Hopefully we each found a way to savor the past liberties of summer. In a way, I think of it as a yoga exercise that includes contraction and release. To pause. To rest from our work and worries on Labor Day weekend. If not for a whole long weekend, then for a day or even a few hours.
I reviewed my own summer checklist. Manged to include a few more wishes over this weekend, as a way of assuring some rest and relaxation:
- Cooked a few meals using fresh crops from Appleton (which their newsletter reminds us has several weeks remaining, so that part of the green season is still in full swing): pesto from fresh basil, kale chips made and seasoned in our oven, green salad and quinoa with veggies in it, tomato-salad, fresh ears of corn.
- Date night(s) with husband: cooking, talking, sipping wine, and watching a good sci-fi show plus some political humor on the Colbert Report and Jon Stewart Show.
- Kayaking on the river: walked two blocks down the street, put in along the river bank, and timed our outing for high tide so it was a lazy and scenic paddle.
- Potluck dinner in the twilight with friends: in the backyard in the flicker of candlelight until the biting insects … no-see’ums, midgies or gnats choose your preference … took the romance out of the outdoors, and we moved inside to talk.
- Chai tea with a friend at Zumi’s.
- Ate a kiddie-sized ice cream cone at White Farms. Anyone who has eaten there knows you probably don’t need more, although it’s tempting.
- Read a book on my personal back-logged fiction list: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.
Other folks accomplished interesting things, including:
- Hiked in the White Mountains, summitted several peaks
- Camped on a lake
- Visited Maine or New Hampshire
- Jumped horses at a nearby event
- Boated on the river
- Went fishing
- Biked locally
- Visited the beach
- Picked apples at Russell Orchard
- Hiked through the Audubon
Of course, we also probably all did more back-to-school or back-to-regular-life errands. Groceries. Clothes. Backpacks. Supplies. Computers and phones.
As I once mentioned, finding this equilibrium between responsibilities and pleasures is similar to performing a yoga exercise. By tensing each muscle group, then releasing it, you create overall relaxation. As you deliberately focus on each area of the body, you also realize you may have knots and pent-up tension in places you didn’t notice. By tightening or clenching each muscle area, then relaxing, you can feel the tension slip away.
Labor Day … and other mornings, mid-days, evenings and weekends … can be a chance to do the same thing. It’s never too late. In fact, this should be a year-round practice, not just a summer ritual. Check those wish lists. Take stock of postponed sets of chores and pastimes. Focus on the areas of life that are often overlooked. Pay attention to them. Maybe give them a workout, get them sweaty and active, and then let them relax again. We’ll see where muscles … or aspects of our lives … need more work and play. And come to a greater awareness of where and when to restore balance.