Summer freedom

It’s Summertime and the livin’ is easy!

Summer Freedom

I have always had a sense of freedom in summer . Still, as an adult, I tend to have a more light-hearted mood in summer, even if I’m working. As a child and teenager I never got bored, as some kids do. Even if we
didn’t go away anywhere on holiday , I was just happy and content that I didn’t have
to be anywhere (like school, even though I liked primary school). Nor did we have to
do anything in particular (like homework). Every day , I just woke up to another
whole day of doing what I wanted and the day just unfolded. I didn’t plan anything
and it didn’t matter . Fun days materialised. Holidays just happened. Caravan parks
were stayed in, sandy beaches played on, and Jokers, Mr Frostie and Pear Picking Porky lollies were eaten.

Summer freedom

Long Summer Days

Summer days were long and sunny , full of swings and bikes, of rolling down hills, having picnics in gardens, making finger-gloves and perfume from foxgloves and playing in the fields behind us, squabbling and laughing with sisters, cousins, neighbours and friends until darkness came and you went inside with the scent of ‘outside’ on your clothes, sand in your shoes, and muddied and grass-stained knees and hands scrubbed before supper and bed.  

Play days and Fun

Even the wet days were exciting with the chance to play monopoly , snakes and ladders, ‘colouring in, ’ reading about Br’er Rabbit outwitting Br’er Fox (the book I continually re-borrowed from the library , every three weeks and got really annoyed if someone else managed to grab it upon my return, as I tried to ‘re-borrow’ it). There was also the famous five, and my favourite Mr Pink-Whistle turning invisible and playing pranks on naughty children (which I loved), and watching endless episode of Zorro, the Banana Splits, the Arabian nights, and Robinson Crusoe. When kids TV was over, that was it! Time to do something else. We had no pause buttons and no replays.

Life, Freedom and Wellbeing

Life was simple and easy. Summer was mostly sunny and fun. It was freedom. 

We didn’t need to be taught about wellbeing and hadn’t even heard of the words stress management or time management. We didn’t have to plan anything. We were able just to be ourselves, play and have fun.  It’s something we tend to lose as we get older – that sense of fun and freedom. Unlike when we are children, if we don’t plan, it doesn’t happen. The best plans can go awry through illness or family circumstances or pressures of work, but if we don’t make a plan in the first place it’s very unlikely to happen at all.  We do need to plan in holidays, times of fun and need to manage our ever increasing stressful and busy lives.

Sometimes, I suddenly realise it’s summer because I don’t need the five layers that I do in February and that I’m driving along with the car window down. And sometimes, it’s just because the rain is warmer. For teachers, it’s much easier to tell the season has begun– their absolute favourite time of the year is when they’re leaping out through the school doors on the last day of term in June, but oh how quickly it comes round that they are draggin’ themselves, heavy laden with files, bags and books and preparation papers, heads bowed through those same doors the last week in August for training, and that’s the ones who enjoy teaching and have missed the children. For others, it’s a complete dread, as the routine of the new term approaches and quickly begins for another year.

So summer is thought of as a time of freedom, for some, at least.

But, do we make the most of our time off?  Do we manage our ‘ordinary days’ and slot in times for fun and rest on an ongoing basis?  Stress is a normal part of life, but it’s the managing of it that can be hard to do.  It’s getting that balance and having some free time and fun in every day.  It’s not just about planning that 2 week holiday.  It’s also important to take time every day for self-care, time on our own, a time for freedom, time to reflect and time for fun! 

Holiday in France

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