Have they started to hit your inbox too, all the darling advertisements for sweaters and backpacks? Does your Target have giant pencils hanging and signs announcing “Back To School” already like mine does? It’s the same disorienting feeling that comes when Christmas decorations are displayed in September. It will be fun when it’s time, but why rush? After all, we’re just halfway through summer, right?
So, how ya doing, Mom? Are you languishing lazily through the summer or are the “dog days” starting to stink? The middle of even the best season can be hard, especially in our “hurry-up” culture that constantly pushes us to move on to the next thing. Can you resist the rush? Will you rebel against wishing it away? What if we took this last month before “back to school” to really delight in Summer? What if we hustled for a little of our own happiness too? What if we planned a little joy for ourselves? More than another vacation, a trip to the pool, or snow cone, I bet your children would like a happy mom. Will you join this little revolution?
Here’s the plan:
1. Lists, lists, lists
Spend some time making a list of the simple things that really delight you. Things you can do, places you can go, food you can eat. Think about songs you love to listen to (windows down, preferably), treats you crave, walks you want to go on, conversations you’ve longed to have, that date night you’ve been dreaming of, the bath that has been beckoning you, and the people you need a little face-t0-face time with. Make the list personal and possible. There is no shame in what makes your heart sing and what doesn’t but write down things you actually have access to.
2. Pick your delight day
Next, pick one item a day that will bring you a little life and plan to do it! Write it in your planner, on the calendar, or set a reminder on your phone! Make the space then keep the promise to yourself to do it. Unfortunately, delight is not the default for most mamas so prep for it like you do everything else in your life!
3. Be present to it
When you have made space for a little happiness hustle, don’t forget to fully delight in it while you’re there! Don’t let it pass you by without staking your claim in that feeling it brings! Give yourself permission to engage and be fully present to your own joy! Taste it, feel it, enjoy it. Let it be its own reward.
4. Extend an invite
Lastly, invite others in and celebrate together! Find a “happiness hustle” accountability partner and text them each morning the simple joy you are embracing that day. Send them a picture of that vanilla coke or quiet front porch moment and hold them to their plan as well. Inspire each other with ideas and tackle some delight together. Let the joy be multiplied as you include your people. And remember, don’t compare! Your friend may be relaxing on an exotic beach while you are grabbing 10 minutes in the back yard lawn chair. Her happiness cannot diminish your’s unless you let it!
As moms, the reality of our job description might as well be “hustle and plan.” We hustle at marriage, parenting, and community. We plan so that everyone’s lives keep running smoothly and our homes stay organized. This summer, I bet you’ve already hustled and planned activities and getaways for your family. But what if we challenged ourselves to slow down and delight during this last month? What if we trusted that the overflow of our own happiness may be the biggest gift we could give our children? Let’s not waste it wishing it away or worrying about it rushing by. Let’s sit in it. Plan for it. Be present. And let’s all do it together!
What mid-summer plans are you getting excited about?