Cherish each laugh, giggle, hug and kiss

Cherish each laugh, giggle, hug and kiss

School’s out – now what? Many camps, church events, fundraisers, day trips, friends spending the night, grandparents wanting time with the kids, family vacations – wow this is making me tired already!

If you’re like my family, we’re already getting bombarded with holiday plans, vacations, camps, cookouts, parties etc… and it’s not a bad thing but it can be overwhelming. Do you want your summer to run you or do you want to run your summer? I’m going to share a few ways to ensure you make the MOST of your sunny days.

Step one — learn to say NO. That word has been made to sound harsh and insensitive in today’s society. If we say no then is it a sign of weakness or does it mean you don’t care for the person inviting you? Not at all, in fact learning to say no empowers you to spend your time the way you desire OR the way you feel is best for your family. Come to the realization that you can say no, politely, without having to give a lengthy explanation. Let’s face it, we can’t all go on vacation with both sides of the family or be at every cookout, holiday, pool party, church event or birthday party. STOP allowing yourself to feel guilty for setting boundaries. The more you practice controlling your schedule, the easier it will be to manage. Learning to say NO will allow you to say YES to things that matter most.

Step two — Learn to reserve your time for what’s most important. Social media is a time ticking bomb! You get on to check your notifications and what seems to be moments later turns into 45 minutes – 1 hour?!?! Time slipped away at your fingertips – literally. Family time is priority right? If that’s true for you then you have to reserve time in order to have quality time – putting all else aside. Purchase a calendar you can post on your refrigerator and place all of your “set in stone dates” first. These may be ball games, dance recitals, vacation Bible school and family vacations. Once you’ve added these events you will quickly notice a full calendar. Reserve several dates as “family days”. On our calendar I usually mark 3 Saturday’s a month as “family days” and that means, we (my husband, my son, my daughter and I) have a day trip or just stay in our PJ’s all day hanging around the house. There’s NOTHING wrong with spending time with friends and other family members but it’s SO important that you bond with your “little family” and set your own traditions.

*It’s also beneficial to schedule time volunteering or giving back to your community. Check out your local town’s needs. (i.e. soup kitchens, libraries, schools, daycares, hospitals, hospice, nursing homes, churches etc)

Step three — ENJOY! Love what you do and do what you love. Of course there are times you make sacrifices to do things that aren’t on “the top of your list” BUT overall I feel you should dedicate your time to what you’re passionate about.

Remember, it’s ok if every date and time slot isn’t full. Allowing fluidity in your schedule will make your summer much more enjoyable. Children love swimming, amusement parks and camp BUT I know my most special memories are the ones where we sliced a watermelon on the back deck and caught fireflies at night.  Cherish each laugh, giggle, hug and kiss.

Cherish each laugh, giggle, hug and kiss
Jessica Fox, Contributor

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