With summer about to descend and everyone discussing plans, my son Joey nervously waited to see if he’d need surgery on his hand. I saw us all skimming the edge of wishing away the next month due to his injury and the holding pattern we’ve been in. Perhaps you know what that’s like, to be on hold while the world around starts to move faster and you’re chief of “it’ll be Okay” and “we’ll get through it together.” It’s not my favorite place to be, but here I am once more.
Facing a summer with an altered flight path again, I’ve been playing mental tennis trying to figure out how to be restful for his healing and still make it meaningful and punctuated with fun. I’ve talked with resilient friends and authors to get some ideas, and thought I’d share them with you in case you’re facing a summer that’s different than you’d planned.
Open Up Camp Grateful
If you can’t have your dream break, recreate your dreams. At our camp, creativity trumps all other options.
Build in creative time
For my kids, this summer is going to have more creative play dates with shrinky-dinks and pretzel-making than athletics so Joey can heal. We’re in search of ideas for quiet fun as he recovers. Finding little reasons to have a “party” can lift our moods and help us remember the gifts in our lives of good friends.
Exercise like crazy
When things aren’t going to plan, it really helps lift the mood to change the channel on your perceptions. If you can add movement to your day in some shape or form, what a great light it shines into dark moments. We’re hoping to take more walks and enjoy gym outings to relieve a bit of stress. As he heals, the resilience builds like a muscle forming anew for us all. Laughter and hope are natural side-effects of throwing a ball or swimming a bit too.
Give thanks in a new way
When your plans are blown to bits, find someone to thank for their previous kindness. We have a fun project planned to thank those who’ve been so good to us along the way to healing. I hope to share more of this soon, but we’re going to build something together that makes our hearts smile and reminds us how much we have to give thanks for. Since we’re making it together, memory-building goes on auto pilot and we don’t have to try so hard to be perfect. If you can find someone who’s been good to you and plan something special for them, it really shifts your focus from being depleted to filling your heart with much-needed rejuvenation for the bumps in life.
Even though our summer isn’t ideal, we do have a lot to be grateful for. Joey’s avoided surgery, thankfully, and lots of good things are happening for the book. I even got to throw popsicle parties for my 85 student readers this week. I love their energy and so appreciated their input earlier in the process.
How do you plan to have a resilient summer with your loved ones? I’d love to hear from you.
Image courtesy of satit_srihin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.