort of acting) like a wild caged animal. I know that Dear Friend didn't mean to make me feel trapped with her inquiries. She just has a mind that wants to be prepared for any potentially problematic outcomes, to have a master big picture plan with fine details on the far off horizon.
But, the reality seems to be that there are some things you just can't be prepared for. The far off horizon has so many things that are not in the least bit in my control that it's quite honestly terrifying.
I probably freaked out because I'm just starting to get used to this idea that a whole heck of a lotta things are not in my realm of control by any means. Like, not at all.
I can only (and barely) control my own actions, and life is complicated and full of all sorts of other people and problems. No matter how much I want to wrangle them into my way of being, there's only so much I can do.
If there's one thing I've learned in the last couple of roller coaster years, it's that I really don't have any idea of exactly how the details of the future will unfold. But even so, things usually turn out pretty freaking well.
In the midst of the business of life, with the added crazy of the holidays looming, I love seeing people actually thinking about Thanksgiving. And by that, I mean the actual act of giving thanks, not just taking a day off work in America, and over stuffing ourselves (even more than usual, that is.)
I'm seeing people posting daily lists of gratitude on Facebook, and while some skeptics might say that those are just another means of feeding our public displays of narcissism, I think that any means of getting people to quit bitching and focus on positive stuff is a good thing.
So, yes, I think I'll join the bandwagon. No, not with daily posts, I just can't handle that kind of public commitment and pressure. But I think I can manage a weekly roundup of gratitude. This week will be in the form of pictures of some of the things that really do make my life better. Next week, who knows what I will do, because I just don't plan ahead that well.
Presenting Thankful Thursday.Here are some of the reasons that I am so very blessed.
Zesty Mom's Guide to Having Fun on Wheels: AKA 6 Important Things tp Remember if You Go Roller Skating and Would Prefer Not to Die in the Process
OK, I should probably admit up front that I am not at all qualified to give professional advice on anything, let alone roller skating or other wheeled sports.
In fact, there was no Caldwell Park Figure Skating Competition, aside from the one my Girl Child and I made up in our heads and laughed about as we rolled madly down the river trail.
But, when I posted a photo of me skating with a caption that I was the 2013 Champion as a joke on my personal page, well, it got a whole buncha likes, along with comments about how inspiring it was. I'm hoping these were just for the joyful picture and not because anyone was under the illusion that I actually won a contest. I mean, I did, but it was only in my mind, and I was the only contestant.
Anyhoo...back to my Guide to Fun on Wheels.
Here Are 6 Important Things to Keep in Mind (before you go rolling off into the sunset):
1) Don't Be Scared...It's Fun...All the Cool Kids are doing it....
For some reason, many people over the age of say...30 tend to shy away from anything that involves their bodies and wheels, with the exception of cars, of course.
Perhaps this is because they have lost their sense of fun. Perhaps it is because they think they'll look ridiculous. Perhaps they are just afraid of falling because they know it will really hurt and cost them a whole lotta money if they break anything.
My answer to all of the above is to say "pshaw." Trust me, the older you get, the more you'll need your sense of fun. Life can suck the joy right of of you if you aren't careful, and really...as adults we're the ones who do all the work and deal with all the problems...why exactly wouldn't we allow ourselves as much fun as the kids?
As far as looking ridiculous, just see the above picture. Do I look like I care? I'm having FUN! In regards to falling and breaking things, well...here's my disclaimer (In fine print even!): I can't be responsible for any injuries sustained by attempting wheeled sports, but I do advise that you DO NOT try them when under the influence of alcohol or other anything else that might affect your ninja reflexes.
So, come on...it'll make you feel good (well, unless you fall. That will hurt, but again, to be clear, that's totally not my fault.)
2) Hills look a lot steeper (and therefore deadlier) when you are on wheels than when you are just walking on your own two feet.
Be forewarned that when you come upon a mild slope, the decline of which you had never before noticed, although you may have walked past 50 million times, well....it might just look and feel like a freaking sheer mountain, and you might feel like you are topping speeds of 90 miles per hour which can cause panic and alarm.
If you find yourself already heading down one of these hillocks / cliffs, I recommend a zig zag approach for your descent to slow you down and hopefully prevent an embarrassing crash and burn scenario. Flailing arms and vocalizing "ooooooooohhhhh shoooooooot" seems to help me feel better too.
Although, this strategy can backfire... which brings me to #3.
3) Beware of other people on wheels who want to pass you.
When you are leisurely meandering back and forth down the slope attempting a non lethal pace, you will sort of be taking up more than your own half of the trail. This puts you in danger of other wheeled riders who are often faster and more talented than you and will crush you like an insect if you don't move.
In my experience, skateboarders tend to be polite about trying not to run you down and asking / warning you to get out of the way, although I have nearly been smashed by more than one. The bicyclists however, are the worst. Not the recreational kind on a family ride~ they're usually nice enough.
It's the serious guys in the skin tight shorts and helmets who look as though they're entering some kind of race or contest~ they are they ones who tend to freak the heck out yelling "Passing on the right!!!!" in an angry and accusing tone, as if I don't have the right to enjoy both sides of the river trail, as if they don't have brakes and handlebars which can maneuver them a heck of lot more easily than what my skates offer. They are the ones I fear most.
On a lighter note...
4) Find Gear that You Love
Inline skates are just not my thing~ they feel all 1990's to me. No thanks~ Since there's really not a current 'in' option in skates, I prefer to go old school with my purple and white quad style pair.
I feel like I could be a Roller Derby Queen in those things, which I might actually try if I just got to skate in circles knocking people outta my way, but the fact that those people would also try to knock me over...well, that doesn't sound so fun. I bruise easily, and am not that well insured, and besides... some of those ladies look pretty hard core.
Anyhoo~ back to gear~ as with most things in life, you are probably going to enjoy yourself more and participate more if you have equipment that you actually like. That doesn't mean you have to get the $300 pair of pro skates that you'll only use a couple of times. I found mine for $40 on sale at Big 5. There's usually a happy medium between the top of the line expert gear and some cheap ugly junk that you hate.
The main thing is, you want to look at your gear and get that cool kid feeling. If you like something and feel good about it, you'll use it, and in my case, I became the envy of almost every 8 to 12 year old girl I passed.
5) SAFETY BELTS!!!
Please, please wear a belt. This is really important...I mean it. Really. At the very least, make sure your pants fit well. There are a couple of very important reasons for this.
a) If you are around little kids on skates, they tend to grab you when they are falling, and if there is any chance of them pulling your pants down, they will. As one of the few moms who will don skates, I have found myself the designated hand holder for many a little one as they learned to walk on wheels at our local Homeschool Skate Day. I have almost lost my pants more than once in this role, and learned that while loose fitting or stretchy waistbands may be nice for visiting buffets, they are not appropriate for skating with little kids.
b) When low rise jeans came onto the scene, I witnessed more teen girl butt crack at the skating rink than I have seen in plumbers over the course of my entire life. I'm fairly sure that these young ladies would have been mortified if they had any idea, although the breeze on their backsides might have given them a clue.
In any case, belts are really important. They might not save a life, but they can save you from some serious embarrassment.
6) Don't get cocky
Flying around on wheels can give you an incredible feeling of freedom and joy, and if you don't wipe out, it can also give you the illusion that you have more skills than you actually do, which might make you want to get all fancy.
Stretching your limits is one thing. Thinking you don't have any is another.
I've attempted a few tricks on wheels~ some more successful than others. While I haven't hurt myself, I have been humbled a few times and found myself uttering phrases like"I'm not as spry as I used to be."
The main thing is to avoid being completely humiliated by injuries that require casts or physical therapy. For some reason, it's just more socially acceptable and less embarrassing for a kid to earn a cast through a failed tricks on wheels than for an adult to do the same. As a kid, it can even be cool. As an adult, you may look silly. It's not fair, I know, but it's the world we live in.
Also, remember that as the adult, you have to pay for those mistakes, which just adds insult to your injury. (Refer to disclaimer in #1)
Nevertheless, I think getting on wheels is well worth it, and I highly recommend you give it a try. It's fun! It's sporty! It's entertaining for those around you! You might just surprise yourself and your kids.
The next step for me might be borrowing my Boy Child's skateboard (although hills will not be a part of this experiment in any form)
How about you? Would you try wheeled sports with your kids? I'd love your thoughts and stories in the comments below, and if you liked this post, please "like" it on Facebook as well. Better yet, share it with your peeps!
I was all ready to write a completely different post today, but after having such an absolutely fantastic time last week, I have to write about that instead. What did I do, you ask? I took my Girl Child to her first Real Big concert.
She’s 15 and been to lots of live music venues, but I’m talking one that costs a chunk of dough and has a biggish name act.
Now, I loooooooove music. But, I have a bit of a bipolar relationship with it in regards to my chillens.
You see, one of the troubles with being a Mother Who Thinks is that you tend to have Kids Who Think, and while this is certainly good in the grand scheme of things, sometimes, it’s a bit uncomfortable.
My Girl Child in particular has always been one to question the meaning of things, from the time she could speak. Things like stories, and street signs, and phrases, and since I like to rock out in the car and around the house and pretty much anywhere, she would often question the meaning of song lyrics.
Needless to say, it could be a tad bit awkward explaining to a wide eyed little face of innocence what exactly was the meaning of the words her mother was shaking her bootie to. And this child didn’t usually just take a basic answer and let me change the subject~ no...she wanted to know the real deal. Then, she would stare at you with what looked a lot like condemnation while absorbing it all.
Truth be told, I rarely thought about the meaning of music until this child came along. And when I did think about it….well, much of it wasn’t something I really felt like sharing with my little ones.
When songs are violent, or all about random and meaningless sex, or degrading women or just plain negative, in all honesty…. analyzing the meaning with a child kinda spoils the fun of at times.
So, a good deal of my favorite music went on hold, at least when the young and innocent ears were around, just to save me from the explanations.
Having formerly spent most of my spending money (prior to having kids) on CDs and concert tickets, this was an strange twist of fate for me. But, motherhood had so many of those that I just rolled with it.
Today, my kids are bigger and they no longer ask what lyrics mean. It’s more likely that I’m the one questioning their lyrics these days, but I still know they’re taking it all in..
So, how to actually enjoy music with your young peeps?
Tip #1: Find some positive music that you can enjoy together. None of you should feel like crying, shrinking, or jabbing knitting needles in your ears during the shared musical experience.
Here’s where the awesome part of the above mentioned concert comes in. On a whim, we got tickets with friends to see Michael Franti. The whole thing was awesome actually, but this guy is not just an amazing performer.
Michael has an equally amazing and super positive attitude, and this was huge! He came out to dance in the audience, with little kids and old people, he told sweet stories about his mom, his family, his love, and visiting war torn countries like Iraq to play for both citizens on the street and soldiers on bases. And he rocked the freaking house.
Tip # 2: Bring along the right friends. That way, no one cares if you shake your groove thing.
I danced alongside a small gaggle of teenagers, including my Girl Child, all of whom were having so much fun, they didn’t even notice my funky mom dance moves enough to be embarrassed. Now, if we had brought along friends who were more worried about looking cool than having fun, or who didn’t already think I was a cool mom, then it would have been a totally different experience. Luckily, everyone in our little group was awesome and easily swayed to come to the Fun Side.
Tip # 3: You might have to loosen up a bit and let go.
Let me tell you, two and a half hours of solid dancing is a workout and I was a sweaty beast by the end of it. But so was everyone else there, including Michael, which my Girl Child found out as he danced near us and she gave him a pat on the back, only to come away with a really wet palm.
Now, we are a family of mild to moderate germaphobes, so this could have been a really unpleasant thing for her. But, her face only registered the shock momentarily, and then resigned back to joyful exuberance and dancing like a crazy mini me. Yay for letting go!
The idea of letting go applies to me too. Not all the music we share these days has as positive of messages as Michael Franti’s stuff does. As a Parental Unit, I’m not always 100% comfortable with these messages, but I do have to trust in my kids, that they will use their brains and discernment in regards to what they hear and how they act.
Plus, we talk a lot, so like it or not, they hear my 2 cents on lyrics. It’s been really reassuring to hear their take on things too, and to know that they aren’t just soaking things in, they’re thinking too.
Tip # 4: Enjoy Yourself~ Music + Kids is FUN, I promise!
No matter what a bad rap the teen years get, I'm really enjoying all the new things I can experience with my bigger kids. I'm feeling pretty lucky that there are positive people like Michael Franti making music to enjoy with them, and especially that they generally think I'm cool enough to come along with them (having their friends think so helps too.)
I'm really not at all surprised, but taking teenagers to a concert was whole heck of a lotta fun. If you have access yourself to kids and live music, I'd highly recommend it. I'm pretty sure this night will be one we all remember and we talked about the stories, the music, and the positive theme long after it was over.
(Disclaimer: While my dancing urges lasted for days, the lack of embarrassment was limited to the time during the live music venue. Apparently, and according to my Girl Child, it's OK to dance at a concert, but not while walking down the street.)
Now I'm looking for a show to take my Boy Child to, and I can see that concerts are going to need to be added back into my budget. In the mean time, I'll be listening to the Sound of Sunshine and dancing in my head...
I'd love to hear about your musical adventures with kids and teens in the comments below, and if you liked this post, please 'like' it over on Facebook and share with your friends.
The season officially changes to autumn this week, and the busyness of fall is in full swing for my family. Life is full of so many good things, that I'm lacking in time to write...so, it must be time for another episode of Wordless Wednesday.
Since the trees show the change of seasons before anything else around here, trees are my theme today.
Yes, I realize I'm kind of blowing the whole 'wordless' part, so without further ado, and for your viewing pleasure, here are some of the beautiful things in my world these days....
It’s only the middle of September, and despite the fact that (according to the calendar) it’s technically still summer, most of the kids near me have already been back in school for almost a month.
My own kids are no longer immune to the busyness of fall, although we're still blessed with a lot more flexibility in our scheduling than most. In my opinion, it’s one of the biggest advantages being a homeschooling family~ freedom.
The early mornings of rushing around, the late evenings of finishing up externally driven work after a long day that was directed by outside forces, those do happen for us sometimes, but I’m really, really thankful that they are the minority. Most days, we have time to enjoy being together and alone, to work, play, create, build and learn as a family and as individuals.
Since both of my kids are involved in charter school programs in different capacities, as well as sports, music and dance, we no longer get to completely choose when we ‘begin school’ for the year in the way that we did when they were younger.
And since I am working so much, I don’t have the same number of hours available either, but even so, I still know a gift when I receive one, and the time I have had, and still have with homeschooling my kids is definitely a gift.
We get a lot of questions about homeschooling, what methods and curriculums we use, and what a day looks like in our lives. The short answer is that every day is different, and that most are really fun because we tend to follow our passions. Learning goes beyond our home or any curriculum or class~ it’s happening all the time and everywhere we go. The world is our classroom.
We don’t follow any single method or curriculum, but pick and choose from the abundant resources that are available in this wonderful world we live in, take what suits us, and leave the rest. Most people would be amazed at how much can be learned and retained when a person is operating on curiosity and interest.
And it works. My kids are thriving and happy, and so am I. I’m learning too, all the time, right alongside them, as well as on my own. And I love it, which is not the feeling that comes to mind when I look back at the coerced hours of instruction and compliance that went beyond my full childhood days at school and into my nights via homework. While many people imagine that replicating that process at home is what homeschooling looks like, I can tell you that it doesn’t have to look like that at all~ it certainly doesn’t for us.
We are well aware that learning can and should be fun. So should life for that matter!
The full explanation of what we do and why is longer than I can address in one post on a sunny afternoon when I need to get out and enjoy the day with my family, but I’ll surely write more on it later. For now, I’ll just share some pictures of what our school looks like.
For most of us, life comes with enough challenges all on its' own. We’re going to get plenty of hard stuff thrown at us to deal with, without our wanting it or having to go looking for it. Yeah, yeah, I know...we grow through the tough stuff. And there seems to be no shortage of opportunities for growth in life.
So, trying to figure out exactly why people find the idea of making up their own challenges to be enticing...well, it's always just plain baffled me.
Sit up challenges, squats challenges, blah, blah, blah. I like the idea of being fit, but I have enough trouble remembering to walk the dog.
Elsewhere in life, who cares if a kid wants to wear a superhero cape to the store or mismatched socks to class or even have blue hair? Is it really necessary to challenge it?
No one has ever been able to explain to me why on earth a person would choose to wash dishes by hand when there is a perfectly good dishwasher right there under the counter? Is there not enough housework?
And don’t even get me started on a manual transmission. Why? Just why?
Some things are simply way more work than they need to be. And I for one don’t feel like I need any more work.
When life makes you watch people you love get sick and die, and other people just walk away, and when you have to start over and figure out a whole new way in the world, well, in the midst of stuff like this, who in the heck needs another round of difficulties?
But, I’ve started to realize that once in awhile, there are times when it makes sense to choose a challenge for yourself. There’s a power that can come with stepping up on purpose rather than just because life threw you into a storm, and it’s kind of nice to have some directional input on your personal growth.
And sometimes, it can even be fun.
This past weekend, I had the chance to take on some marvelous challenges~ I was an adult leader for a group of 27 teens for an adventure weekend at Mother Lode River Center. And what an adventure it was.
Our day started with team building and trust activities before we could move on to the high flying adrenaline stuff. Some of the teens were anxious to get to straight to the zipline, but for me, the challenges started right there when the facilitators suggested that we adults keep quiet and not offer suggestions, ideas or reminders but rather just let the kids work out everything on their own. In other words, we were supposed to just keep our traps shut. For me, not talking was much harder than scaling 40 feet up a tree and jumping off of a platform.
For the most part, I managed to keep my trap shut, and I’ll admit that it was pretty cool to watch the kids work together, try different strategies, find leadership amongst themselves and ultimately come up with their own solutions.
Interestingly, one problem solving activity resulted in me literally dropping the ball solely because I was looking ahead and behind me to see what the others were doing rather than watching what I was doing. I’m always seeing metaphors in life, so that was one that really made me think “hmmmmmmm” in a not so flattering, albeit enlightening way. Perhaps I need to be a little more in the moment and pay attention to my role in things instead of worrying about everyone else?
Before we could go on to the big fun, I also got to be a part of a trust fall with a little 12 year old who weighed about half as much as me. I was slightly terrified that I would crush her, but she held her ground, and we both made it out without injury. It was tricky because I didn’t want her feel like I didn’t trust her, but seriously, I could’ve flattened her if she hadn’t paid attention.
The first real action came in the form of hoisting each other over a 10 foot straight wall with no hand or footholds~ just people working together to push, pull and shove their friends over, and standing by to catch them in case the attempts failed. One of our youngest kids almost had a panic attack, but then, when he was ready, stepped up and scaled it like a ninja. I actually got teary eyed with all the cheering from the group and his smile of accomplishment.
That little scared guy was the first one to run to head of the line for the big stuff. This included:
* a catwalk consisting of a log strung about 20 feet off the ground~ all about finding balance
* a tightrope style contraption that required 2 people to work together to get across~ teamwork is totally necessary on this because you cannot do it alone
* a climbing wall~ this one is totally independent~ you gotta find your own strength and people can offer suggestions, but no one is helping you
* a zipline~ just plain crazy fun. My happy screams may have shattered a few car windows in the area.
* and the biggest of all was the Leap of Faith.
Now, this fit perfectly with the metaphors that seem to reflect my life these days, especially since I’m working on Learning to Leap and all.
This involved climbing up stakes in a tree to a little bitty platform 40 feet above the ground, and jumping out, attempting to catch a trapeze. In my case, I took a breath, closed my eyes, and leaped. It felt awesome to just jump, even if I couldn’t see where I was going.
I would love to do it again sometime, and this time with my eyes wide open, but for the time being, I’m just happy I leapt, because that was the lesson I needed~ to jump blindly and trust.
The kids all seemed to grow, and bond, to push their own personal limits, and most of all to support and encourage each other through it all. It was an amazing thing to witness, and I know they all had a heck of a lotta fun in the process. And I’m pretty sure I got just as much out of the deal as they did.
So, what do you think of self imposed challenges? Do you try to steer your growth, or just roll what life throws? I'd love to hear what has worked and what didn't work for you in the comments below.
And, of course, if you like this post, please "like" it and share it on Facebook as well.
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It's officially summer time, at least in my part of the world, and supposedly, the living is easy (or so the song says anyway...)
Solstice has come and gone with it's huge super moon, and the assortment of classes, end of season performances and parties are wrapped up for the season. Whoo Hoo!
The end of spring evolved into somewhat of a tornado in these parts. I know I’m not alone, and not nearly as crazy busy as many other women in my shoes, but still. Even though it's mostly good stuff I’m rushing around doing, there are times where even a social gal like me feels like running for the hills (disclaimer: I technically already live in the hills, but I'm in town like every stinkin day)
Now summer is here, and I’m ready to savor it. I’ve been a bit freaked out about time lately, and thinking about what’s really important to me this season.
Here are my Top 3 biggies (Summer Must Haves):
Last summer, I was inspired by the good people at the Happy Family Movement to create a Summer Bucket List. We hung cards with our goals of what we wanted to accomplish on a ribbon, and tossed them in a bucket as we got them done.
The whole thing was awesome~ the planning & collaborating with my favorite young people, the visual reminders, the number of fun things we made happen~ it was all good. In fact, we did all but 2 items~ we were thrilled with all we did get to do, and actually OK with the couple of things we bumped, because other cool stuff filled its place.
So, on my list for tonight~ sitting down with the kiddos over brownies and tea for a dreaming and scheming session for this summer.
I know it’s totally a first world problem, but there are just too stinkin many options for organized summer activities for kids.
I guess the whole idea is that boredom is bad, and constant enrichment and stimulation is good, but I'm not so sure about that.
Every day it seems like I come across several more wonderfully fun things I could sign my kids up for. Many start in the early mornings, which makes it easy to say no. As for the rest, luckily my kids are old enough to just say no, and neither has been interested in filling up their summer calendar with places they have to be at set times.
Both of my kids want time to lounge (Yes, they are wise young people, aren’t they?) That's actually good, not just because I'm lazy and want to lounge around myself, but because when they have time to relax, to sleep in, spend the day in PJs, and get bored, then they come up with a lot more independent creative projects on their own.
In fact, after just a couple of days, they’ve started on the script for another movie in a silly series. (They love comments by the way, and are already learning about sound issues involved with filming in wind)
I’m so glad they spoke up to preserve their free time, as I could have easily fallen for the glimmer of those enriching activities which would have not only filled their free time, but committed mine to driving and not going on holiday while they were in session.
Who is Zesty Mom?
I'm an Artist, Writer, Funschooling Facilitator, Empowered Living Advocate, Wanna-be Organic Gardening Foodie, Travel Loving Life Explorer, Former Goat Herding Chicken Lady, and Full Time Mamacita Extraordinaire to a Couple of Cage Free Kids.
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