Musings

Simply Summertime: Five Simple Living Activities for Summer.

Hello, friends! A very happy Monday to you all! Today I wanted to write a post that is slightly reminiscent to this one, but different enough that I thought it was worthwhile to share. I felt compelled to write this in order to provide some inspiration for summer activities that are simple and don’t include spending unnecessary amounts of money.

  1. Admiring the flowers. I suppose that this one could work for spring as well, but I’m from Michigan, and you never know when these beauties will finally make an appearance. Appreciating flowers can happen all sorts of ways. You can find flowers in their natural habitat, or you can go to a grocery store to admire all of the beautiful pots of flowers they have. And maybe buy one or two… Or, see if anyone you know has a garden and would be willing to donate to your flower fund! I especially like the thought of that because then you have a patch of flowers that represent so many wonderful people that are close to you! My mom has a beautiful variety of flowers that come from many loved ones’ gardens.
  2. A picnic lunch. I absolutely adore picnics. I think they’re a lovely way to feel as though you’re eating out for much smaller of a cost! You may even be able to make a picnic lunch using food you already have in your kitchen. It’s a wonderful thing to do, especially when all you have are bits and pieces. A couple odd carrots, a handful of berries, and a chunk of cheese could be the base to an absolutely lovely picnic. And if the weather isn’t being kind, it’s also fun to have an indoor picnic! It’s the perfect rainy day activity. Rainy day picnics with a board game are such a wonderful way to pass the day!
  3. A scenic bike ride. Owning a bike is so wonderful because it can be put to practical use, when you have somewhere you need to be, or a leisurely purpose, when one has nowhere they have to be, but they just want to be out and about. You can look and see what sort of trails your town has, and take advantage of them. Some towns may not have such trails, but you could still bike all the same! You could maybe even sneak in an errand or two, especially if you have a nice little basket attached to your bike. Maybe a quick trip to the farmer’s market or to return some books to the library.
  4. An air-conditioned read. Speaking of libraries… I think that libraries, of course, are wonderful year-round, but there’s something about summertime library visits that are all the more magical. Maybe it causes me to reminisce of my summer breaks as a child, or maybe it’s because the air-conditioning in the library is such a wonderful refuge from the heat outside. Either way, this is one of my favorite activities to do in the summer. And once you have gotten your fill, you can continue your read under a nice and shady tree. How lovely!
  5. Wandering the Farmer’s Market. And speaking of farmer’s markets… I love a good farmer’s market. It’s so heartwarming to see so many hardworking individuals with so many wonderful things to sell. Maybe switch out getting your green beans from Meijer one weekend to buy a package of them from your local farmers. Or skip baking a loaf of banana bread to buy one from a local baker. I love making my own food, but I also love supporting local people as well. Bigger companies won’t care if you do or don’t buy one single loaf of bread, but for small businesses and local farmers, it will mean much, much more. I think it goes without saying that you shouldn’t spend yourself broke at farmer’s markets, but I definitely would suggest going and supporting your neighbors!

Thank you so much for reading, my lovely friends. I hope that your day has been wonderful so far, and that you’re able to take a minute or two today for yourself. A small thing or two that makes you happy!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

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Musings

Returning to my Bookworm Roots.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday! This week has been a pretty good one. I’ve been minimizing my screen time considerably, which makes me feel so refreshed! I mentioned in my last blog how I have been sewing quite a bit, but I’ve also been reading!

When I was younger, I spent most of my time reading. I read a couple of books per week, devouring them whole. I think around middle school is when I began to read less and less. And that continued into high school and college. I would read for my classes, but seldom did I read anything for pleasure. Nor did I enjoy reading most of the books I was assigned. I fell out of love with my dear friend, books.

Only recently have I begun to read for fun again.

I was always one of those people who read multiple books at a time, and it turns out, I still am! I’m reading four books currently. I’m thinking I want to start a section on my blog where I discuss the books I’m reading, so look out for that!

I’ve begun to carry around a book with me wherever I go, so that I can read instead of being on my phone. During my lunch break, I’ll try to read instead of scrolling. I’ll still look at my phone, but I’ll break up my screen time with some book time! Or last night, when I was at the laundromat, I brought a book along to read while I waited for my clothes to dry. I find I have an easier time reading when I’m not at home, probably because I’m not focused on all the things I could be doing instead. So a bit of a tip, if you can’t concentrate on your book, go elsewhere! I favor coffee shops, parks, and believe it or not, the library.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with being on our phones, but what I dislike is how automatic it is for me to grab my phone when I’m bored or when I have a free second. I want to break myself of that habit. I think it’s okay to be on our phones, but I think we need to work on being more intentional with our screen time. I think when it gets to be a problem is when we think that being on our phone is our only option when we have leisure time. Sometimes what we need is some mindless scrolling, but we certainly do not need it all the time.

Nowadays I have the worst attention span, I will watch tv AND be on my phone at the same time and STILL be bored. I find that I need several layers of stimuli. Which is such a bad habit to get into, because you end up not being totally focused on either activity I’m old enough where I can remember a time where I didn’t need to be entertained as much as I do now. I am trying to get back to that.

I also enjoy reading because it feels much more intentional. You’re making an active choice to NOT be on your phone.Which, if you’re anything like me, is your default. Bored? Go on your phone. Lonely? Go on your phone. Uncomfortable in a social situation? Go on your phone. Whatever I do, I like to make sure that I’m being intentional in it. I will say that pretending to make a phone call is probably better than a book to remove oneself from an uncomfortable situation…

Another thing I’ve rediscovered is how wonderful it is to read myself to sleep. I did it all the time as a kid, but now I spend my time before bed on my phone. I am all too aware that I shouldn’t do that, but I do it anyway. I’ve been trying to read more before bed, and it helps me get to sleep so much quicker. If I’m on my phone, I can stay up for HOURS, even when I’m past exhaustion. Reading allows me to listen to my body’s signals, and to pick up on when its time for bed.

As with anything, this process is taking time. Before I had a phone, reading was the thing I did without thinking, but now, things are different. I’m working on trying to get better with my choice of free-time activities. I’m not trying to villainize people who use their phone instead of read, not at all. I think there are definitely times where we need some mindless activities. I just wanted to share this blog to inspire others to revisit what we loved in our younger days. Perhaps it’s time to make a visit. 🙂

XOXO,

Mattie Mae