Take some time to relax this summer

Everyone’s busy these days. It seems like all of us are being asked to do twice as much at our jobs as we used to do, but we still have the same amount of time to do it all. And even our time off is hectic, because we’ve got to cram in all the stuff we want to do in the short weekends.

But every once in a while, I think we all need to just sit still for a few minutes and relax. Better yet, go outside to do that relaxing. Sit on the back deck, or maybe cruise up to a campground in the forest. Park it on a stump in a meadow. And just watch the grass grow for a little while.

You probably won’t get to sit there for long. There’s just too much to do. If you’re at home, you might have to get the kids lined out for baseball games or 4-H activities. If you’re up in the woods, you probably need to get supper on the fire or finish getting the tent set up.

But the work week is finally over, and it’s summertime. Take at least a half hour to just … be.

And there’s no better time to do that than the thirty minutes before the sun finally sinks behind the western horizon. It’s a time my dad calls “long-shadows time.” For as long as I can remember, he’s made a point of sitting on the porch for at least 15 minutes every summer night, watching those shadows grow longer with every passing minute.

It’s a great way to recharge after a long day. And it’s not just good for the person doing the long-shadows watching. My mom benefits, as well, even when she doesn’t come outside with him. She at least gets a half an hour to herself.

Do yourself a favor this evening. Instead of running full-speed until you crash on your bed at bedtime, take a short break and soak up some long-shadows time.