In April, my husband and I moved into a house across the street from the beach. A large driveway accompanies our perfect little beach house. The following is a direct effect of the previous two statements: June through August our driveway was filled with the cars of family and friends. This is both a gift and a curse. I love my new digs, I love the location, I love my family, I love my friends, I love the beach, and I love summer. But I am welcoming September with arms as wide as I can lift them.
Summer is always a busy time – that’s nothing new. It seems like we started booking up summer weekends way back in February. Places to go and people to see. And when we weren’t busy traveling, people came to us. (We live in a house with a large driveway across the street from the beach, after all.) It was super fun seeing what kind of motley crew we could collect each Saturday and Sunday. Such a great way to see people, catch up and cut loose. But it didn’t leave too much room for down time. Ironically enough, those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer never really do.
Towards the end of August, I started feeling over-scheduled and overwhelmed. Not just with our social scene, but in other areas of my life as well. I even wrote a guest blog for 3 Bridges Yoga about my current love-hate entrapment with social media (aptly entitled #addict):
“…This nonstop and constant stimulation is hard to turn off. I find it’s much harder than before to be quiet, to sit still. Everything becomes a multitask. I sit down to check an email, and I end up checking FB accounts and blogrolls. I find myself scrolling through Pinterest while watching TV or standing in line at the bank. It’s like I can’t ever be fully engaged in one thing. It’s like I can’t be still...Living in the moment, staying present is what we teach in yoga. This social media bonanza seems to be the antithesis of this. So what’s a yogi to do in this day and age? How do I successfully run and promote a business, stay connected with what’s going on out there, but also stay grounded and connected to my own self?...”
I was feeling inundated with overstimulation. Fortunately, we had planned a vacation for the last week of August. Some quiet days up at camp came at the perfect time. I went through a social media purge while away. No computer, no internet, no cell reception. I was off the grid and felt fantastic. We made NO PLANS and kept it that way. I felt like I could breathe for the first time in a long time. For 6 days, everything slowed down.
Days were spent perusing farmers’ markets, exploring terrain on hikes, practicing yoga with a lake view, lazing around still waters on our paddle boards, crafting dinners, enjoying slow feasts while playing Jenga. Pretty simple stuff. The one thing we did schedule into each day was our Buffet hour: we’d sip cocktails overlooking the lake while listening to Jimmy Buffet. Sounds super cheesy, but it’s just what I needed to reset myself. Toward the end of vacation, I remember thinking, How can I take this stillness, this quiet, this peace into my every day life back at home?
I recently read a blog post from Lauren, a friend and fellow yoga teacher. In this particular blog, she reflects upon her yogic quest of finding a way to “live a life of contentment and happiness amidst reality”.
It’s the “amidst reality” part that really spoke to me. My reality is social media involvement. My reality is having cherished plans with loved ones each weekend. But that doesn’t mean I can’t slow it down some. That doesn’t mean I can’t feel content. That doesn’t mean I can’t have the peace that I had while on vacation.
Every year when September rolls around, I’m ready for a fresh start. Maybe it’s the years of schooling drilled into me, but the end of summer always marks the start of new beginnings. Much more so than the start of the actual calendar year in January. I view every fall as a rebirth.
So I’m going to use this opportunity for rebirth to restructure my life somewhat. To create more down time, more time for self care, more time for yoga, more time for good food, more time for my health – both physical and mental.
It’s time for a new routine. It’s time to pull myself back on track. It’s time to REBOOT!