Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Challenge that Comes with Summer

It's that time of year again - the time where I often sturggle with a very empty calendar. School's out for kids and most other activities at church stop as well.

I get it. When kids aren't in school that changes a lot for people. And the weather is nicer, so people want more flexibility in their schedules to enjoy it.

But, it's also a hard time of year for some of us. The end of June doesn't mean much for me. I still get up and go to work each day. The difference being, I spend most of my evenings and weekends at home alone. The things that filled that time during the school year aren't happening and the people I would have seen during that time are busy with their own families then.

I get it. This is time you have for all the things that are filling your time.

But, it's also hard and lonely for some of us. Even though I like time for myself, five nights a week for two months get to be too much of it - especially when you add the weekends to that time as well.

If I had my way, all the Bible studies and other groups would continue all summer, so the changing of seasons wasn't signified by too much time alone. But, I know that doesn't work for many people, so I try to be flexible and understanding. I will deal with the changes that come with the end of June.

I'll spend more time alone and won't complain about it. I'll enjoy a lot of it. But, I need some help from other people too. I need you to still be available sometimes for coffee, or supper, or some sort of activity. Or an invitation to join your family for something once in a while.

Whatever it looks like, I still need people in my life and things to do. My hours outside of work still need to have something in some of them - the same as yours do. The difference is that I need you to be a part of that, because it's not something that automatically happens with other people being at home.

When I ask about planning something to be a bit more consistent over the summer, I'm not asking because I'm trying to tie you down to something. I'm asking because I need to have some things planned to get through the much more significant time alone that I have. I understand you have other things planned with family, or might be away on a vacation, and I'll work with that, but I'm also asking for some help in having things to do when I ask those things.

And when I'm disappointed that something won't work or gets cancelled, know I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. I'm disappointed that a change in my summer evenings and weekends isn't going to happen now. I'm realizing it's another night alone now because there's nothing on my calendar now. I'm not blaming you for it or trying to make you feel bad, but I'm struggling with what this means for me now. And I need the freedom to be disappointed for those moments, because it's hard.

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