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life & design

More Summer Annie This Year

Where’s my 2013 recap? Where’s my list of accomplishments, my top 10 posts, my most liked Instagram slideshow, my goals for next year? Well, I simply didn’t do them. I spent the last week of 2013 just where I should have, with my kiddos on an adventure.
Somewhere in the beginning of summer, I decided to put crazy goals aside a bit (ahem! I finished fourteen, not fifty projects that had been on my finish fifty list—seems like the right amount as we head in to 2014) and relax into my family life more. I allowed myself to be inspired by new projects not on the list or to just enjoy doing other non-making activities. Still, I loved celebrating those projects I finished that I had been meaning to do for years, especially this sweater.
This relaxed attitude had fallen away as I headed into fall and the holiday season. Since Halloween, it’s been a constant string, of we’ve got to do this, and this, and this, and this . . . oh my, and don’t forget THAT. When the opportunity came up to go spend a few days on a farm in rural Virginia, I thought I couldn’t possibly. I have too much to get done, I insisted. My kids gave me the royal, “Mom, You’re NO fun!” Well, I wasn’t having that. I let go of my list. We piled our things in the car, and off we went. I’m so glad we did.
This got me thinking about how my best friend since 7th grade, Amanda, used to say to me that her favorite thing about school ending was that she got “Summer Annie” back. Summer Annie was me free of stress. Summer Annie is carefree, ready for an adventure, easy to laugh. She loves to smell the air around her, feel the sun in her face, and listen to music loudly. She excels at hanging out and enjoying what’s in front of her. I always felt like Summer Annie was the true me, the essence of me. Summer Annie does NOT half-smile and barely listen, distractedly nodding and say “mmm-hmm,” while thinking of a million other things she has to do. These days, Summer Annie gets lost pretty easily under a pile of “shoulds,” “have to’s,” and a super long list of “to do’s.” It is challenging to be Summer Annie as an adult. Responsibilities, stress, and goals don’t just drop away the way they did at the end of a school year. They’re always there. But, I have to remember to try.
I am always fearful that if I don’t put the blog first and foremost, that my opportunities will dry up, that I will lose standing, lose followers, lose contacts. I learned this year, that it doesn’t happen that quickly. If you keep moving forward, even if it’s at a slower pace, things do happen, opportunities do blossom before you. Life is a marathon, after all, not a sprint! In fact, I had some of the most amazing opportunities come up this year, some of which you all don’t even know about yet!
So this year, I want to spend more of it as Summer Annie, despite the things that need to get done. How? I’m going to try dividing work and play into more isolated windows. I plan to work intently during work time, and play hard during a specifically designated “off” times. That means less phone time or sneaking in a post while the kids play video games, etc. When I have free time, it means cranking up the music, letting the wind blow through our hair, and laughing as much as we can. And yes, it means letting the kids drive the motor bike, ride bareback, climb in their pjs right out of bed, and it means I embrace every moment of it.

Happy New Year! Here’s to many great new adventures!

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