Don’t Retire, ReFire: Take a summer break

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By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

Think of all the people on summer break. There are teachers, students and people who understand the importance of getting off the “highway” of life and taking the back roads or the beaches or the mountains or the amusement parks of life to reconnect with themselves and what brings them joy, in spite of the fact that they still have to go to work five days a week.

Do you have a friend, a few friends or a family member, or members, who you know do this?  We all need to take a lesson from these “Free Spirits” on the importance of recharging our batteries. We have about twelve weeks of long days that start with the sun rising before 6AM and setting between 8:30PM and 9PM, to create those moments that we can hold dear, in our memories, which will keep us warm as we move through the short, cold days of winter where sunlight is vastly diminished.

Is this a new concept? Have you ever thought of it before?  Are you struggling with how you would go about creating this “off the beaten path” experience? Depending on what you choose to take on will determine how much thought you have to put into it.  Here are a few suggestions that will jog your memory or spark a new flame of seeking adventure:

  1. Take a walk every chance you get! Even those of us who still work, can get out there and walk.  Your walk can be as little as fifteen minutes or as long as you want. Walking calms the mind. A walk in the morning, even a brief walk, if that’s all you have time for, will clear the cobwebs and will bring a smile to your face as you listen to the birds chirp and smell the morning air and the flowers in full bloom.  An evening walk, after you get home, can settle your brain from what it’s been tasked with during the day.  Are you able to take a quick 10 minute walk at lunch?  Then do it!  Can you imagine the compound effect on your mind, body and spirit, if you take three quick walks each day? Do your own personal study and try it for five days.  I would love to hear your results!
  2. Take advantage of the additional hours of natural light, which I described earlier! If you do a little research, you will find that there are many outdoor activities that you could get involved in.  There’s biking, canoeing, kayaking, volleyball, swimming, golf, etc. Tap into your warrior side.  Be adventurous!  Do something you love and know how to do, but don’t take the time to do it.  You can also do something that you’ve always thought you’d love to do but it never got to the stage where you actually would do it.  Do it!
  3. Deviate from your schedule. That’s what long, warm summer months are for! Most of us live our lives on a schedule.  Don’t get me wrong, schedules are important, but every so often, it is equally as important to put the schedule book aside and remember what it’s like to be lighthearted, carefree and childlike. One  suggestion is to take a couple of days off from work and stay home to enjoy those things that you rarely get the time to do, yet if you did, it would bring you great joy.

The whole idea of this article, as we say so long to Spring and welcome Summer this week, is to free our minds and the limitations we put on ourselves, in order to fully embrace this amazing time in the year, where we can truly soak in Mother Nature in all of her splendor.

Think about what a difference a few small diversions could make on how we celebrate each day that is given to us, as we greet each morning with gratitude and how satisfied we feel as we lay our heads down to rest at the end of the day.

In a quote by Les Brown, “Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.” Be limitless!

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