Slow Down Summer

Summer is always such a swirl of activity. There’s a long progression from March all the way through June as the weather slooooowly gets better (wait for it… wait for it…) and then (bam!) suddenly it’s ridiculously hot out and July is half over.

I haven’t been writing much because I’ve been trying hard to actually get outside and play. Mostly I’ve been biking to work, training for a triathlon, and watching Sexy play baseball. This morning I spent two hours in the garden working, and then retreated inside when the sun started beating down and the temperature climbed above 80 by mid-morning.

The well-weeded garden.
The well-weeded garden.

With so much going on, I spend an awful lot of time thinking about how I should best use my time—which, of course, isn’t a great use of time. Mostly it’s just silly and unnecessary introspection, and I’m not sure I’m that much better for it.

Lately one thing I’ve been grappling with has to do with making things simpler and slower. Earlier this year I read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less based on a recommendation from my cousin, and I loved it. The premise is to basically question whether you’re investing your effort in the right activities and then o jettison the things that aren’t essential. The ideas in the book made it easier for me close down the Get Out Keweenaw website faster and with less emotional angst that typically would have had (Rip that Band-Aid off!), and now it makes me think harder about spending time on other things.

I’ve been swirling about how to get my life in better alignment with the things I value most. On a recent Slow Your Home Podcast, the idea of “congruence” came up in the conversation between host Brooke McAlary and guest Eric Zimmer. Congruence: now that really sounds like what I’m introspecting on these days.

When I’m in my garden weeding, that feels congruent. Because I’m outside and it’s quiet. (Or, rather, the neighbors are quiet, but the birds are noisy as hell…) Because I’m technically doing something productive, but it’s pleasant enough that it doesn’t feel like work. Because it doesn’t require anything special, except perhaps my gloves, a hoe, and a bucket.

But I’m less sure what else is congruent. Riding my bike and eating lunch outside seem to be. My job generally is too, although all that time at my computer and some of the hassles are less so. Possibly blogging, although I go back and forth about that a lot.

There’s probably about eight weeks until the frost comes and summer is effectively over. So, I hope that during that time I can slow down, enjoy the summer while its here, and decide a bit more about what really is—or perhaps more importantly, isn’t—congruent.

Be slow like my garden buddy!
Be slow like my garden buddy!
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