I Found My Summer

Becky is a working mom with two rambunctious boys and a doting husband. Her days are hectic. Besides the kids, she has a demanding job running a research facility dedicated to work that is important to her. Managing a staff of creative scientists is almost as demanding as managing 2- and 5-year-old little boys.

And she’s been getting a little testy lately.

One afternoon she was sorting through old pictures, you know, the ones on paper, not in your phone. She ran across photos of herself in college. What stood out to her most was her hiking boots. She was wearing hiking boots in most of the photos.

That got her to thinking about what life was like before all the current demands. “I was on the hiking trail every single day,” she told me. “Being outdoors is what inspired my life in science.”

Just listening to her describe vista views that would take her by surprise, I could feel my shoulders relax. She had reconnected with what fed her spirit.

She realized those hikes had disappeared with the advent of motherhood and career. Each year that passed, by the time she realized hiking was at its prime, it was August. Summer was practically over. She had missed out again.

Then a miracle happened.

Her sister took the boys for a weekend overnight with their cousins. Suddenly, here was a chunk of time for her and her husband to get reacquainted! It was a blessing. It was a gift. It was a treasure to savor.

But how to fill the time? He wanted to bicycle, which was great. But she recalled those hiking boots and determined that part of their time would be on the hiking trail.  They both got their wish, and much needed time together to address her increasing dissatisfaction.

You see, that testiness went beyond snapping at co-workers and fussing at the boys. They needed to talk.

He could see how she was up early every morning with the boys and tucked them in bed every night. They decided together that he would take over every other morning and every other evening.   They were partners in parenting and he wanted to play his part too.

What came from that talk was another blessing, another gift, another treasure to savor.   Besides a rejuvenated relationship with her husband, she said, “I found my summer.”

Now, a couple of mornings a week, she’s at work extra early in the morning while her husband handles the kids. That frees her to leave work early, tie on the hiking boots and hit the trail in the afternoon. And she’s home in plenty of time for her shift in boy-land.

Finding summer helped Becky reclaim her center.

Where have you sacrificed what feeds your spirit? How can you enlist others or prioritize yourself so that you have it back?

Where’s your summer?

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