I’m back after some unplugged few weeks off and I’m happy to say that Angela and I finally unlocked how to have a great staycation. It’s been an elusive endeavor as a co-owner couple, as about the time we have some time off from the business together, the business of life needs our attention.
I goosed the staycation by getting Angela to commit to a No (House) Projects Summer, but that’s a Pulse for another day.
Those of us in the northern hemisphere are in the final few weeks of summer, so today, I wanted to share some questions that may help you take stock of the summer and put a good bookend on it. Reflecting on discrete segments of time helps us shift from the experiential equivalent of a run-on sentence to a coherent, meaningful sentence in this particular chapter in the story of our lives.
Here are five questions to ask yourself to put a good bow on this summer season:
- What have been your 1-3 highlights of the summer?
- What 1-3 positive surprises did you experience?
- What 1-3 things did you learn or have reaffirmed?
- What are you leaving behind this summer?
- What are you taking with you from this summer?
For our readers near the equator or in the southern hemisphere, you can ask the same questions by changing “summer” to your season. These are universal questions for any season or specific passage of time; students and teachers can ask them about semesters, farmers could ask them about agricultural periods, and parents could ask them about phases in their kids’ development.
Some examples for 4 and 5 may help. As Angela and I were sitting in a creek on the last day of our vacation and talked through these questions, my responses to 4 and 5 were “working harder/longer as a default to team gaps” and “the necessity of nature time for my well-being.”
A pleasant upshot of marking seasons this way is that it helps us learn and integrate lessons more quickly. A calendar year is too long and inevitably leads us to make bold resolutions that we can’t stick with. Think about it this way: if you default to reflecting over the calendar year, you have 85ish major “upgrades;’ if you default to reflecting over 4 seasons, you have 340 smaller, easier-to-manage upgrades.
And even if the “upgrade” way of thinking seems like too much efforting, having 340 moments of intentioning, gratitude, and reflection is far better than 85.
I hope the questions above help you mark and make meaning of this season whenever it’s time for you to transition into the next one.