One of my favorite things about summer is the spontaneity. For those who know me well, I’m not exactly a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. I live by my calendar, and despite my best efforts, I sometimes do glorify being busy. (There is a trophy for the person who does the most, right?) But during the summer, I appreciate that our days are less structured and we can spontaneously zip off to The Farm pool, visit the Honeysuckle Tea House on a moment’s notice or lounge in the air conditioning and read a good book. However, in order for this to happen, we still need to have a little organization! They don’t call me The Neat Freak for nuthin’.
First, it’s important to know what your family and friends want to do during their leisure time. We keep a list of “spontaneous” activities. I know … to some of you this may seem a little uptight (not the first time I’ve been called that), but sometimes when we find ourselves with a free afternoon, we’re at a loss over what to do with ourselves. We created this list years ago … kind of a to-do list of fun stuff that the family wants to experience. We post this list in our kitchen and add to it regularly, and occasionally cross things off as we either do them or decide they no longer appeal to us.
Second, we try to stock up on supplies that are often associated with leisure activities, such as bug spray, sunscreen, water bottles, easy-to-pack snacks, small coolers and picnic items. If we can grab these items and go, we’re more likely to actually make our way to the Riverwalk in Hillsborough than to overthink it, feel unprepared, and just skip it all together. I’ve written before about the beauty of the bag, and I stand by that advice. Keep things packed up and ready to go so when the mood strikes, you can head off for an adventure.
Finally, we block out time during the summer that is camp-, work- and house guest-free and put that time on hold for things we want to do as a family. Summer is relaxing, but it flies by! And if we think we have all of the time in the world, we might let three-fourths of it go by before we realize we haven’t done any of the things we truly wanted to do. Blocking off days, or even weeks, allows you to have some unstructured time when you truly can just pick up and drive to Wilmington for the day, or head to the zoo, or just binge-watch Netflix together. The important thing is to set aside that time and know that it’s just for you and the people you love.
Now get on out there and do something spontaneous and fun – make summer count!