I am exhausted. The school year is drawing to a close, just one more week of term, and I am shattered. The holidays seems like a very good thing right now. Although for the moment the prospect of packing and organising our whole family away for a long weekend’s music festival in a week’s time just seems daunting. All this tells me that I have not balanced my life well as I appear to have run out of reserves. This is not good modeling for my children.
In the final stretch, during those last few weeks of term-time, standards slip and clutter collects. I promise myself a big clear-up and chuck-away throughout the whole house. I imagine that somehow I will clamber back atop my life and order will be restored when I have more time in the holidays. Right now that just sounds like effort. Right now I just want to stretch out on a blanket in the sun with a book. Except we have no sun in England this summer and the kids quickly chorus their boredom.
I have decided to embrace boredom this summer – mine and theirs. This will be the summer of un-organised activity. No camps, summer schools, extra sports training, or string of play dates. We can all keep so busy that we no longer know what we might like to do once left to our own devices. I am not yet sure how to extricate my teen from the digital world long enough to let that well-spring of creativity to be activated, but I would like to try.
During term-time so much of our lives is timetabled, that we become accustomed to the routines of activity – this thing now, that thing after. We do not have lives where we can ask ourselves what do I feel like? How would I like to pass my day? So this is what our summer holidays will be for: to remember how to design our own lives. To float through the day, attracted to particular pastimes, foods, friends. To allow boredom to surface, and stay feeling it long enough to see what happens next…