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"Too much summer?" by Laura Nelson (CatholicMom.com) Created in Canva.com using free elements.[/caption] I may be alone here, but I have to confess that I’m really close to being over summer. With all the romanticized hype that goes with summer (long, lazy days, picnics, pool parties, fruity drinks, and all), it almost feels like blasphemy to confess that I’m just about ready to move on to Fall. It could be because I live in Texas and summer in Texas is, well, you know...hot. Really hot. In fact, I didn’t know that summer could be pleasant until we took a trip to northern California several years ago. For the first time, I understood why people wanted to go outside in the summer. It could be because I prefer cold weather but, I really don’t. I get cold way too easily and (being Texan) I don’t really even have a good wardrobe for colder seasons. No. My reason for being discontent with this much-loved time of year is more about the schedule than the weather. I miss structure! Don’t get me wrong. At the beginning of summer, I was all about the loose bedtimes and wide-open flexibility of the vastness that is summer. But that was early June and now we’re at the beginning of August and ... I need boundaries. Beside the fact that the grocery bill goes through the roof in the summer when all the kids are eating all their meals at home (plus two college kids home for the summer), the house is crowded and we have gotten very little done the last six weeks. I try to lean in to the go-with-the-flow mentality of summer. I really do! But when I do “lean in” I find that it takes a gargantuan act of willpower to get even the smallest task accomplished. Since the world doesn’t applaud me for managing to get the dishes done or actually remembering to show up for a doctor appointment that was made months ago, the little I manage to get done doesn’t seem satisfying in the least. But, the big problem isn’t my to-do list, it’s my physical and spiritual health. Not only have I been relaxing my way to some summer weight gain, I’ve also lost my prayer routine that I hard worked so hard to establish during the school year. When the days were predictable, room was reserved on the calendar for exercise and prayer. Now that I can’t keep track of what day of the week it is, I can’t seem to find time to “squeeze” either of them into my wide-open calendar. I need structure. I need rhythm and pattern to help me stay the course. Rhythm and pattern help me focus less on what to do and more on doing it. When I have a healthy structure to my life, I don’t have to think, “What should I do next?” Instead, I can focus my energies on exercise and prayer instead of deciding to do exercise or pray. Do I need the rest and break from routine that summer brings? Absolutely! Does the rest and lack of schedule in the summer help me appreciate the schedule I have the rest of the year? Definitely! What about you? Do you find that your spiritual life takes a hit when your plans are wide open?
Copyright 2019 Laura Nelson