Today is my first official day of summer! When I'm not working on Zuri, I'm a special education teacher at a private school in the northern suburbs of Chicago. And yesterday was...our LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! Cue the streamers and bring on the summer!
Every year, it seems like summer flies by faster and faster, and I can't seem to find a way to make that stop! Summer in Chicago is an especially big deal. If you have been here in the summer, then you know just how magical it is. Every winter I tell myself, "I'm moving to Florida." Then every summer, like clockwork, I say, "I love this city! The winter wasn't that bad." So for us living in Chicago, it can feel like pressure to do all the things because we know, before we know it, we'll be trading in our Birks for our boots.
This summer, rather than worry about doing all the things, I want to be intentional with my time so that when it's time to go back to school, my soul feels full and refreshed. So - I've whittled my summer bucket list down to 5 things. They seem to fall into categories - so feel free to adapt and use for what makes sense for you!
1. Cheer Up My Apartment
I recently moved into a new apartment, and in my new apartment, I have this adorable little sunroom off of my living room. Currently, I have *zero* things in this room. It's sad. The weather here is gorgeous and I have visions of myself reading a book or typing away while the summer air breezes through the screen. So! My mission is to visit the local Logan Square Farmer's Market or a Home Depot, and find a few easy-to-care-for plants and flowers to cozy up this adorable little sunroom of mine.
2. Take a Trip
This one is easy because I've had this flight booked for some time now. I'm leaving next week for Uganda and Tanzania! That's right! I'll be reconnecting with Zuri's brilliant artisan partners, finishing up our fall collection, and showing my sister around my favorite place to travel. Follow along on Instagram - I'll be keeping you updated on our stories! Even if you don't have time or the budget for a "big" trip, getting away from the city (or heading into the city if you're from the burbs) for a day or two can be just as rejuvenating!
3. Be Outside
Of course, one of the best parts of summer is enjoying the sunshine! It's the season for street fairs, movies in the park, rooftop views, cubs games, days spent at the beach, farmer's markets and patio brunches. For me, I've learned that what fuels my soul is just the act of being outside. Taking a walk down by the lake, going for a jog, or sitting on the deck with friends are the simple things that bring me joy. What do you look forward to most about being outside in the summer?
4. Read a Book
I don't know about you, but I don't think I've read a book for pleasure since last summer when I read, Big Little Lies (which I thoroughly enjoyed!). I'm looking forward to finding another fun and easy read - maybe to read in my sunroom or at the park by my house - and just disconnect. Since starting Zuri, I've noticed how often I'm staring at my computer and phone, and sometimes we just need to unplug and get lost in a good story. If you've read anything good lately - I'd love your suggestions!
5. Connect with Women
Of all the things I hope to do this summer, I'm as excited about this as anything. A friend of mine and I are going to start something called a Be The Bridge community group. Some of you may have heard of Latosha Morrison's organization, Be The Bridge, but if you haven't, click the link to learn more. The mission of Be The Bridge is to equip people to have a transformative response to racial disunity. We will gather as a diverse group of women around a table and move through a curriculum to help us share vulnerably and learn from each other. As someone who has a heart for injustice and lives in a city in need of unity, I look forward to seeing how my heart will be challenged and changed as a result of our conversations.
Now...I'm off to my first official summer activity...a weekday brunch! Wishing everyone a restful and restorative summer!