summer calm

July 16, 2015 |  Category:   life

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I look at these photos taken in upstate NY last weekend and think how serene these images look. Summer calm. They encapsulate what Northeast summers feel like – hazy and green, the air kissed with humidity. We’re experiencing the season in handful of moments like these and doing the best we can to savor it because the truth is, when you’re in a retail-based business, you’re already thinking and preparing for the next season ahead. Holiday inquiries are starting to come in. It’s a weird head space to be in sometimes because I’ve always had a hard time focusing on the present. This doesn’t exactly help 🙂
 
But if it’s only pockets of time that we have at the moment to truly enjoy summer together, we’re doing a bang up job cramming as much as we can in, to the point where Miss C lamented with a sigh that she wished we stayed home some weekend so that she can “nap on the couch.”

 
Kids. So dramatic. But I’ll admit that I wouldn’t mind a weekend away from the car. Back-to-back weekend road trips have been hectic. We haven’t slowed down all summer.
 
I can’t remember a time when I wanted – no, needed! – more hours in the day. There’s a lot going on; things are happening (I think!) and it’s been good. But as is my nature, it’s never enough, and I need more time. Sometimes I ask myself, why is that? Why is it never enough? But I usually just shrug it off even though I often feel like I’m hanging on by a thread.
 
I read all these articles on simplifying your life and think to myself that it sounds really nice, but life is complicated and sometimes even messy. I’m starting to acknowledge that I think I prefer it this way. It’s a state that I think I thrive in, which sounds really weird I know, but my mind is at far more at ease when there’s too much going on than when there isn’t. The irony at play here is that I feel like I’m in a constant state of trying to organize the chaos.
 
Humans are funny.

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  • Jenny July 16, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Hi Jenna! I have been a long-time reader/lurker and NEVER imagined I’d move to NYC… I was living in the South and then Los Angles. Anyhow, I moved to NYC a few months ago with my husband and two kids and have found myself reading your posts about your “field trips” with your kids… Where were these photos taken? It’s absolutely gorgeous!

    • Jenna July 17, 2015 at 12:58 am

      Hi Jenny, Welcome to NY! These were taken at Chenango Valley State Park in upstate NY.

  • Jen July 18, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I wonder how much of this is a cultural thing. In the US it seems like being busy is very highly valued, to the extent that it sometimes feels like a competition. The older I get the more I’ve been forced to reckon with the fact that I actually need a lot of downtime, but I haven’t yet had much success with turning off the mental script that berates me for “wasting” my time. It’s sort of maddening.

    • Jenna July 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      I think it is a US thing. And “I’m busy” has almost lost meaning since we say it so frequently in response to just about everything. I hate that I can’t turn off that guilty feeling that I’m “wasting time” when I’m just relaxing or hanging out. It IS maddening.

  • Jane July 21, 2015 at 5:59 am

    I was thinking the same as Jen. It’s the same in NZ too, that being busy equates to being of value. Ugh. And with younger children it definitely seems very competitive to always having something going on.

    I like your daughter’s desire to nap on the sofa!

  • A reader July 23, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Thriving. What a good but rare feeling. For me, the feeling of thriving is always in retrospect. At least, I never think about if I’m thriving in that moment. I should stop and think about this sometime. But it’s good to know the environment in which we thrive, don’t you think? More often than not I struggle to even recognize that until I’m well onto the next phase of life where some old formulas no longer work. And so goes the trial. But regarding the chaos you described, it reminded me of Nietzsche’s quote: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I am not sure if everyone feels this chaos within the way you do. Perhaps your life is one long gestation for something truly magnificent.

    • Jenna July 23, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      That last line is such a lovely thought. Thank you for sharing that.

  • Karin July 25, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Thank you as always for your reflections, Jenna. ‘Hazy and green—the air kissed with humidity’. Beautiful description. I’ve been thinking lately about how summer is so much more visceral, more physically experienced when you’re a kid. I’ve been trying to really feel the moment and the season this year. Maybe it helps to have kids of your own.

  • Joy August 10, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Love love love these photos. Thanks for sharing!! xo

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