Oct 1, 2018

Reasons to Reflect On Your Summer and Sharing New Stories

Summers go by quickly, particularly here in Minnesota, and it’s incredibly challenging to cram everything we want to do in a short summer season. 

Some people plan their summer calendar three months out, while others will take each moment as it comes. No plans – no problem. 

Whatever your summer planning or lack of planning style may be, now is a great time to reflect and make a list of the highlights. Making a list or even a mental list is a great way to appreciate the full value of your summer experiences. Before you know it, the season has slipped away and you're left wondering what did I even do this summer?

Leif Erikson Park at Duluth, MN (overlooking Lake Superior)

I must admit, this summer had its highlights, but it also had a list of annoyances. 

The lawn mower broke, the garage door broke, the air conditioner broke and an army of ants started building a condominium addition on the side of our house. 

If you looked real close you could see them enjoying one heck of a summer party. At one point, I think I spotted them playing beach volleyball on an Olympic size sand mound they built for their picnic party. 

And, not to be left out of the fun, a shrew tried to start a summer picnic of his own in our window well.  Let’s just say, I “took care of” the situation before he could open his picnic basket and get a taste of the good life. He soon got the message that life is no picnic and was escorted to the park exit by way of a brown paper bag. The details aren’t relevant to this story, but I discovered taming of the shrew was a lot harder than I thought it would be. 

Now, those three quick months are to be seen in the rearview mirror and there’s a tendency to forget… who we saw, what we did, or where the thrills took place. 

Reasons to reflect on your summer: 
  1. Recognizing accomplishments nourishes your spirit.
  2. Helps you live with intention in future ventures.
  3. Seeing a written "done" list gives a sense of triumph. 
  4. Encourages and motivates for future planning.
  5. Might see where changes need to be made.
  6. Reflecting on the experience is a mood booster.
  7. Reminds you to feel satisfied and grateful.

If nothing else, reviewing your list can give a jump start on the fall season to decide what can still be accomplished. Maybe, start making your wanna do fall list...

Goal ➥ Plan ➥ Action ➥ Reality

Looking over the last few months, I’m incredibly grateful for the time spent with family and friends - lunches, dinners, and happy hour meet-ups. Especially enjoyed a visit to my hometown for a special gathering of friends and then followed up seeing extended family for a day of catch-up.

Besides my few annoyances this summer, I feel pretty good about the events I attended, goals accomplished and the completion of some writing challenges. 

New Stories ~ Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog 

Over the summer, I had two new stories published on Two Drops Of Ink. The first one is a personal story written with reflection in mind.  It wasn't meant to dredge-up difficult emotions from a time long ago, but to recognize personal growth and is a reminder that we're in charge of what direction we want life to take us.  This piece is not my usual reality story with a twist of humor, but rather a reality story with a twist of betrayal, followed by determination. 

Click on the link to read A Midnight Move. I hope some part of its message speaks to your own experiences and personal determination ~ sometimes what we've planned doesn't go our way.

A Midnight Move - Two Drops Of Ink: A Literary Blog

The second article is directed towards the creative-minded souls that may struggle with their creative mojo or getting stuck in a slump.  I'm finding that writing is a finicky art that can have its brilliant moments, but is also filled with self-doubt, wavering indecision and cluttered thinking.

I wrote this out of my own struggle with the creative writing process and discovering that the real problem is thinking too much and not trying to do something different. 

At times, overthinking something can be the "actual doing it" killer.  Then, I ran across a story of this woman that created the practice of doing yoga alongside goats.  Yes, this random and almost silly idea gave someone the creative chutzpah to act on the notion and they didn't look back. What followed for me was the inspiration to my article...Finding Your Creative Ideas May Require A Goat. 

Finding Your Creative Ideas May Require A Goat - Two Drops Of Ink: A Literary Blog

Here's to a new season with new challenges

Yes, it’s sad to see another summer float down the lazy river of unexpected “warm spots,” but truth be told, the fall season is my favorite. 

Here’s to us all moving forward to the next season with a positive force. 

How about you - were your summer expectations met? 

Did you host ant picnics at your house…tame a shrew?

Indulging In the Write Stuff 

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  1. It sounds like your Summer was pretty great all round Laurie - we're just coming out of Winter in Australia and I've had one of those late Winter lingering colds - so I'm looking forward to what Summer has to offer in the months ahead.

    1. Leanne, I love the change of seasons - it's almost a kick start to making new goals and thinking of fresh new ideas. I must admit, gearing up for a Minnesota winter is serendipity at first, but then it soon has its dark days. All the more to appreciate spring time. Hope you've made a list of fun things to do for your upcoming Australian summer! Enjoy and hope you feel better soon :)

  2. Actually my sister is visiting and there is a goat yoga studio about 6 miles from my home! She is giggling about the concept but we will not become students. I still have not said goodbye to summer yet, not until the tomatoes are in and the ants are gone! Then I can get my creative juices going with some sewing projects ideal for indoor weather.

    1. Haralee, I've also seen yoga with Llamas and I did consider doing this, but it was located too far away and the scheduling didn't fit mine. I'm always willing to try something different. You just never know...it could be something that really blows your mind. Haha! My tomatoes are done and, as far as I know, that ant picnic is done too :-) All the best to you on a new season of creativity.

  3. Oh Laurie, you got me thinking about ants. I HATE ants and anything uninvited. They're one thing about summer I hate. Consistently, every year, they turn up somewhere in my kitchen. This year, though they did, it wasn't too bad. *KNOCK ON WOOD!* Anyway, our summer was busy with travels and also, I decided to take a break from blogging weekly. I felt bad about it but I saw no point in forcing it in spite of feeling so uninspired. I need to read what you wrote on creativity. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Joy, I too, took a break from blogging this summer, but decided to make more time on a different writing project. Finding creativity, inspiration and motivation can be very challenging. I hope my yoga with goats story gets you thinking and motivated. Also, let's hope those ants march on! Haha

  4. A well-planned summer... My best laid plans sometimes go by the wayside because of our beastly hot, Texas heat and two puppies, but brava to those of you who have highlights!

    1. I'm certain you had some highlights - they just came in hot fashion with a side of puppy kisses! Sometimes no plans are the best ones!


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