do less (sols)

July is the month of not-much-happening around the Ayres’ house. If said aloud, Andy would roll his eyes. Hannah would say, “Se-ri-ous-ly, Mom?” And Stephanie would put her hands on her hips and say, “Yeah, right.”

The boys would be outside running races around the house, being daredevils on their bikes on the steep north hill, and defending our territory against the latest evil villain.

And me? Well, there are two bushels of canning tomatoes waiting for me to pick up this morning. I’m getting ahead on laundry in order to pack the kids and me for a road trip with my parents this weekend, there are cookies to make for our friends, swimming plans for this afternoon, bible school tonight, and invitations to create for the So-Long Summer party we promised the kids we’d host.

Which brings me to the slice for today:

We live in a world that is screaming for us to be there and sign up for that. It tugs on us to keep up with the latest news, read books, exercise, clean the house, and trim the bushes. It’s a world that says, “You can do it all!”

But what if I want to do less?

When I linger with my cup of coffee and watch the sunrise, I’m grounded. When I’m still for a few more minutes, I’m fortified. When I enjoy the moment — not thinking about what else I need to do — but I’m there, totally, in the moment, I’m secure.

So today I will do less in order to make room for more. It might just be about my state of mind, rather than the things I do. Instead of thinking about the next thing, wondering how I’ll get it all done, I’ll focus on more giggles and more stories and more tastes of cookie dough from not-so-stealthy little hands.

Because this day is too precious to fill it up with stuff. Instead, doing less will preserve it more.

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13 Comments »

  1. Love this “do less” idea. I just wrote about summer flying by. My summer has been packed to the gills. It is only the next few weeks that seem to have “less” and I plan on enjoying every single bit of it.

  2. I too am filled when I stop and take in some sunlight. It pushes me through the busy stuff when I take the time to just sit, reflect, notice. When I stop and let the rays pour onto me and give me renewed life. I liked your reminder here. <3

  3. My current professional read, Notice and Note, has me noticing signposts in everything I read. This post is a great example of Words of the Wiser – “So today I will do less in order to make room for more.”
    And I'm borrowing these words for my summer mantra:
    “When I linger…I'm grounded.
    When I'm still…I'm fortified.
    When I enjoy the moment… I'm secure.”

  4. Thanks for the reminder to do less. The words describing taking a few extra moments, and then a few more, spoke to me. I'll work to be more grounded, fortified and secure in my own life.

  5. I've definitely been doing less than I ever have this summer! After about an hour of chores, it's reading and writing or visiting with friends. Here, here for doing less!

  6. Your title called to me because I've been doing way too much this summer. I love the way you ended with thoughts of what doing less will give you room to do more of!

  7. I love this idea! We've had a lot of do less kind of days this summer. It's enjoyable to be at home together doing whatever we want to do. It opens up time for trips to the library and book reading and swimming and turning boxes into stuffed animal homes. Enjoy!

  8. grounded — fortified — there — secure. Key words from a key paragraph here. When we slow down, we remind ourselves what presence feels like — fully inhabiting a moment of consciousness. Important and necessary — and for teachers, a big part of what the summer NEEDS to be. A soothing July reflection!

  9. Wow–love this:

    “When I linger with my cup of coffee and watch the sunrise, I'm grounded. When I'm still for a few more minutes, I'm fortified. When I enjoy the moment — not thinking about what else I need to do — but I'm there, totally, in the moment, I'm secure.”

    Now to live what I love…