Only 18 summers...
If you are anything like Laura and I, by the end of the first week in July, our conversations were already... "the kids are already getting on each other's nerves!" and "how can the kids be bored, they have so much stuff to play with?"
"the kids are already getting on each other's nerves!"
Summer, for many of us, brings back fond memories of riding our bikes around the neighbourhood, going on camping trips and swimming in the pool all day long. But today, we see our summers as a week or two of vacation jammed between this camp after that camp, dropping off, picking up and STILL making lunches.
This year, I am finding it even harder as an entrepreneur. Our business model is build around the flexibility we need to be there for our kids (and parents and visitors and....) when they need us. But as we ramp up to launch, work tasks that should have been knocked off the list are sitting... and sitting... and we feel more and more like we are letting ourselves (and others like you) down. And yet, there is also guilt, shouldn't we doing a better job creating summers for our kids that we reminisce about in our own childhood? YIKES!
But then today, I read an article that both focussed and depressurized my summer stress. The article, published this week by Robert Glazer on Thrive Global, "This May Be One of Only 18 Summers With Your Kids – Make The Most Of It" referenced Tim Urban's 2014 infographics "Your Life in Weeks".
If there was ever was one picture to help put things into perspective, it could be this:
As my stepson approaches 15, it is a bit shocking to see that really, we have three more summers together as a family before it is completely in his own devices to make decisions on how and with whom he wants to spend his time. And then, as his days fill up with work and other commitments (like ours), they will become fleetingly fewer and fewer with us as well.
And then this...
So, not so back of a picture! Although summer does seem to be passing by on my work front, there are still real days to devote to both work and having those days to remember for my kids.
It isn't about guilt. Nor is it about balance. It is about choice. AND... by doing it consciously.
My kids are in camp next week. That's four days dedicated to getting caught up. That means there are three week days left this week to choose blocks of time 100% focussed on my kids.
I think today, we'll spend a few hours playing school (yes, I have those kids). Maybe, I'll even give them homework!
Those few hours might just be a memory in the making. I can almost see me and my kids sitting over a cold beer or summer cocktails on the patio on one of those rarer summer days in the future and talking about that summer that we played school in the dining room.
Yup, I like it!