Making Summer Work

20140727_180844Memorial Day weekend has passed, which means summer is in full swing. Some years I find myself asking in September, “Where did summer go?”

I miss weeks at the Jersey shore or in the Poconos. Now, I’m more likely to take vacations in the spring and fall, but I find it’s important to not miss out on the pleasures of summer.

I also need a tiny bit of structure in the summer or I’m likely to let the long summer days pass me by without having achieved anything. While I’m all for relaxation, I don’t want to be a slug (no offense to slugs).

Here are some tips on how to make the most of summer:

  1. Learn a new skill. This summer I’m spending more time working on my personal website and one for an organization of which I’m president. I’m learning through trial and error and asking lots of questions. I hope both sites will be better for my effort.
  2. Explore new places or take a different route in your neighborhood. I get my wandering in by foot. I’m challenging myself to walk 10,000 steps each day from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It equates to about one million steps. I find it’s more fun to get the steps in when I’m exploring a city, a garden or a new neighborhood. I did the same thing last year, and had a blast reaching my goal.
  3. Work toward a goal. It could be decluttering your home, running a marathon or, in my case, working on a book. I recently finished the first draft of a quasi-travel book. Several people are reading it and providing feedback. Soon it will be time for the rewrite and shopping it to agents. In the meantime, I’m at work on a mystery.
  4. Read a book (or two… or three). I love summertime reading. I keep a stack of paperbacks for the pool and beach (ones that I don’t care if they get splashed). It’s also fun to read a classic I overlooked in high school or reread one. I’m leaning toward The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck or Poor Richard’s Almanack by Benjamin Franklin. The summer also will feature books on self-management and leadership, including You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. And I can’t wait to read my friend Adriana Trigiani’s book, Kiss Carlo.
  5. Enjoy the season. Summertime is about grilling out, eating watermelon, catching fireflies, going to a baseball game and visiting a Farmer’s Market. Make your own list and have fun crossing them out. Or toss the list and find a hammock!
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