Saturday, May 30, 2015

Working Less, Living More - Our Lazy Summer

I recently made the following post on my Facebook account: "I've been pretty mum about this because it's so exciting, but for the first time in five years, I will not be working in summer!!!! Whoop whoop! That doesn't mean I won't be busy however; two university courses and about a dozen projects - one is testing this Ylva Li sweater pattern by Saga Hein, which I'm very stoked about!"

And here is the beautiful sweater...
A friend made the following comment: "2 University courses and a dozen projects, being a Mom, knitting plus the normal day to day necessities is a "lazy summer?" I had to laugh! I suppose it sounds busier than I imagined because normally I do most of those things along with working a full 40-50 hour workweek. And I'm not complaining, not at all. This is normal life for us, and it's a good one because I've found a balance between it all. However, it is somewhat both thrilling and intimidating to have a full summer off. While the freedom will be amazing, I'm accustomed to additional income during the summer months, so choosing not to work will be a bit of a sacrifice...but it's time to enjoy a summer just for us. 

Summer is the only time I can indulge in a dream I never accomplished, which is being a full-time mom and homemaker. Yeah, it doesn't sound very feminist, but I've grown to see that when it is a choice made with the best interests of the family at heart, it can be a beautiful thing. The distraction of work can be tremendous to a parent. The first five summers of my son's life, I totally indulged in being home with him for those months. They were sacred; I wouldn't have dreamed of working. By the fifth summer, however, I was feeling the financial pinches of raising a child solo. I began teaching summer camps because I could take my son along with me. The extra money helped, we were able to travel and do many fun things...but the summers would slip away, caught up in a stream of balancing fun with work, feeling like regular weeks.

I don't regret any of it. We traveled abroad, had amazing experiences, and I was able to take my son along with me to job sites. As this summer rolls around, however, I'm wildly excited by the prospect of the one thing money can't buy - time. Precious, amazing time to simply live. Be. To devote myself to my family and home. The older I get, the more interested I become in simple living. When talking with a co-worker earlier this week on this subject, I expressed it as 'learning to live on less so that I can work less and live more.' It's a process I've been doing for quite some time, and this summer is the first real experience in exercising that philosophy.

And this philosophy will be the gist of my summer blog postings. I recently ordered the book The Spiritual Tasks of the Homemaker by Manfred Schimdt-Brabant and am waiting anxiously on it's arrival. Learning to see the day-to-day as a spiritual, zen-like experience of being alive in this world is, I believe, a first step off the rat race that has us believing we always need to be doing, seeing, experiencing and accomplishing more

I'm excited to see how our lazy summer unfolds; thanks for joining us for the ride!

2 comments:

Virginia ("Ginn") said...

Men and women should have equal rights and opportunities to pursue their dreams. I believe your choice to be home with E. and to wallow in the delights of being there is definitely sanctioned by feminism. Feminism is about having choices. It is not about the exact nature of the choice. And in the end, it is about what makes you happy, isn't it. Enjoy. Lean into it. Life is good, when you have choices. - Ginn

Pan Pan Studios said...

I agree, Ginn! I think if a woman (or even a man!) has the choice in today's world to be at home, it is such a gift! It was out of reach for me so maybe that's why it seems so desirable!