I am not going to lie to you. These past few months have not been easy for me. There has been a lot of unpleasantness. I have started a job and stopped it. I have learned that people cannot always be counted on to support you even when they say they will. I have experienced a lot of self doubt. And I have heard the word cancer one too many times.
When negativity occurs in my life, old habits comes forth and I internalize and overanalyze everything that is happening. As a result, I have spent way too much time in my head lately. The brilliant Anne Lemont once wrote, “My mind is like a bad neighborhood. I try never to go in there alone.” But it is so easy to do what you have always done.
These days it is even easier to numb yourself with the mindless task of getting on the internet. There is endless information to read, listen to, and watch - and endless opportunities to compare yourself to others and judge and be judged. It is not hard to disconnect from the chaos of everyday life and ignore the reality that surrounds you.
I came across one of my favorite Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes this morning: “Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air.” I sighed when I read this, because this is what I crave. I want to live life to the fullest without distraction. I want to be present and simplify my life. I want to be filled with joy by experiencing the love and beauty that surrounds me.
So I have decided to do something a bit radical. I have decided this summer to limit my time on social media and my laptop in general. I have decided to delete most apps from my phone. I have decided to simplify and make a study of it and see how much happier my life is. I have decided to have a mindful summer.
This summer I will close my eyes in the sunshine until the light seeps through my eyelids. I will feel the warm breeze on my skin. I will practice yoga and meditate to my heart’s content. I will make meals of sweet corn and summer squash and juicy cantaloupe. I will walk the dog. I will go kayaking with my sweet boy. I will teach him how to skip rocks on the lake and make s’mores over a fire. I will look him in the eyes and tell him how proud I am. I will hold my husband’s hand and dream of our future. I will dance. I will write. I will read great novels and a few trashy ones too. I will take naps and sleep late and stay up too late catching fireflies. I will laugh until I cry. I will cry. I will spend time alone and with friends. I will visit my parents and sisters and nieces and nephews. I will get a tan and probably a few sunburns. I will watch my son play hockey and football. I will watch him while he reads and while he sleeps (and my heart will melt when I do). I will live my life, free from distraction. I will feed my soul until my cup runneth over again.
I hope you take time to wriggle your toes in some sand this summer. I hope you play hop scotch. I hope you giggle on a swing. I hope you live your life to its fullest.