Summer: It’s a Wrap

Blink and you miss it. That seems to be how every summer goes.

We start the season staring out at months of seemingly endless days and long nights. We envision day trips to the beach or the pool and evenings spent around the campfire.

The reality is always different than the fantasy though. Am I right? Hot, sticky days leave you lethargic and longing for cool, fall breezes. And about 1.5 days into summer break, the kids’ whining reaches fever pitch. I’m bored; he won’t play with me; she’s standing too close to me – if there’s something to complain about, the kids will find it.

That’s not to say summer is all bad. It has its beautiful moments, but we need to be realistic too. It’s not all Pinterest perfect, as much as we try.

I’ve heard it said that the start of the school year is like a second New Year’s Day for families, and I tend to agree. Like at the end of the calendar year, the end of summer is a good time to take stock of where we’ve been and what we’re hoping to do next.

The Summer in Review

As my kids get older, the summer seems to get shorter. We’ve run a VBS program as a family affair for the last six years, and that seems to eat up a lot of the early summer months.

And now that I have high school students, August seems to be filled with band, band and more band. Plus, we added driver’s training to the mix this year which helped make it feel like summer ended a month earlier than usual.

Still, we tried to make the most of the time we had. Some summer successes include:

  • Making it to the beach at least once
  • Having a campfire for the 4th of July
  • Taking the littles to an open gym not once, but twice
  • Getting my middle son enrolled in a voluntary band camp (he even did so well he got a scholarship to come back next year at half price!)
  • Cleaning out the garage – a home project three years in the making
  • Planning a final weekend camping trip, our first in six years

Obviously, I keep my goals for a successful summer relatively light. I’d rather go in with low, low, low expectations than feel defeated on the first day of school when I see I’ve barely scratched the surface of a long list of to-dos.

And not everything about this summer was winning either. I still spent too much time on the computer. I still didn’t put down my phone in the evenings like I wanted. I missed the chance to visit some friends I desperately hoped to see.

But that’s life. I won’t dwell on those. I’ll keep looking forward, not back.

What the Fall May Bring

The summer has flown by so fast that I haven’t given too much thought to the fall yet. School starts next Tuesday, and I still don’t have uniforms for my daughter or pants hemmed for my son. Eek!

When I do think about the fall, I think mostly of this blog and my work. Summer has been fairly lean work-wise, and it’s time to ramp it up before I find myself in a serious financial shortfall. With the exception of this week, I’ve been posting fairly consistently so my goal now is to move into some of the ancillary areas of the blogging world.

For example, I’d love to try to make some pretty graphics for my posts that will help them stand out on Pinterest. Like this one I made as a trial run:

Saying Good-Bye to Summer

I’m also working on an ebook on a financial topic that I hope will replace some of the income I’ve lost from a work slowdown at one of my major clients. My goal is to also get my first newsletter out next week (if you haven’t signed up, you can at the end of this post). And finally, I’d love to break 100 followers/fans on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages, but really, I must admit, that’s pure vanity on my part.

On the personal front, I’d like to:

  • Continue to improve on the home-cooked meal front (We’re getting better – our fast food bill dropped significantly this summer!)
  • Hang up the phone and close the laptop so I can read more consistently at night (I’m determined to finally get to All The Light We Cannot See)
  • Try my hand at wearing make-up again (Such vanity, I know! I recently read 20 Lessons from Madame Chic and while I wasn’t sold on the book, it did make me think I should spend a little more time on my appearance)
  • Finally sell off my Miche collection on eBay
  • Spend my mornings (or maybe evenings) on the front porch

What about you? I’d love to hear your summer highlights and what you have on tap for the fall months!

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