Make Room for Lots of Downtime

Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity.

Robert M. Pirsig

So Summer is in full swing by now. Around here, our Summer routine is hardly a routine and the thoughts of the kids going to bed at a decent hour and getting up before ten, well, why? My people have absolutely no interest in doing anything sensible and nonsummery.

That’s totally fine with me, actually. I’m all about doing the summery things, too. The one time I tried to get my kids to bed before ten, they looked at me and asked why? Honestly, I cannot give them an answer without lying. There is no reason they have to because odds are we have absolutely nothing the next day so they can sleep as late as they want!

My seven year old daughter missed a play date today because she slept through it. It was at ten! Not many seven year olds miss a ten o’clock play date. Her “Sweet Dreams” sleep mask she got herself  is working wonders!

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So, when they finally do get up, our days consist a lot of everydayness or better yet a lot of nothingness. And we like it..a lot.

Yesterday, my older two decided to start training to be American Ninja Warriors. So they ran around the garage high-fiving each other. My husband says he blames Participation Trophies for their weak training regime.

I like this, though. Not their weak training program, but this summer. Because we are doing nothing. But not really. We ARE doing something.

We are Summering like a Boss!

Not only have we watched almost all the Avengers movies, have had about a hundred popsicles each already, and have learned all the names of our seven year old’s stuffed animals, but we are also mastering the art of active downtime.

Active downtime is unstructured time, thinking time, and breathing time. The art of active downtime is just that…an art. It is not always known, so sometimes it needs to be taught. Do we know ourselves how to do downtime?

Here’s something interesting: The CEO of a 250 million dollar company sets aside one full day, just to think. Warren Buffet estimates he has spent 80% of his career reading and thinking.

The CEO of a 250 Million dollar company has -Thinking Mondays-

Sounds like there is something to this downtime.

All of us know what passive downtime is…it is slowing down and watching a movie or scrolling through our phones. We are sitting and having information fed to us and we don’t necessarily have to think. I love doing this and think we all need to do this every now and then.

Active DowntimeBut, we have to make sure we allow ourselves, and certainly our kids, some active downtime. Make them put down their devices, turn off the television, and just stop and breathe and have some output rather than input all the time.

Remember that CEO of the multimillion dollar company? He didn’t spend his Thinking Mondays on Snapchat, I’m pretty sure of that!

Active downtime will consist of a lot of boredom but boredom is necessary. It can make us curious and can lead us to a lot of interesting books, projects, ideas, and overall learning.

-I think it's necessary to let kids get bored once in a while - that's how they learn to be creative.--Kim Raver

Y’all, boredom could possibly turn my kids into American Ninja Warriors! Great things are possible when you are bored.

So, knowing this y’all….let’s not make Summer harder than it really is. We don’t have to (and really shouldn’t) plan every second of our kids’ days. We’re doing them no good. Let’s let them be bored. Allow them room for some downtime both passive and active. They need it…don’t you? It’s a gift to be able to quietly know how to overcome boredom with the simple things of life like cooking, gardening, reading a book, or going for a walk and noticing the sunset. It’s a gift to have nothing planned and to be calm and excited at the same time wondering what can I do today? What can I read today? What can I create today? What can I notice today?

If you find you have some downtime, here are some very simple ideas to try to get down with downtime!

Summer like a boss and master the art of downtime! Or, train to be an American Ninja Warrior, too! Totally your choice.

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