Catching My Breath

i almost forgot what it was like to be in my house for an afternoon.

an afternoon where school was finished, dishes were done, laundry was folded, beds were made, floors were washed, and dinner was prepped.

an afternoon where i looked around and wondered what should i do?  i mean there is always SOMETHING to be done on my to do list but there wasn't anything that HAD to be done right then.

i looked around the room and took a deep breath. i think i finally caught my breath after a whirlwind summer.  i almost didn't know what to do with myself.

after a summer full of activity where we would run in the door to change clothes or grab sports equipment and then we were off to the next event. my back entry/laundry room had been a pile of wet swimming suits and towels, flip flops, beach bags, and empty coolers.  every time i walked into the house i would start to feel a sense of panic rising.  the sense of never being able to catch up.  the chaos of  our summer was spilling over into every crevice of our home.

the meal planning was slacking, the house was in disarray, and we would come home at the end of a busy day and fall into bed exhausted.  we would wake up the next morning to begin again.

usually about one day a week we would hunker down at home and try to collect the stray items spread through our house and our car {oh my poor car... it was a sign of busy summer}.  it gave us a day to regroup and plan the rest of our week but to never truly catch our breath.

the thing about this crazy busy summer was we had so much fun.  i had to work really really hard to not let the anxiety of the messy house disturb our fun.  it was a real effort on my part to be okay with walking over piles in our back entry so that we could go on an adventure one day.  

i tend to be a homebody. it would be so easy for me to just stay home, keep up on the house and laundry, and have a nicely prepared meal on the table each night.  it would be the things that would make me feel comfortable, peaceful, and relaxed.  of course there would be an occasional trip to the water park or play date with friends but they wouldn't be the norm of our summer.  it might be great for me but not so great {or fun} for my kids.

this summer that changed.  creating a summer bucket list made me accountable to my kids to do some fun and different things.  it gave me permission to let my house get messier than i like, to eat leftovers a few nights in a row or cereal for dinner, and let the laundry sit longer so that we could create memories.

there were day when the anxiety would threaten to steal that joy of our summer craziness, but then i would think of my kids. their smiling faces, their delight, their laughter, and their joy.  slowly that anxiety would fade away. 

i may have forgotten what it felt like to be home for an afternoon without being pulled in many different directions and feeling a bit overwhelmed, but i haven't forgotten {nor will i forget} the lasting memories we made this summer. the time we spent together creating projects, swimming, or checking out the new local frozen yogurt place.  

i won't forget that i could {sort of} let things go to enjoy every moment of summer, not just little snippets of summer. i won't forget that i pushed my desire/need for my to do list to be finished and the house to be cleaned for my children's joy.  i won't forget that creating a summer bucket list changed how we did summer in our house making it one of our best summers yet.

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