Summer 2014: STOP

Today is the first day of my summer vacation. I don’t go back to work until August 7. It’s one of the perks of being a teacher. Usually I spend my summer trying to do all of the things I didn’t do during the school year.

Being an over-achiever and a goal-driven person makes relaxing and resting difficult for me. Some claim I don’t know how to rest. Maybe they’re right (I can see my husband nodding in agreement). It’s not that I don’t want to rest, but my usual modus operandi means making a list of what I need to do during the day and not stopping until everything is done. Or until Van insists I sit down and join him. Even then, I usually do something while I sit: work on my Joy Journal, write a note or another list, fold laundry, organize photos on my computer.

So this summer I want to make a real effort to do less. No working until my list is done. No panicking when I see all of the things not crossed off my list and then adding those to tomorrow’s already over-full schedule. Less.

I didn’t start very well this morning. The first thing I did after morning devotions was create a cool new list, complete with pictures, to use for the summer. I even tricked myself by adding RELAX to the list.

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Then as I went about my day, I checked things off. By the time I finished two items on my list, I realized things weren’t going to go as planned. I frittered away too much time on getting my list set up. That meant I couldn’t do one of the things I resolved to do every day this week: swim. I wouldn’t have time for that important activity. Important because it helps me relax and is the only exercise I get. Important because I don’t have a pool and spend money to go to a gym to swim.

It was only 12:30, and I already felt guilty.

After I completed the biggest part of my list–going to Costco and then repackaging items from the giant amount into what my husband and I use–the better part of the day was gone.

That’s when I decided I needed to make a change. I wanted a second My One Word for Summer. I thought of several: focus; less; rest; still; relax; stop.

STOP. STOP trying to do everything. STOP running around like a chicken with its head cut off. STOP making lists.IMG_2509

STOP and do what really matters. Count gifts. Read. Write. Smile. Be with God. Be with Van.

STOP thinking I can do it all. STOP wanting to do it all. STOP and be content.

STOP and pray I STOP…

Welcome summer. May I STOP long enough to enjoy you.

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