What I learned about myself while my girls were at sleepaway camp

My girls went away to sleepaway camp this summer for four weeks. At times it seemed like a lifetime—I hit the “refresh” button on the camp website searching for pictures of them way too many times each day and (more often than I care to admit). At other times, I couldn’t believe that time had passed so quickly. But, now they are officially back at home and over the four weeks that they were gone I realized that I learned a lot about myself.

3 THINGS I LEARNED THIS SUMMER WHILE MY KIDS WERE AT SLEEPAWAY CAMP

Rachel and Company - Sleepaway Camp - www.rachel-company.com

First, I had a laundry list of to-dos that I wrote down and wanted to get accomplished while they were gone. I mean, I NEVER have had this amount of time without my girls so how could I not accomplish all that was on the list? Well...shocker to you all, I am sure, but I didn’t accomplish everything on the list. When given the choice with my free time to play tennis with my husband, take a bike ride, meditate or anything else versus my to-dos, I always choose the other activity. And you know what? At first I felt guilty because it meant that my to-dos wouldn’t get accomplished but then I realized that I needed to take the time to myself. I needed the self care and not the next to-do because the to-dos will always be there. My normal go to is to do, to keep going, to accomplish the to-do but not these past four weeks. I chose to skip the to-dos on my list and made self care the priority. I even felt with the self care, I turned into a better entrepreneur as I was able to be a better me while working.

Rachel and Company - Sleepaway Camp - www.rachel-company.com

Second, I learned that even though I am a professional organizer, it doesn’t mean that I want to organize my entire house all summer long. Yes, of course on my list was to organize several areas of my home, and I did end up organizing several areas. But when I got to my basement, and the sentimental items that I had to re-box, organize and go through...that’s where I ran out of my organizing mojo. I didn’t want to it. And you know why? Sentimental stuff is HARD to organize. I totally empathize with all of you who we have helped do this. It is hard to go through old things by yourself, which involved deciding what to discard or keep, and then how to store everything that you do end up keeping (oh, and more on this another time but after vacation we came home to a completely flooded basement so I was GRATEFUL to have organized these items before we left!). To get through the organization (and try to enjoy the process), I put on music, enlisted my husband to at least be in the room with me, and gave myself time limits. It all worked and I am glad I did it because now it is all organized (and my girls will not be left with the clutter one day) but boy, it wasn’t 100% fun, like other areas of my house, even for this professional organizer.

Rachel and Company - Sleepaway Camp - www.rachel-company.com

Finally, I didn’t think I would be able to do it (I am Type A!) or like it, but it was nice to break out of my normal routine. Yes, it is summer and I wasn’t operating on a typical school schedule with the girls but it went beyond that. I typically thrive with routine and schedules and enjoy it but these past few weeks, I experimented and went “crazy” without my typical routine. I was able to sleep in a bit more (yeah 7:00 am!), work until later if I wanted, attend mid-day and evening meetings and more, and let me tell you...it was truly glorious. I mean, I am no rebel but it such a nice break. And now that the girls are back, we had a weeks’ vacation, I am actually ready and craving the routine at points...because hey, I can’t stay away from a routine for too long without breaking into hives! :)

Rachel and Company - Sleepaway Camp - www.rachel-company.com

Tell me: Do you kids go to sleepaway camp? If so, how do you spend your time? And if not, how to do you approach the summer? Do you like the summer, more relaxed, non-scheduled time or are you ready for the kids to be back in school?