Been to the beach yet? I’m embarrassed to say that so far this summer I haven’t put my barefoot in the sand once. The closest I came was a bike ride on the boardwalk—and then I got a flat tire, and we ended up walking back to Peter’s truck and forgetting all about our plan to go swimming. Summer seems to go by faster than ever nowadays. Before we know it, it’ll be Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas. And poof, there goes another year.
How in the world can we fit in everything we want to do? When I’m working on TW’s monthly calendar, I make mental notes of all the cool events I want to attend, especially now that summer’s here and every day, it seems, there’s an outdoor concert or festival or special event beckoning. Happily, most summertime events are free. The problem is choosing which to attend and then fitting it in our busy schedules.
But I have a plan. I’m going to pick five fun events from this month’s calendar, write them down, and then post my July Fun Five list on the fridge where I’ll see it every day. I’ll also add these events to my computer calendar, so I’ll get an alert telling me it’s time to go have fun! I think my first outing will be this Sunday to Big Bands on the Bay at Ocean View Park. It’s one of my favorite things to do: listening to Big Band music, enjoying a picnic, and watching the sun go down. Ahh, that’s what I’m talking about.
We all need downtime, but how many of us get enough of it? It seems there’s always something more important to do than enjoy much-needed R & R. But in fact, recreational activities are what feed our souls and keep us healthy and happy. I like to think that just-for-fun activities help us re-create ourselves. Our bodies get run down if we don’t take care of them. Likewise, our mental health needs a tune-up now and then.
And what better way to re-create than to treat yourself to a favorite activity? For some it might be relaxing under a beach umbrella with a good book. For others it could be navigating a river or bay on on a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or sailboat. Peter and I love riding our bikes on the boardwalk in early evening followed by dinner and wine at one of our favorite restaurants.
It’s whatever floats your boat. The key is to schedule “me” time. Don’t keep saying, “Not now. Maybe later” Guess what? Later never comes. Make a date with yourself to enjoy yourself. Hire a sitter for the kids. Just do it! You’ll feel refreshed and renewed afterwards. And summer is the perfect time to slow down, relax, and enjoy the moment.
See you at the beach!