While I am not a philosopher, I love Aristotle’s thoughts on the golden mean, the appropriate midpoint between two extremes. It is a place of balance, a place that allows us time and space to move thoughtfully forward without rushing. Why is it that we struggle with finding this golden point in our lives? We either operate with a crushing schedule or sink into complete idleness in the exhaustion of it all. We load up our kids with back-to-back summer camps, classes, workshops, opportunities or summer comes and goes with no plan and no accomplishment.
The busy-ness of our world doesn’t encourage equilibrium. Rather, it seems determined to throw us off kilter. The demands come quicker than we can respond. The choices we make further tie us to the trivial. Parents with the best of intentions can still be driven by fear.
Summer can give us the chance to reshape our thoughts as well as our lives. If used well, summer can bring the opportunity to reframe, to restore balance. We can make a reasonable plan – one that includes idle days to catch our breath, busy days learning a skill, happy days rejoicing with family and friends, contented days serving someone else, and challenging days planning a large leadership project. Summer can, and should, be a time of evaluation as well as a time of becoming something more.
My wish for you is a golden summer found between the two extremes.