Earlier in the spring, I sat back in my lounge chair in the backyard and watched as the sun set. The sky was alive with pinks and purples and oranges on one side and with the first sparkles of starlight on the other. I snuggled into my warm hoodie and enjoyed the cool, evening breeze on my face. I wondered why I didn't do this more often. Why I didn't simply allow myself to enjoy these fleeting moments of time that I so thoroughly enjoy. I love being outside. I love this time of day. I love chilly weather and warm sweaters. I love silence and looking up at the sky. It fills my soul and refreshes my mind.
Later in the spring, my husband and I hosted a Memorial Day cook-out. The kids running after our dog with sand, and watermelon, and ice-cream on their faces. Babies snuggling with their moms on blankets. The men hooting and hollering at each other during lawn games. The women chatting and laughing and sharing photos. The house and yard were full, and so was my heart. This is what I love. Hosting people. Providing a place for them to unwind, eat good food, and make memories.
So again the question entered my mind: why don't I do this more often? I can tell you why. I spend all my energy and time and focus doing things I don't want to do and putting up with things that don't add any value to my life. I waste time on social media, following the lives of people I don't know or who don't know me. I waste precious energy worrying and wondering whether I've offended this person or whether I've said or done the right thing in every social interaction. So by the time I'm done with my day, I'm exhausted. And I have no time to plan for or enjoy the things I love. I let life happen to me and get carried away by every need of the moment, instead of making space for my priorities.
Those of you who follow me know I've come out of a year-long battle with anxiety and panic attacks. Looking back on that awful year, I realize that a big part of the problem was not making time for myself. I had been caught up with everyone else's well-being and had been neglecting my own.
So this summer, with my health on the mend, I am experimenting with making more time for just laying in the grass, watching the stars, and spending time with the people I love. A chunk of that is making more time with my husband, doing some of the more active things he enjoys. And with my dog, taking her out to parks and playing more fetch with her. What about you, dear reader? What will you focus on this summer? What are the few, simple things that bring you joy but that you haven't done in a while, maybe even in years?