At the end of June, most moms (and some dads) are limping over the finish line, just trying to survive the chaos that comes with the end of each school year and the transition into summer.
When my kids are tired, I tell them, “Try to finish strong.” I use this phrase myself to get through one more wind-up, field trip, teacher gift, bag of
junk precious memories that comes home from school.
Usually, the end of June also means rushing to hit a series of writing deadlines so I can go into the summer with no articles due or strenuous daily word counts to hit when I’d rather be taking my kids to the pool or the beach.
There were a few deadlines I did not make and this work will carry into the summer. But yesterday I did type “The End” (the most blessed two words ever for a writer) on the first draft of my current manuscript, one I’ve been working on for the last eighteen months. I can tell you that it felt amazing to be finished, especially because we are going on vacation next week and I can put this story away to let it breathe before edits and get busy dreaming about the next book.
Any large project follows a series of steps. There’s the initial excitement, then the long, dreary middle, followed by the boredom with it when you just want to be done, and finally the actual end when you are sick of the whole thing. Finishing strong is an important concept for everything in our lives. If we don’t quit, we eventually see the fruit of our long labour. Yesterday I felt that satisfying rush that comes with not giving up.
Now I’m turning my energy and enthusiasm toward the summer. Today I soak up the beautiful silence of my house as I will be sacrificing this particular pleasure beginning on Friday. But I will also be gaining lazier mornings, coffee on the deck in the sunshine, impromptu visits outside with friends, later bedtimes and a sense of relaxed leisure. A chance to make new and lasting memories by slowing down and noticing more.
Happy summer, friends. Finish strong (or as close to it as you can manage). Then jump into summer with a light heart and a peaceful smile. I hope I run into you while I’m outside with my book or splashing in the water. We don’t get these precious days back. Enjoy them while they are here.