This is the reminder I have been giving myself since June. Like the proverbial broken record, these words are on a continual loop in my mind.
It’s enough. You’re having enough fun. You’re spending enough time outside. The kids are having enough lazy days. The kids are having enough busy days. You’re doing enough to prepare for kindergarten. You’re eating enough ice cream cones. You’re grilling enough. You’re making enough memories. You’re taking enough pictures. Everyone is getting enough sleep.
Something about this summer has me scrambling a bit. Maybe it’s that my family has some military-related upheaval headed our way in August. Maybe it’s that my social media feeds are flooded with images of beautiful people, having loads of beautiful fun–and I’m left wondering if I measure up. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe you can relate.
Ever since moving to Hot Dish Land, summers have taken on new meaning. I never really knew how to appreciate the perfection of a long, humidity-free, summer day, until enduring a -40˚ windchill while schlepping two children (who refuse to walk in such conditions) into Marketplace. NoDak summers are gorgeous at face value–but when contrasted against the harshness of winters, they take on new beauty.
Our summers are wonderful. So wonderful I put a lot of pressure on myself to enjoy it to the fullest. I know these days of 11pm sunsets are limited. Isn’t it our duty to squeeze every minute of these absurdly long days for all they’re worth? Shouldn’t we relish what we have going on here?
I woke up on July 5th and realized Fair Week is practically upon us. And–if you’re not from around here–let me tell you what that means: summer is nearly kaput. Locals love the State Fair, I mean they l-o-v-e it. However, the first day of the Fair is also the first day of the last week of summer.
It’s a whole thing here.
July is on a downhill slide and there is still so much I want to do. There are still so many things I want to accomplish before the sun starts setting at 4pm and my house is too drafty to enjoy ice cream.
I haven’t been to the Peace Garden or had a Whirl-a-Whip. We’ve only been to the pool once, and we haven’t gotten a sno-cone from The Shack. I haven’t been to the NoDak Speedway or a Hot Tots game. I keep forgetting to log our summer reading. We haven’t been camping, or to a lake–and honestly, another summer is slipping away and I’m still unsure of where The Lake actually is.
This is a travesty. Summer is running out. Soon, Daryl will send his Racing Pigs around the track, and next thing you know falling leaves will be smacking us in the face.
See? I’m spiraling. I’ve got to remind myself: It’s enough. What I’m doing is enough. What you’re doing is enough.
Orchestrating our lives based on the perceived pace of others’ is a toxic trap. Comparison only poisons the joy of the moment. Pushing ourselves to do more, be more places, and pack just a little more in, doesn’t necessarily lead to more memories, or better memories. Aiming to have fun at a grueling pace, just yields exhaustion and burnout.
Our lives–this summer–are built with the bricks we have, not the ones we’re missing. I’m continually reminding myself to look at what we are doing, and the experiences we are having–instead of focusing on what we haven’t done. I’m reminding myself not to create too much busyness for the sake of savoring summer.
The truth is, the Pigs will run. Summer will end. Fall will arrive. When it does, a whole new set of unique opportunities to create memories will be ushered in. When it does, we don’t need to bemoan what we didn’t do. We can choose to celebrate the cooler air, the return of pumpkin-spice-everything. We can choose to look back and see a great summer, a summer that was just enough.
For more stories of life in Minot, and small things that have big impact on joy and contentment, join me on Instagram (@amy_allender), and Facebook (@amyallenderblog.)