We have all heard it. Flight attendants emphasize it. Hopefully, we have never had to do it in the literal sense, but the oxygen mask must go on the caretaker before the one being cared for. It makes sense, doesn’t it? In order for the dependent to be provided for, the provider must be able to provide it. Simple.
And yet, in the everyday, non-life-and-death scenarios, mamas scramble to come up for air wondering why everyone is worn out and irritable. Or maybe it’s just me and my crew. Well, anyway, summer is my chance to find that oxygen mask and recharge. Things slow down a bit mid-summer around the church, and the family has more time together. We travel to see family, and this summer (this week in fact!) we are going on a little road trip to Louisville, and Cincinnati en route to the SBC annual meeting.
I am trying to make time to have smaller summers throughout the year, meaning that I am working on being more intentional in pulling the oxygen mask to my face more frequently throughout the weeks, months and even throughout the day to avoid burnout. End of the year/beginning of the year and mid-year are points on my calendar when I try to assess where I am and write goals out for where I want to go. I also try and take time to do the following:
1. Get away by myself.
Okay, so this year I had my little buddy along with me, but I got the chance to go away to Nashville for the weekend in March, which wasn’t really the end or middle of the year, but it did the job for me nonetheless. I had less responsibility (no cooking, no putting three kids down to bed, no cleaning…you get the idea).
2. Get outside
The park, the porch swing, or grilling in the backyard are sweetness. A little Vitamin D and warm air on the skin sometimes are just what I need to feel revived. The really hot days require a splash pad or a pool!
3. Get informed
I like to read books from almost every genre, and fiction is top on my list, but I also like to read a lot of non-fiction to educate myself on interesting people or issues.
4. Get together
Spending time with family and friends is a must. I love having people over to the house, and I love staying in with just the fam. I guess I can be a homebody, but being on the go so much makes me treasure time at home. Although, my girls prefer to ALWAYS be on the go. They often ask, “Mommy, where are we going now?” I like when the answer is, “Girls, nowhere right now.” 🙂
Summer is an extended getting away, outside, informed, togetherness for me, but I want to have truncated versions of these things throughout the year to help me keep my sanity. And of course, staying grounded in the Word and prayer are key. I am studying the Psalms this summer, which are just what I need right now. I just Amen everything in the Psalms.
So, hello, oxygen mask summer! I am ready for ya!