Wednesday, July 27, 2016

5 Good Reasons to Take a Summer Break

I didn't really mean to take a summer break... it just kind of happened.  And it hasn't really been a break...just a break from the blog while I focus my limited energies on another project (we'll get to that in a minute!).

I was reading a newsletter from Susannah Conway the other day and that's when it hit me.  Summer break.  I've taken what I needed even though I didn't intend to!  And I'm going to embrace it for the rest of the summer without apology!

Every summer, August to be exact, Susannah engages in an August Break where she focuses on taking pictures rather than blogging.  Yes, that play on words was intentional.  I plan on joining her for the month of August and even following along with the prompts!  Want to join in too?  Take a look here:
I love this idea!

So, onto the good reasons to take a summer break.

1.  Because the kids do.  And the teachers.  And we're jealous and think we deserve to as well!  OK, but seriously, this started because summers in the city were too hot for the kids to learn... or rather their parents opted for the cooler countryside and brought the kids with them.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  There is definitely controversy around this and I'm not engaging in that right now.

2. The weather is warm (or hot) and dry (or humid) and allows for more outdoor activity... well for us in the northern US anyways.  Ya'll southerners probably avoid the outdoors in this kind of weather!  It's good to get outside and engage with nature and the world around us!

3. Growing up we associated summers with vacations, time with family, and unique opportunities - and I think that continues to be true.  It was summer when I went to overnight camp, day camp, spent 3 months in Mexico, traveled the eastern coast of the US.  It was summer when I learned to swim, read for pleasure, rode my bike, played outside, and went to the beach.  And, now during the summer, it is still the time for day trips, cookouts with family or friends, walkabouts with my camera, and reading next to a fan.

4. Summer is like one big long "artist date" a la Julia Cameron.  So many more opportunities seem to exist in the summer for things like festivals, nature hikes, and time on the beach with just yourself, the sun, and your active mind.  I find it full of inspiration!

5.  Last but not least, for me anyways, the heat makes it harder to concentrate and makes me tired.  Why do you think they have siestas in Mexico???  Embrace the nap.  Trust me!  :)

So, what have my summer projects been?  One is working on a devotional with a friend of mine across the country.  She has done the writing, and I'm pairing it up with photographs I've taken over the years.  It's more complex than I first imagined it would be but also inspiring.  It's taking lots of time and mental energy and creativity to make progress and it's slow-going.

Another summer project has been what I call "the great purge" - and I'm not talking about the horrible movie - maybe it's a good movie, I don't know, but it's not my kind of movie and I find the idea appalling.  So, what am I purging?  My craft room.  If you saw my video, you saw the over-abundance of stuff.  I'm drowning in stuff!  And, to help make some much needed cash, I'm selling lots of that stuff - and all of that sorting, donating, tossing, and selling takes (can you guess?) lots of energy!

And, so, for the rest of the summer, through August, I will be taking a summer break and I'll post pretty pictures!

I'd love to see your pictures too!  Share your favorites with me!

This mandala that I created the other day pretty much sums up our recent heatwave.  Enjoy!

 Fire Mandala

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