Sunday, August 28, 2016

My 3-D Summer

Back to school this last week means the end of summer.  That brings with it a lot of questions about how my summer was.  The short answer I have given is "good, busy, and too fast."  In a nutshell, my summer consisted of summer school, jury duty, kids' baseball games, swimming, hanging out, VBS, scrapbooking, lots of crocheting, and two big trips.

The more I have been asked about my summer, the more I have reflected on it.  In addition to the list above, it falls into three dimensions:  Destress, Descreen, and Decaffeinate.

1.  De-stress

This primarily was accomplished by sleeping more.  I didn't get up at 5:00 every day this summer.  I didn't set the alarm at all, except for a few days when I had to be somewhere at a certain time.  But those days were few, and I just let my body sleep as much as it needed.  I woke up between 7 and 7:30 most days, and it was glorious!  My body was fully rested, and I felt great.  The other thing I did to ward off stress was try to  find balance between what I needed to do and what I wanted to do.  Between working around in the house and spending time with the kids.  Between doing dishes and crocheting.   Between running errands and chauffeuring kids and just hanging out at home.  

2.  De-screen

My husband saw this idea somewhere, and we implemented it.  I call it "Screen Time Economy."  This involves the kids earning time on their tablets or in front of the TV by earning chores.  They don't seem to care about money too much, but they sure like their screens.    Little jobs get a little time, and big jobs get a bunch of time.  I don't really care if you veg out for a while if you have already done everything I wanted you to do.  I love the way it works.  My house didn't really get any cleaner; they don't want to do the big jobs no matter what the incentive.  But they were forced to find other ways to spend their time.  I heard a lot of creative play; sometimes they even played together!   We played a lot of board and card games together.  I also quickly realized that if I was putting limits on their screen time, I had to limit my own as well.  I can't very well sit around with my phone or iPad all day, if I am expecting my children to do other things.  I began to realize that electronic games had a stronghold on me so I have deleted all of those off my iPad in order to remove that temptation.

3.  De-caffeinate. 

I love a good cup of coffee with lots of cream.  (My husband suggests I should just have a cup of warm milk!)  Nothing goes better with Bible study than a hot cup of joe.  Plus, I really love having a hot drink in the morning to get me going.  But early in the summer, I gave it up.  One day I ran out of creamer, and I decided I wasn't going to buy anymore.  I wanted to see if it had any impact on the spikes in my blood pressure.  This is in an attempt to figure out what causes my blood pressure to spike.  I had already switched to decaf and limited myself to one cup a day.  I was still having trouble with my blood pressure though so I decided to go without the coffee for a while to see if it made a difference.  It does seem to help so I guess I am going to stick with it.  I am also trying to give up Diet Coke, my number one vice.  I am still working on this one, although I have cut way back.  But if you see me with a Diet Coke in my hand, just know that I am a work in progress.  

I feel good about my summer.  Not every moment was perfect, of course, but I will remember this one fondly.  And that is a good place to be as I am now back into full swing of school schedule.

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