June 19th was my “blogiversary,” as we bloggers grandly refer to it. The day after Father’s Day 2012, I sat down and wrote my very first blog post, “Father’s Day: Celebration of Family or Ironic Joke?” about our holiday at the Renaissance Festival. Interestingly enough, we did the exact same thing yesterday: we schlepped our kids around the Renaissance Festival. (Spoiler alert: We had waaaaay more fun this year. Maybe the only non-sucky time we’ve ever spent at the Ren Fest.)
For my first anniversary of blogging, I celebrated with a rather grandiose post re-capping the first year. Then I hit the “sophomore slump,” that stage when former newbie bloggers become disillusioned and wonder why the hell they blog at all. “Everything has already been said . . . Is anyone even reading this? . . . Why do I even bother spending all this time on my blog?” I don’t think I acknowledged my second blogiversary at all last year.
This year on June 19th, I thought about sitting down and writing about what three years of blogging has meant to me, whether or not I’ve met my goals, if I feel like I’ve “arrived” as a blogger the way I had dreamed of. I wanted to reflect on how I’ve incorporated writing into my actual career through my blogging opportunities, to spend more time discussing how I’ve integrated it into my life in a more balanced way.
But I didn’t. I was at the pool with my kids and a bunch of friends for four hours. We grabbed some frozen yogurt, played some more, I snuck in a Happy Hour with a girlfriend, and we had dinner with neighbors. I didn’t write about my blogging anniversary. I was too busy having fun and loving summer.
The past three weeks of summertime have been exactly what I had hoped for. Late mornings (except twice a week when I teach a few classes), slower paced days, swimming, cheap movies, playing with friends, and too-late bedtimes. I made a conscious decision to slow us way the hell down this summer, at least for the first month. For the remaining two months, we have several small trips planned (and I get to fly to NYC to present at BlogHer with my HerStories partner!) and a teeny bit of summer camp for my preschooler, but aside from that, we’re keeping the same chill tone.
We’re having a 1980s summer. No camp at all for my oldest, a few days only for my youngest, one weekly piano lesson, no other classes, and no agenda. This is what I’ve needed, what I’ve been craving as the school year crashed to its busy conclusion. I’m working only 17 mornings total all summer, I’m not spending much time in front of my computer working, and I’m savoring every second of lounging in the sun, drinking coffee in bed, and reconnecting with my kids. You may not hear much from me this summer; so far I’ve been writing only when I really feel like it, which has been so refreshing.
I did feel inspired to write about our laid-back summer break, and I am thrilled to have an article published at The Mid for the very first time. I’m writing about our 1980s summer—and the surprising flaws in the plan I noticed a few weeks in. Here is an excerpt:
It was the last week of school, and a handful of parents gathered around a picnic table at the third-graders’ end-of-year party. We made small talk about how fast the year had gone, and then we launched into what was on everyone’s minds: summer vacation plans.
“We’ll be doing a few soccer camps, horse camp, and then taking a trip to Disneyland,” one mom shared.
“We’re doing art camp, gymnastics and swim lessons, and then a sleepaway Girl Scout camp in August,” another chimed in.
“How about you guys?” an acquaintance asked me.
“Well, we’re pretty unscheduled this year. We’re having a 1980s summer,” I confessed with equal parts pride and dread.
Due to a nebulous blend of laziness, disorganization, frugality and apathy, I had planned very few activities for my children this summer. As May approached and I hadn’t joined the frenzy to book the best summer day camps or schedule lessons, I figured we would just “go with it.” This particular life philosophy is not one that I embrace or practice regularly, so I almost congratulated myself for being so laid-back. It was the new me: a Zen-like, Type B, super-chill mom who let her kids roam barefoot and run through the sprinklers whenever they wanted. This summer, there would be no Sharpie-labeled sunscreen bottles to tote to activities, no oversized T-shirts bearing camp logos to purchase, no lessons to be running late for. We’d sit on our asses, and we’d love every minute of it.
I hope you’ll stop by The Mid to read the full article, “What Happened When I Tried to Give My Kids a 1980s Summer.”
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