summer days (soLs)

“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.”
— Lyn Yutang

This is one of my favorite quotes. Today I need to get it out and dust it off and remember perfectly useless afternoons are an important part of summer too. Our summer is buzzing. Between the five of us, someone is always doing something: golfing, swimming, softball, biking, dancing, video gaming, writing, reading, swinging, photographing, building train systems, cooking, giggling, performing plays, going here, coming from there. It is constant motion. Then last week we added another member to our family. We welcomed Karianne from Norway, an exchange student we are hosting for the upcoming school year. So now we are adding shopping and soccer and (more) late night conversations to the mix.

All of this is very very good. But so are useless afternoons, which is what we are planning for today (at least until we leave to pick up Stephanie from camp). So today we will make chocolate chip cookies and eat too many, watch too much tv, play too many board games, read too many books, and even curl up for naps. Living is more than doing, sometimes it’s in the useless moments where the treasures lurk.

Let's Be Email Pals!

Teaching writers doesn't have to drown us.

Enter your information to receive my free eBook, plus weekly tips and encouragement for teaching writers.

Don't worry, I won't send you spam, and you can unsubscribe any time. (I'd hate to see you go, though.) Powered by ConvertKit

13 Comments »

  1. Just the 'being' is what I like, too. I love both lists you made, filling up those afternoons with activities, but then that later list of useless things, although maybe not so very useless. Thanks for the quote-I'll put it on my sticky-noted desktop. I think it's great you've hosting a student-a gift for her and for you!

  2. I love the second paragraph and the description of the useless afternoons, which are so important to have! I'm planning my own useless afternoon as well. 🙂

  3. I savor my “useless” days which usually involve reading in a comfortable place with a refreshing drink. Those are the times . . .

  4. I love this quote and am going to “steal” it as my facebook status and then revel in a useless afternoon. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I love the quote. Not everyone is able to slow down and just be. It is an effort. Not for me. Especially in the summer. I hope that all of you enjoyed the afternoon.

  6. I love this quote! Perfectly useless afternoons are what I love most about summer and it seems this summer was short on them. However, I have carved out those times when I can, and the kids love it!

  7. Amen. Thank you for reminding me that useless is often as productive (for the soul) as busyness is (for the agenda). I WANT FRESHLY BAKED COOKIES!!! Maybe tomorrow… 🙂

  8. Love that you are giving yourself permission for a lazy afternoon. You are right, we need to take time to lounge for a bit during the summer. It sounds like the perfect family fun at home day.

  9. I have to agree that your quote is great. It is strange how we get so caught up in doing we forget how wonderful useless activities are.