This post was originally published by our ambassador Brandi Riley at Mama Knows It All.
One summer, when Ayva was 2, she and I jumped on a New Jersey Transit bus and headed to Atlantic City from Philadelphia. We didn’t have an agenda or a schedule, and as a matter of fact, we didn’t even have hotel reservations until I called to make one as we were making our way down the highway. This wasn’t one of those typical family beach trips with luggage filled with sand toys and tons of different outfits for the planned activities for each day. I didn’t even pack a bucket or a shovel. This was a “we need to get away from all of this concrete ASAP or I’m going to lose my mind” type trip.
It was the best trip ever.
Ayva, even though she was still a toddler, was extremely vocal, and proved herself to be an incredible travel companion. She had fantastic ideas (“Ice Cream, Mommy?”) and was nothing but fun the entire time. We rode a bike down the boardwalk at the crack of dawn, ate donuts on the beach every morning for breakfast, and laughed as we sat on a bench watching birds go after people’s french fries. It was the best getaway ever. At the end of our two-day unplanned getaway, I decided to see if we could extend our stay another night. Even though it was the busy summer season, and even though it was the weekend, we were able to stay for another day which allowed us to explore the beach even more.
Memories of that trip creep up in my mind every year as the summer begins to start. I remember how much fun we had, and how the days seemed extra long and gave Ayva and me more time to spend together. I can’t stop thinking about how calm I was, and how in the moment and present.
I want to experience that again.
I’m declaring that this summer will be the Summer Of Yes. Just like the universe was so affirming in our impromptu getaway all those years ago, that’s what the goal is for this summer. Ice cream every night? Yes. Board games at the park? Yes. Hiking? Farm visit? Bake bread? Street festival? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
There was a point where I felt like folks were putting family first again. We all were trying to find the balance between working and spending quality time with family. It seems that things are shifting again, and women are struggling to find the time to do all of the things that they want to do in a day. Well, I’m making it simple. If there’s a question about whether or not to do something fun with my family or for myself, the answer is yes. No excuses. Busy doesn’t live here anymore. If there is time for work, there is time for play. That might mean less time online and more time really knocking things off of my t0-do list. It might mean that we have grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner instead of grilled chicken in order to time. All that matters is that there is more yes and less no this summer.