Summer break has finally arrived in all its glory here in the Inland Northwest! If you know me, you know that summer is one of my most favorite seasons, probably because I’m a teacher. Summer days that leave me free to relax and write are glorious. But, if you know me, you also know that I don’t do well with tons of downtime, so summers are always filled with lots of projects that I don’t always have time for during the hectic days of the school year.

Here’s short list of what’s going on with me in my first few days of summer:

  • We finished the kitchen! Look for before and after pics coming soon which I’ll probably drop on an Instagram post. Follow me there at  Hubby did 95% of it, but I have to say I’m pretty good at taking paint off brick and sealing granite. Side hustle, anyone?
  • I’m getting organized for writing and home projects that need to happen. Personally, I think it’s pretty selfish that the rest of the house didn’t just take care of itself while we were focused on the kitchen. Rude.
  • Favorite summer drink right now: sun tea brewed on my back porch. So refreshing. In true Upper Left USA fashion, I drink mine unsweetened. How do you like your tea?

I’m looking ahead to days filled with writing and projects, but also with some relaxation, too. I’m discovering that as we return to “normal,” my life margins are beginning to shrink again, and I’m not totally ok with that. (More on that in a few days…) I’m also looking ahead to returning to a more consistent writing schedule. Menu Mondays return next week.

Speaking of routines, my summer rhythms and routines are often flexible to reflect the lazy feel of the season, but this year I have a few that I’m planning to stick to. I’ve got some pretty major writing goals to tackle this summer, plus the aforementioned house projects, so I’ve got to keep some sense of routine if I’m going to use my time productively.

Here’s what’s probably staying the same:

  • Normal bedtimes and wakeup times. This will fluctuate a bit due to vacations and events, but overall, I plan to try to keep these as close to normal as possible. Summer break is shorter than ever this year, and anything I can do to help my Back-To-School self now will be better in the long run.
  • Morning Bible reading routine. One of my positive takeaways from the forced slowdown that was 2020 was moving my Bible reading routine to the morning. If you know me, you know I’m so not a morning person and getting up even earlier to read my Bible was hard. My workaround was to use part of my lunch time at work to read my Bible, and for a season, it worked well for me. Since last March, I’ve been able to stick to keeping my reading in the morning (even getting up a half hour earlier!) because I’ve found it so beneficial to start my day with the Word.
  • Weekly menus. As I mentioned, Menu Monday posts are back starting next week, and I’m ready! It’s been a bit wacky with the remodel and my daughter graduating high school and finishing the school year, but now I can breathe a bit. And my kitchen is so beautiful, I just want to cook in it all the time!!

Here’s what’s probably changing/being flexible:

  • Work schedule. Obviously. My “work” schedule is shifting to include more time for writing this summer than ever before, and I’m so excited for the projects I’m working on. I’ll also be intentionally stretching myself to learn more about writing craft and publishing. I’ll be working during the hours that hubby is at his job, so that will be different, too.
  • Letting the work schedule be flexible. My youngest, who just graduated, is headed off to London in the Fall for a yearlong internship before she comes home to go to college. And while I couldn’t be more proud of her for taking this step, I know I’ll miss her terribly next year. That means that my daily plans could change at the drop of a hat if it means making fun memories with her. And I’m ok with that.
  • Daily workouts. While I try to be active everyday during the school year, I often miss days at a time when life gets in the way. One of my favorite things about summer is that I have the time and can order my day so I can meet my daily workout goal. I’m currently navigating some tough news regarding my workout of choice (more on that in another post), but I have lots of other options available to me while I sort that out. I really enjoy moving my body, and having the time to really get after it is such a blessing.

So that’s me this summer. I’d love to hear what summer rhythms and routines are working for you, and which ones you are letting go of or being more open-handed with in this season. Drop a comment to continue the discussion!

Did you know that I send out a monthly newsletter? Subscribers get extra tips and tricks for curating rhythms, routines, and traditions to leave a legacy that matters. They also get access to exclusive content like recipes, creative writing, and so much other fun stuff! Newsletters drop near the turn of the month. Click here for access.

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