Failing Summer

“I am failing at summer.” I whined dramatically.

My husband rolled his eyes.  “It’s the first week of June.  Summer just started.”

“Summer just started for the rest of the world, but the kids and I have been summering for over a month.  I am not doing very well.  There are children everywhere.  Nothing is getting done. I think I am failing summer.” (Insert Scarlet O’Hara-type sigh here.)

*   *   *   *

Our school year begins in August; we summer May, June and July.  We have had a ton of fun the last month seeing the ocean and the Smokey Mountains.  We did art lessons and have spent time with friends and cousins.  But we are a third of the way into summer, and I can see that school will be here again with just a couple flips of the calendar. The problem is not that I am not yet ready for the next school year, but that I don’t know when I am going to get ready.  Summer is going quickly and the stacks are the same size-if not bigger than they were a month ago.

Normally I have a plan going into summer, but I was just too tired this year.  It was a good year, but I felt like I had run a marathon and just couldn’t take another step.  I thought I’d go with the flow this summer, ignore all the Facebook shares with suggestions of what I should be doing and take the more relaxed approach.  It’s not working.  I am naturally a list person so not having a plan is leaving me stress paralyzed.

My house is a mess.  With the opportunity to travel in the month of May came all the suitcases and other trip paraphernalia which still litter my entire second floor. I have curriculum in 3 different places.  (Scratch that.  There are some books that are MIA so there must be a mystery 4th place that I cannot seem to remember.)  The doors are thoroughly smudged by the fingers of 5 children going in and out 50 catrillion times a day (followed by a lovely trail of flip flops and grass clippings from the front door to the back.)

I have million goals swimming around in my head, but swimming is not getting them done.  Watch the IEW curriculum DVDs.  Organize my closet.  Organize the basement storage.  Paint the mirror.  Paint the hall.  Sort the toys.  Organize the homeschool room.  Pick out memory work for next year.  Plan morning time.  Everywhere I turn there is something else not getting done, and I feel so distractible.

All through the year I had it in my mind we were going to use summer to do all those things that we didn’t have time for.  Nature walks and journaling.  Nailing down loose math facts.  Music theory, art and extra reading-lots of extra reading.  None of this is happening.  The neighbor kids are out of school now and knocking has begun.  Somehow doing music note flashcards with sister doesn’t sound as appealing as playing tag with the neighbor boys. Shocking! 🙂

As I sit here processing I see two options A) Come up with a written schedule and plan for the summer-execute and accomplish!  B) Change my attitude and expectations.  I like option A the best.  I know in my heart option B is best. Accept the day that God has given me with thankfulness.  Trust He will provide for what truly needs to be done.  Choose to see joy in the midst of the choas. Recuperate and reevaluate before next year.  It’s time to redefine success.

I am not sure what this looks like, to be honest.  I am a work in progress. God is working to change me this summer as I learn to commit my time and energy to Him.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Psalm 90:12

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