6 summer questions for you

by Kristin on July 24, 2012

in Culture, ideas & paradigms

Photo by fontplaydotcom

I’m on vacation this week, trying my best to let moments arrive, one by one, as they are, without pretense or expectation. Doing this involves letting go of the pressure to write something for my blog. Instead, I’m going to let you populate this space with your good, inspiring thoughts.

The series of questions I’m hoping you’ll take some time to answer were prompted by last week’s posts—one on redefining what “success” and “ordinary” look like, and the other on what vacation can teach us about what we value and how we spend our time. I’m looking forward to reading your responses, and to thinking through my own answers to these questions while I’m away this week.

1. What place/activity/memory best captures “summer” for you as a child? How did it make you feel?

2. What do you miss most about your childhood?

3. What places/activities make you feel most grounded in who you are, today?

4. What simple pleasures would you miss most if they were no longer a part of your life?

5. What thrilling, extraordinary (NON-everyday) experiences do you value most in life?

6. What expectations or obligations would you like to let go of? How would you rather spend the time and energy you devote to those obligations?

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  • Jen

    1. The cottage. Been in our family for over 100 years.
    2. I miss cool summer mornings playing softball.
    3. The lake, the cottage, with my husband.
    4. Coffee, touching swaths of fabric, this one is hard…
    5. Finish lines, visiting the cottage, family trips across the country.
    6. Not ready for this one…

  • http://ahippyinheels.wordpress.com Natalie

    1. Either the car (a station wagon) on the way to Minnesota or Minnesota.
    2. When I was very young, my dad answered every question I had about pretty much everything. I remember being about seven years old when my dad explained insulation and why coats keep us warm; during roughly the same time period, he explained how refrigerators function. Also, my mom is an amazing baker; I miss her homemade bread.
    3. My dad telling me to “look it up”. Consequently, I spent hours on the Compton’s Encyclopedia – the pre-wikipedia days – it reminded me there was/is a vast world I don’t know.Wikipedia still keeps me pretty grounded, as does Google. Also, close friendships. Ironically, theatre also keeps me pretty grounded; it reminds me I’m not the best and gives me a dose of humility.
    4. I would miss exploring new cities and traveling; the smell of a new restaurant; starbucks; chocolate; art; beauty.
    5. My family traveled a lot when I was a child. We would go to different resorts during their off seasons because my Grandma could get us a deal. Those times were always incredibly special because we tried harder to get along with each other. It made some pretty great memories. Biloxi, Mississippi, was probably our best vacation.
    6. I would like to find the balance of expectations in relationships. When has someone crossed the line? How do you communicate that to them? Do you need to? Is it for them or for me? I would also like to know how to really and truly forgive better; I believe the Lord is the only one who can truly “forgive and forget” but it doesn’t give us an excuse not to forgive.

    …there is your novel of a response. ;)

  • http://www.leighkramer.com HopefulLeigh

    This is fun, Kristin!

    1) The week I spent most summers on my grandparents’ farm. If I didn’t spend a week there, we still visited quite often. I loved spending time in the fields, cuddling kittens in the barn, helping Grandma in the kitchen or with various projects, helping Grandpa drive a tractor. Such a wonderful way of life and I loved the one-on-one time with them.

    2) All the free time to do whatever I wanted. Outside of chores, of course. I miss those days where decision-making consisted of how long I should read a book, who to play with, whether to wear shoes outside or not.

    3) Visiting my hometown or the family farm. Spending time with my family. Reading a good book. Cooking for loved ones. A winding discussion over coffee or wine.

    4) Irish breakfast tea, books, a personal card in the mail, the first listen of a soul-stirring song

    5) Travel, good shows

    6) Eesh. Have to do more thinking on this one.

  • http://www.carisadel.com Caris Adel

    1. The two blocks around our house. We and our friends lived on one, and on the block behind us were 2 cousins, and our best friends. Us 4 families of kids grew up together, riding our bikes all over the place…that and the beach – going down to the pier lots of nights to sit and watch the sunset, my dad in his beach chair with a book, and me and my brother in the waves.

    2. The freedom, the innocence. I had no idea about stress or parents fighting or being poor. We moved when I was 10, and in my head, that is the break of childhood for me.

    3. Reading, painting, rain, laying on my hammock

    4. a cup of coffee, opening an Earl Grey tea packet, sitting in B&N reading a magazine, a hot bath

    5. traveling – we do lots of road trips

    6. obligation of a clean house, haha. I think the expectation that my husband should be a certain way or do certain things, or that my life should be a certain way, instead of just accepting it all for what it is, and just flowing with it, instead of trying to move it in a way that it’s clearly not going to go. Letting go of expectations of church, and people at church – again, just accepting it for what it is and quit trying to think it’s going to give me more of what I need than it is.

  • http://www.halfwaytonormal.com Kristin T.

    Jen, there’s some powerful family history in a cottage like that! Your answers just embody contentment. And the last question? Well, you can just take your time with that.

    Natalie, just last week my family watched slide shows of our family trips in our wood-paneled station wagon. :) I love the descriptions of your dad, and your answer to the last question. Thanks for sharing your life and heart!

    HopefulLeigh, grandparents with a farm! Sounds idyllic. I love the simple pleasures you listed, too.

    Caris, what a perfect-sounding childhood! I am not surprised that moving away from that neighborhood marked the end of childhood, even at the young age of 10. Talk about experiencing loss! And yes—letting go of expectations would free up so much energy and focus for better things. Have you found a good way to make that change?

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    1. Slurpees at 7/11

    2. Free time

    3. Home. Playing games with my family or doing chores with my kids.

    4. Sleeping in on Saturday mornings and hot coffee.

    5. Writing and exploring new projects that might lead to a dream job.

    6. Does my day job count? :)

  • http://www.carisadel.com Caris Adel

    I don’t know. Right now I’m just at the stage where I tell myself ‘this is how he is’ or ‘I am just in this Bible study for the companionship’. Maybe at some point it will feel a lot more intuitive. I remember a specific example from the other day; my husband was sleeping the afternoon away, and I started getting annoyed that he couldn’t just be up and busy with us all day, and I had to tell myself, he just needs more sleep than I do. I would be annoyed if he got mad when I was reading a book to relax, so then I was able to let go of that and be ok with it.

    Going back to your article, about the why, esp. in relation to my issues with church, I had to ask myself, why am I frustrated – what is my expectation here – and then find ways to get that need met, from places that it was reasonable to expect it from. The internet has been lovely for that need :)