I’m always sad when summer winds down at the end of August because it’s my favorite season. Even though we technically have the first three weeks of September until the season ends, the back-to-school rush tends to erase the last vestiges of summer. This afternoon we arrived home from the last of summer vacation, having spent a week in New Hampshire and Maine visiting family, and my daughter starts back at school on Monday, with my son’s school following close behind. I’m realizing that I feel the way I feel after returning from a long trip: grateful to be home and missing being away. And like summer, I am always grateful to be embracing a start of a new school year with all the excitement and opportunities it provides, but am already missing the slower pace, the buckets of blueberries and candy-like tomatoes, the fresh lake water and lazy days looking up at clouds.
This year, I’m going to try to live in fall, winter and spring as though it’s summer. I don’t mean wearing shorts in the dead of winter, but instead trying to keep up the more easy-going pace, spending more time outside in nature, and trying to stress less and live more in the present. I plan to take lots of pictures of fall foliage and enjoy apple picking and hay rides and Halloween, and for winter, I want to make more snowmen (women!) and make yummy soups and try cross country skiing, and for spring, I want to plant a garden early that we can enjoy all summer and spend time outside noticing all the colors that are emerging. It’s easy to forget the treasures awaiting us outside when we have a work deadline or a child home sick from school, but that’s in fact when we have to remind ourselves to notice more. As Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” Every year we take our kids to Walden Pond to see where he lived and what he saw, and being in the woods always makes me feel more present.
For those of you are not current clients and still want a chance to get a free 50 minute coaching session, you can still respond to the previous August quizzes, or you can comment on this post with the answers to these questions. (Click on the title of a blog post to comment on that post.)
What is your favorite season and what do you do to really enjoy it?
How will you plan to live your favorite season all year long?
What will you do to make fall this year more relaxed and present?
What is your big goal that you’ve been putting off that would make you so happy to achieve?
To find your world stage, find a way to live the pace and joy of summer all year round. Being calm and present and filled with wonder will make you happier and will allow you to stand out from a world that is often not at peace. And the world so needs people who are happy and at peace.
(The picture above is of me from a few years ago at my daughter’s camp, just celebrating being alive and enjoying summer.)
I’m loving hearing from you readers with answers to the past two week’s summer quizzes. The good news is that you’re responding. The bad news is that some of you are having troubling accessing the comments section in a post so that you can comment. Here is the key: click on the title of the post that you want to comment on and then the comments will appear and you can post. Or you can email me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re one of the first six commenters and you’re not a current client, then you get a free 50 minute coaching session.
This week has been a sad week for the world. In the US, we have a president who refused to stand up against the KKK and Nazi groups terrorizing protestors. For the first time in my life, I fear that the world is becoming more and more unstable and there seems little to counterbalance that. And then reading about the terrorist attacks in Barcelona, after all the attacks in France, and then Germany and then the UK, just made my heart sink. It seems endless. When my daughter went on a school trip to France this past spring, I had to warn her to be careful on pedestrian walkways and sidewalks and listen for cars careening out of control. The innocent days of walking down the street freely are over, at least for now. This is the world we all now live in.
My husband reminded me, however, that poetry is a great way to lift one’s spirit. I recorded an album a number of years ago with my musical settings and voice and piano on 14 poems, including one of my favorite by W.B. Yeats, whose writing I fell in love with first in college. The poem is a call to action to find peace any way you can. My favorite line is, “And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow.” (To check out this album, called Tread on My Dreams, you can go to https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/stanford.)
So for those of us feeling despair for the world, remember to find peace where you can and remember that peace doesn’t come all at once but in bits and pieces. Notice how and when that happens. And remember that as you move toward your world stage, the most powerful leaders who will inspire us will be the ones who are good and selfless and loving and filled with peace.
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
I’m noticing a few friends and colleagues are unplugging from social media for the summer, which is so inspiring that I thought I would try it for August. So, no Facebook for me this month. (I even had to disable it to make this happen.) So far, I’m doing pretty well, but I have jumped on to wish people happy birthday and I confess that I got on by accident once (don’t ask), so I guess I’m 90% there. You’ll be happy to know that this is an international trend; a colleague in Scotland and one in Australia are unplugging. I’m about to go camping with my daughter this weekend, as part of our annual Mom’s Weekend that is part of her sleep-away camp experience. (My husband will be camping with our son at the boys’ camp as well.) These camps are over 100 years old and have never had electricity in the cabins, so it’s a great chance to truly be in nature– that is when I’m not getting lost in the woods without my flashlight!
Here is the good news about many people unplugging. This gives you a better chance to win a free 50 minute coaching session this month. Beginning last week, I started a challenge to readers who are not current clients. All you have to do is be one of the first 3 people to respond to 5 quick questions, either last week, this week or next. Post your answers in the comments section and then I will contact you to arrange a free session. (To see last week’s challenge, just scroll to the previous blog post.)
Here is this week’s summer quiz:
What is the most summery thing you did this week?
What is your go-to summer outfit to wear when you’re not working?
Where have you traveled so far this summer?
What is your favorite ice cream you had this summer and where was it?
What is your big goal to get done by Sept 1?
That’s it. Just post quick responses in the comments section and I will contact you. Feel free to pass onto friends and family. And try to experiment with unplugging some for August. You’ll find that you have a lot more time to enjoy the sunshine 🙂
Here is my favorite recent picture from camp with my daughter.
I want to do something fun and different the next four Fridays to shake things up. Let’s face it, in August none of us wants to do much work, including reading blog posts. So, for the next four weeks, I’m going to ask readers to post answers to 5 new questions each week in the comments section. (It will only take a few minutes.) The first 3 readers who respond in any of the four weeks will get a free 50 minute coaching session.
Here it goes:
What is your favorite thing about summer?
Are you a lake person, an ocean person, or both, and why?
If you had to choose: do you like pie, ice cream or cake, and which kind?
What is your big goal for summer?
What is something you’ve done this summer that you enjoyed?
I’ll give you my answers and then I want to hear yours:
I like the slower pace and the sunshine!
I like both but I’m more of a lake girl.
I would say for summertime that I’m a pie person: rhubarb or peach crumb pie
My big goal for summer is to clean out our closets and get 10K steps in every day.
I most enjoyed our family trip to Portugal and Spain in July. It wasn’t always easy and there were bumps along the way, like our car breaking down on the freeway, but we bonded as a family and our kids and we got to see more of the world.
Now it’s your turn. Take 3 min to post your answers in the comment sections. The first 3 people (who are not current clients) who post get a free 50 min coaching session! (Check out my website at http://www.worldstagecoaching.com for more information.)
These are pictures of Sintra, Portugal below. This was my favorite part of Portugal!