Why Bother Enjoying The Gift Of Summertime?

Why Bother Enjoying The Gift of Summertime?

Time, I believe, is a gift and I think summertime is the best present of all. It gets lighter earlier, around 3:00 a.m., and the sky’s luminescence lingers longer into the night than I am able to stay awake. The air temperature equals that of my body, making it pleasant to spend more time outside than in. And summertime is the only time I’m not constrained and limited by going off to work in a classroom.  

Unlimited Time

In some ways, my regular daily routine doesn’t change too much from fall to winter to summer. My energy level is much higher in the a.m. than in the p.m. making me an early riser, and my need to exercise still exists. The summer though, affords more time to do more of what I love, yoga. With a work schedule, I’m limited to yoga on the weekends. The summertime calendar, on the other hand, opens up more opportunities. I can take a midday class on a Monday or to teach an early morning class in my driveway on a Tuesday. Without limited time, my choices are unlimited. 

Summertime affords lingering over breakfast. I still fix my usual veggie omelet and sit down to eat. My space though, is different. I might sit on the front porch stoop, plate in hand while reading the newspaper in my lap. Or I may take myself out the back door to sit at the picnic table and watch the birds at my feeder. In other words, I am not restricted to sitting at the kitchen table gobbling down eggs in order to leave the house at a certain hour. Instead, I can pour myself one more cup of coffee and sit and sip a little while longer. 

In the summertime I do not commute. I do not have to buckle myself into my car, adhere to the speed limit and drive twenty minutes to work. Instead, my bike becomes the main mode of transportation. I live a short distance from Farmers Market, the yoga studio, the gym and the library, my main summer destination points. Summertime is the only time I have the pleasure, joy and liberty of leaving my car in the garage. Using my bike to get from point A to point B means I get to skip the frequent stops at the gas station and enjoy the slower means of travel.

I could spend hours reading and that is exactly what I allow myself to do during summer break. I spread a blanket and pillow out on the lawn, open a novel and wade through my favorite genre: historical fiction. Summertime is the only time allotted for such a luxury as reading the day away.

One of the natural traits of a teacher is that they are always learning something new. This summer I decided to find out more about the small farming industry. I purchase fresh produce and eggs each week from a couple who own and operate a small farm. Their motto is, “Know your farmer better than your physician.” I’ve taken them up on that challenge and for a few hours each week volunteer at their twenty-five acre farmstead. I don’t expect to master the art of growing anything. I will get to know my farmer better than my physician though. 

Why bother enjoying the gift of summertime? It is worth noting that we all have the same amount of time each day. Sometimes though, when unconstrained, it becomes a gift.

Why Bother to Think About Time?

Why Bother to Think About Time?

My personality has a persnickety side to it. I am finicky, especially when it comes to choosing how I fill my days. Although we’ve all been given the same amount of time, twenty-four hours for each day, none of us know when the balance of our time is gone. 

Deposits and Withdraws

I keep a certain amount of money in my checking account and subtract from that amount every time I write a check. Keeping track of how much money I have in my account keeps me wise. I know exactly when I need to make a deposit so that I do not write a check for an amount I do not have. Penalties for bouncing a check are expensive.  

But none of us can add any days to our lives. Those are already numbered.  And no one knows the day of their expiration. We just know that someday, we all die. 

Sleeping takes one third of every day, leaving me only two-thirds of any given day to live in a worthy way. So, I’ve learned to eliminate some trivial, unimportant and meritless things in my life in order to spend more time on what I consider to be more fitting. 

First of all, I don’t spend any time golfing. I tried it once when a friend had the bright idea of golfing as a foursome. My husband golfs and since she and her husband golf too it seemed like the perfect idea for the four of us to do it together. “You are so athletic. You will do great,” she said, convincing me to try it. 

I like walking, I like the outdoors and I’m not opposed to trying  new things. But after nine holes of focused effort on getting a ball in a hole by hitting it with a club, I had a headache. Giving it up gives me more time for the things that fit me; running, swimming, riding a bike and yoga. 

The second thing I gave up was sewing. I tried that once too. Again, it was a friend who convinced me to try sewing. “It’s fun and easy,” she told me. Then she willingly and patiently taught me how to lay out a pattern, cut the cloth, and thread the needle. But when I sewed something wrong and had to tear out the stitches with a sharp seam ripper that bloodied my thumb, I did not see the ease or fun of sewing. I gave my sewing machine away and took up writing instead. Pressing the delete button to start a sentence over is much easier than tearing something out with a sharp object that bloodies one’s thumb.

Lastly, I don’t spend any time looking up a weather forecast. My day does not depend upon something as unpredictable and changeable as the wind, air temperature or precipitation. Instead of taking the time to look up the ten day weather forecast, I open my back door and go for a run in the weather. Not wasting time looking up the forecast frees me to simply be in the forecast, whatever it might be. 

Without spending any time improving my golf swing, ripping out stitches from sewing mistakes, or watching a weather forecast, I eliminate the trivial, unimportant and meritless tasks making room for those more deserving of the moments, minutes and hours of the day I’ve been given. 

Why bother to think about time? It is worth it since we can’t make any deposits and whatever we withdraw cannot be replaced.