Fables are so awesome. Powerful life lessons packed into creative little stories. I might consider Aesop’s Fables a bible of sorts. Besides basic morals like, “don’t lie,” fables cover more complex lessons. For example, the “Grasshopper and The Ant,” preaches hard work, not being short-sighted, and repercussions. The fun-loving grasshopper enjoys his summer, while also mocking the ants who work so diligently collecting food for harder times. When the winter comes, the poor grasshopper is homeless and hungry. He pleads with the ants to help him. They shun him. The grasshopper is screwed.
Where am I going with this? The summer solstice is here. Although many of you know I like to have fun, I identify more with the ant; worried, stressed about what’s to come, and always trying to get things done. Although, unlike the ant, I feel like I accomplish nothing. My storage room is a shrine for inefficiency. Random boxes are scattered about as proof I did not finish unpacking when we moved almost a year ago. To make it worse, throughout the past year, I’ve rummaged through various boxes to search for miscellaneous items, never returning the box to its previously neatly packed state. How could I? Simple, there is never enough time.
Those ants must have some sort of magic time-stopping-stop-watch, because I feel like the majority of my days are sucked up by the vacuum of time, disallowing any completion of all tasks. After my boys come home from school, there is zero checking off of the list until they are in bed, and by then, I’m tired. This isn’t their fault. I want them to have fun; I want them to be a little bit grasshopper, as well as a little bit of ant. I do what I can to support that. And so, the basement storage mess continues to proliferate.
If only I had a little more time.
June 21st doles out that much-needed resource.
The start of summer marks the longest day of the year, with about 15 and a half hours of daylight. Whoa! Maybe this is the secret. Like the ants, use the extended daylight hours to be more productive.
Definitely not. For so many people, the work hours slip into weekday evenings and even on the weekends. Daylight provides no guiding light for productivity. We work well into the darkness, and yet so many people still complain about the lack of time.
Not only are the days longer in the summer, but the summer season is the longest of all four. This year there are 92 days of the longest days within the year. Amazing right? The summer often feels like the shortest season. I don’t necessarily think that’s because we’re having more fun.
Farmers made use of the daylight. Why do I fail?
Maybe I’m less of an ant than I think I am.
I continuously feel busy, yet preoccupied.
Here’s the thing about the ant. He knows when to work and when to relax. Remember, he takes the entire winter as a break.
I don’t think I really know how to relax, and I know a lot of others don’t either. We think we’re relaxing during time off or vacations, but our minds’ are preoccupied with work we haven’t finished. And in all honesty, at times when we’re working, we stare into space, impeding productivity because we’re exhausted due to the inability to relax when allowed. Talk about a Catch 22.
We’re stuck in between the grasshopper and the ant; stilted.
At least I am.
How do I remedy this situation where I always feel unproductive, yet I’m editing things at midnight? Do I use the summer solstice as a “catch up.”
That’s not the answer. If you’re an ant all summer long, you’ll miss some beautiful things. Fireflies, the crickets’ and peepers’ symphony, warm-weather stargazing, laughter with friends over hushed music.
Productivity is important. But remember, although it isn’t evenly distributed, even ants take a break.
On the summer solstice, let’s agree to let ourselves go. Forget about deadlines, laundry, or the pile in the garage. Take one day to sit and talk with children, really listen to friends, take the time to make an awesome meal, and watch the sunset.
Life is short, and it is precious, and there really isn’t a race. Don’t forget about the tortoise and the hare. 😉
No matter what you do on the summer solstice, at least try to catch the sunrise or the sunset, as a very special magic, rivaled by fairy tales, lives in each.
Be a grasshopper for one day. Enjoy the first day of the summer of 2018. It will only happen once!
“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”