Remember summer as a child, when vacation felt endless? When each day felt like it could stretch on forever?
Decades later, for many of us, summer feels like the opposite: it's over before we know it.
It's true that our perception of time changes as we age, with days, weeks, and seasons feeling shorter and shorter as we get older. How ironic, then, that that's often when we start to truly appreciate those fleeting moments.
But just because time flies doesn't mean it has to whiz by us. Rather, we can stay mindful, find presence in each moment, and keep what matters most close to our hearts--and in doing so, we can enjoy each moment to the max.
Here are three ways to do that.
1. Seek out new memories...and keep them close!
Wherever this summer brings you, try to enjoy it to the fullest! This is especially poignant for you planners out there. Let go of any preconceived notions of what should be happening and enjoy what's present. (You can always go back to your to-do lists later!)
The best memories are formed when we're paying attention to the present moment. If you're distracted or worried, thinking about something that happened yesterday or what you have to do tomorrow, it's very difficult to fully live each moment as it passes. So take a deep breath. Notice your senses: what do you smell? How does your body feel? What do you see and hear?
Notice how you feel, especially when you're most in the flow. Notice that joy, and embrace it. Doing so will deepen those amazing feelings, and help lock them into your memory.
2.Take time to reflect.
One powerful way to not only enjoy special moments but to learn from them--and create more of them--is to take time to reflect. What were some of the best moments from today? What was your favorite part of your last trip or special event?
Then ask: Why? What made those moments particularly special?
Maybe that campfire was especially meaningful because you felt so close to your children. Maybe the last day of your vacation was special because you felt especially connected with nature. Maybe that picnic was special because you felt alive and healthy and vibrant.
Very often, you'll find that your answers point to your deepest values. And knowing those, you can intentionally create more memories like them. Maybe you can find a way to uphold the connection with your children or with nature, and find other ways to celebrate your health and vibrancy.
One way to do this is to create a daily ritual for reflection, whether that's lighting an oil lamp an hour before bed to do some journaling or reading; or starting the day with a cup of tea sitting on your porch and just watching the sky. Whatever works for you, we hope you find ways to reflect on the times that have mattered most in your day (and summer).
3. Make time for what you love most (emphasis on you).
A lot of people spend their whole vacation making sure other people are comfortable (especially parents). And while that can be pleasurable in itself, and sometimes necessary, we all need to take time for ourselves. It's not selfish; it's an essential bit of self-care. You can't give other people your best without giving it to yourself first.
So make sure to build some time in for what you love. Whether that's taking a whole trip or just finding a few minutes each day, invite in those moments where you feel completely yourself. Seek out those activities that fill your tank, and make sure to prioritize them--because those are what keep your own soul nourished.
This summer and always we wish you many, many moments of joy, laughter, and peace.
Thank you for allowing Danforth to be part of your lives.