I love the summer season. It brings warm weather, outdoor activities, longer evenings, and evokes a sense of free-spirited fun out of us. During youth, we all anticipated the summer with such excitement because we knew it meant a break from school, rigorous schedules and meant more fun and light-hearted activities. As an adult, I want to regain some of that summer time excitement and pay more attention to the leisurely ways I can enjoy my summer days.
Recently, my family lost a loved one, unexpectedly and abruptly. My brother-in-law, Jed, was an adventurous and joyful 37-year old chef and restaurant owner. He loved to surf and spend time with his family. His smile spoke such kindness and his presence brought such happiness to everyone he encountered. The tragic loss of his life has stirred something inside of me that is going to change the way I spend my summer months. If I learned anything from Jed, it was to be yourself, let others be who they wanted to be, live in the moment, and spend time with family and friends.
A month ago, I had all of these professional goals I wanted to accomplish this summer: open a new Pure Barre studio, take on more health-counseling clients, teach more fitness classes, etc. Now, those are still some of my goals, but I made new ones. I realize that when I look back over my life, I will not wish I had worked one more day, I will wish I had spent more time sitting on the back porch with my family, talking, laughing, sharing stories and making memories that will last forever. The simplest things in life bring the most joy, and it sometimes takes a tragedy to put everything back in its place.
My goals this summer now include: get out to the beach, play with my nieces and nephews, visit with my grandmothers, play the guitar, enjoy down time with my husband, take a trip, read a mindless book, listen more, love more, and be as active outside as I can, maybe even run through a sprinkler. As I try to recapture the carefree ways of childhood summers, I hope to honor Jed’s life by working diligently while taking the time to enjoy the pleasures of life. Instead of prolonging that vacation due to work constraints or a busy schedule, I am going to try to prioritize my time to work hard and to play hard, with more focus on the latter. It has already brought me a sense of joy. I recently spent a weekend with my husband playing tennis and laying by the pool, no agenda in mind, and it was truly rewarding. I need to be less consumed with the task-oriented details of my days and spend more time enjoying life with the people I love. So with my new mindset, I will still work hard on my original goals, but will create ample space in my life for vacation, family visits and just plain fun!
AUTHOR: Danielle Davis
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