Today is the last day of school for my two kids.  I remember feeling the same eager anticipation I’ve watched them experience all week.  The countdown, the school parties and field days, the daydreams about the beach, the thrill of turning off the alarm clock for the next two months.  Ah, sweet, sweet summertime.images-5

Doesn’t work quite that way for most adults, though.  For those who work, vacation weeks are too few, and rarely consecutive.  For stay-at-home parents, the hours spent helping with school projects and carpooling to sports practices are simply replaced by ferrying kids to summer camps and hosting sleepovers.  Responsibility doesn’t disappear just because the temperature jumps.  If anything, having the kids around more often usually means more work for us parents, not less.

Still, summer still offers adults an opportunity to inject our lives with some sizzle, too.  Why should the kids have all the fun?  Here’s my shortlist of simple ways to add a little summer fun to your busy life:

1.  Sit on your patio, deck, or balcony with a favorite drink (be it wine, iced tea, or some other beverage) for no less than twenty minutes every evening.  Listening to the sounds of a summer evening can help you relax, and take you back to a time when you played kick-the-can until the street lights came on.

2.  Cook healthier.  Fire up the grill and take advantage of the seasonal fruits and veggies.  Eating lighter makes you feel lighter (take it from a girl who LOVES her pasta).

3.  Go out to dinner with friends on a weeknight.  Sure, you can do this any time of year, but many restaurants now have outdoor seating areas in the summer, and the later sunsets stretch out the evening.  Why the weeknight?  Because during the school year it is almost impossible to find a free weeknight.  Take advantage while you can…you’ll be happy come September.

4.  Soak up the sun.  Yes, I know.  Use sunscreen.  Lots of it.  But taking walks or reading outdoors are two wonderful, quiet activities that give you a “mini-break” from your regular activities and routines.  Those little breaks lift the spirit and renew your energy.

5.  Take a vacation.  No, not just the family vacation you’ve planned. Plan a special trip for you and your spouse/partner/best friend.  It doesn’t have to be a week-long event.  Just two nights within driving distance.  But explore a new area so you, too, can feel like a kid making a new discovery.

How about you?  What do you like to do in the summer that you rarely can do during the rest of the year?

XO–Jamie