Happy summer! For me summer is about checking out to reconnect and slowing life down just enough to enjoy the easy days of summer. My favorite part is giving up my morning duties and hanging up my carpool hat for 3 short months.
Time seems to be moving faster as my kids grow up and their agendas get fuller and life’s demands take over. I was laughing to myself at the end of the school year when moms were reaching out to organize play dates 6 weeks in advance and had summer camp schedules figured out for the entire break.
I always admire the uberly organized mom, but seriously, who the hell knows what life look likes in a month from now? Maybe that’s the nature of the ever so unpredictable show biz life, but I think there is something valuable about spontaneity when raising a family. I asked Shaya what he wished to do this summer. “Do you want to go to camp and sign up for different things with your friends?” He said, “I just want to wake up and see how I feel every day.”
That’s my son and I can relate. I used to dream of empty days like that which would allow my mood to dictate my daily activities. On days when my work schedule was 12 hours full, I used to fantasize about free time. Free time to choose what fun looks like. Free time to travel. One of my best ever work gigs was traveling the Globe for a travel show with my oldest daughter Neriah. We hit 40 countries in 2 years. I still believe that you get the best education on the road.
I was watching a new show last week, Big Crazy Family Adventure on Travel Channel. Crazy was an understatement, but it totally took me back to my 20s when I was up for anything and had a zest for life that took me around the world with my family. I think you have to step out of your norm to learn, discover and connect as a family. As much as I am a home body, I love to mix it up and travel with family.
I love the lazy days of summer, late nights playing games and watching movies. Lazy mornings cuddling in bed, drinking a whole cup of coffee without having to nuke it 4 times because of school schedules.
When I watched that show it made me realize how valuable a contrast to your normal life can be. I love the concept of checking out to check IN. Going on a family adventure and mixing up life’s norm is such a great opportunity to discover new things about your loved ones. We do the same stuff every day, and most of it is out of habit, not joy.
I’m enforcing a LESS TECH rule. I already have a regular rule of no phones in the car so my kids have to talk and I never allow any tech at the table. That’s just a little attempt to get me kids back to reality and out of their disconnected digital world. For my teens, life is a picture and family vacations can be about who can post the best pic. Not to mention the fact that every image is so manipulated today that it’s far from the missed moment anyway! I’m trying to teach my kids to slow down enough to take it all in. Giving up the normal schedule, favorite TV shows, familiar social circle and habitual places can help develop lots of new things.
We’re obsessed with playing games. Rummy Cube is our favorite and we even pack it up on vacation. Our latest overly ambitious 1000 piece puzzle is fun even though it is so hard we barely make a dent, yet we gather to dissect and connect for hours over a $10 activity.
I love a good staycation at home too, and it’s so easy to transform your house to a hotel with the right senses. Creativity, good company, delicious food, cherished friends and a loving connection create the best memories.
Here’s a few pics of my most recent adventure to a Dude ranch. We shot guns, rode ATVs through the mud and took in a whole other type of beauty. I could have easily stayed in, read a book and ordered room service, but I forced myself to do something totally different and I had the time of my life.
I’m up for anything this summer and so happy to have some down time to make it up as we go along. Who knows where my family adventure will take m. Even if it may be my charming little Malibu, I’m planning to have the best summer ever!