We are on day four thousand of summer, and things are getting dicy. The kids are fighting over stuff they've never cared about before, maybe even throwing punches, and all you can do is look on in horror. Typically, you raise your voice and the squabbling comes to a screeching halt, but not so much during the summer. During summer break, all bets are off!
Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my children. I LOVE IT. Probably more than the average person should. Even when they're arguing I can't help thinking about how lucky I am, and I know within ten minutes or so they'll be hugging and playing together again. They fight, they make up, we cuddle on the couch.
One thing that does concern me is my lack of energy and enthusiasm during the summer. The long, hot days tend to suck the wind right out of me, and I stop feeling like myself for a while. It's like I'm on auto-pilot; wake up, feed kids, entertain kids, break up fights, feed kids, entertain kids, break up fights, repeat, and from a creative standpoint, I'm useless.
For those of you that are struggling right along with me, I've devised a list of activities to keep us not only sane, but to give us energy back during these painfully hot months. Like they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, "you gotta give it away to keep it." I'm not in recovery, but my husband is, and he's a very smart man.
1. Buy vegetables like carrots, celery and lettuce for bunnies at the local animal shelter. The best part is watching them eat. The crunching sound is intoxicating.
2. Donate old blankets and pillows to a local animal shelter. The dogs and cats will be so happy.
3. Have your children make handmade cards for a local nursing home.
4. Go play tennis. Kids love tennis.
5. Yoga. If you can't afford it, most places offer a donation only class. Do it! Seriously, you will feel like a million bucks afterwards. I know exercise is tricky during the summer, especially if we have little kids, but find a way to make it happen. Adrenaline is so good for your mind.
6. Organize a closet. I know in theory this sounds horrible, but it will make you feel so much better. Turn on some music and have fun while you clean. Donate the stuff you don't use anymore, and throw away the crap. De-clutter. It's amazing how great you'll feel afterwards.
7. Clean out your car. Yes, more work. I know your car is covered in goldfish and sand from your last vacation. Get a vacuum and clean that bitch out.
8. Make something with your hands. It you don't know how, youtube it. It's guaranteed someone has already taped themselves showing us how to do it. Create something with wood or clay. Even if it looks terrible and has no purpose, it will be very gratifying.
9. Bake something. I'm not a great cook, not even close, but there's something about making a new dessert that is so much fun. You may even already have the ingredients on hand right now. We recently made a fruit cobbler. My kids said it was flavorless and too sour. They barely touched it, but I enjoyed the process anyway.
10. And finally, three letters: L.S.D. Throw on some Phish and hope it goes well. Good luck!
Feel free to share with us how you stay sane during summer break. I would love to know!