Blame Summer – 

Nothing can throw off the personal and household groove like summer-lack-of-schedules. I’d call it the Summer Schedule, but we all know you can’t call something a schedule when it tosses ballgames, play dates, and late nights on the calendar at will. We don’t even have children in our house anymore, yet we sometimes get the feeling that we are on a strange planet.

This summer, our groove got lost because we decided to rearrange The Whole House. As in, turning the guest bedroom into a den. Which means emptying closets and finding new places for things in a house that is already too full. It’s been fun. I especially love the corner where I stacked forty-four years worth of loose pictures and old frames. And slides. (Not the kind you wear on your feet.) That mountain is tilting all kinds of directions in our bedroom right now. But, I am resolved that not a single shoe box shall go under a bed until I have SORTED the things.

So, what to do when everything seems as out of control as a toddler after six hours at the zoo? Here is my solution for finding my groove. (Nothing to do with Stella. Well, almost nothing.)

  1. Give yourself permission. To make sandwiches for supper. To do ten minutes on the treadmill instead of thirty. To eat homemade ice cream at the fair.
  2. Stay in the moment. Tune into your kid when she walks up to bat, and forget the laundry multiplying like loaves and fishes at home.
  3. Use shortcuts. Take those six loads of towels to the coin laundry. While they spin, read that book you meant to take to the beach.
  4. Keep perspective. Summer is short. Childhoods evaporate like puddles in July. This too shall pass. Quickly.
  5. Love the puddin’ out of your spouse. This happens to be the best marriage advice I ever received. I’m inserting it here, because everything in the world and beyond gets better when you take this piece of advice.

Now, your turn. Tell me how you stay sane during summer breaks or other seasons of structured chaos.