How To Find Your Summer Groove

Finding your summer groove

Oh, summer. You start with such unbridled promise. The delight of showing off that first pedicure in new sandals, sunshine-filled trips to the garden center and quiet mornings before the kiddos wake up. You are bursting with potential and excitement—and then reality hits. What camps did I sign everyone up for? Have I talked to my mother-in-law about the trip to the lake for the Fourth? Why does the traveling baseball schedule keep changing and for the love of you know what can everyone get to bed before 9:00, just one time? As I stared down our color coded, bursting-at-the-seams calendar a few weeks ago, I made a promise—for myself (and my sanity) and for my family—in the midst of all this summer chaos, I am going to get my groove on.

family riding in a white jeep wrangler

Tank | Jeans | Sandals

What does that mean? For me, it starts with my Jeep. A few years ago, I found myself in need of a new car. To be honest, I drive like a little old lady—I’m not flashy or into speed and most of my routes keep me close to home. But with three growing kiddos and more time spent on the road to and from activities, additional leg room for all was becoming increasingly necessary. On a whim, I test-drove a Jeep Wrangler. I was immediately transported back to my sixteen-year-old self—carefree, smiling and giddy to get behind the wheel. I was sold. Everyone thought I was nuts, but I didn’t care if it was comfortable, practical or economical; I just knew that I loved it. And if I could add some fun to part of my day that otherwise felt routine, I definitely wanted to do it.

Three years later, ordinary moments in my unconventional ride are helping me get my groove on all through summer. I promised myself to drive with the top down at every opportunity: from work to carpool and date nights, the grocery store and ice cream runs. There is so much simple joy in listening to music and feeling the sun on my shoulders while gripping the steering wheel, and I want to replicate that feeling over and over again during these crazy, chaotic summer months. Those little wins make all the difference in a big day. Bring on the crazy windblown hair!

White shirt and jean shorts listening to podcast

Shirt | Shorts

But what about the rainy days when I can’t put the top down? I’m going to let you in on a little secret—I’m letting myself off the hook and trading in my ever-growing reading list for podcasts. I’ve been an avid reader since elementary school, but time for personal reading is so often trumped by bedtime stories, what I call “life” emails (how many exchanges does it take to coordinate a play date? a lot, it turns out) and binge-watching Netflix. I used to be embarrassed about not having time to read, but not anymore. I still want to be motivated and moved by other’s conversations, thoughts and lessons, but right now listening gives me the opportunity to dive into another world when I’m running, gardening (weeding—but doesn’t gardening sound more fun?) or scooting off to softball practice pick-up. I am giving myself the grace to find inspiration unconventionally, and the richness it is bringing to my daily life has manifested itself at home, at work and most importantly, in quiet moments of self-reflection. As for books, I’m saving them for vacation—the perfect poolside companion.

Slowly, slowly I’m finding my summer groove through these small moments of joy in my Jeep or plugged into a podcast. Finding that groove for me has come both through shifting my perspective to see the joy in the carpool commute (really) and consciously making time for myself and the things I enjoy. Some moments I share and others are just for me, but each is helping me chase my sun—letting go of what’s expected and doing what fills me up—all summer long.

details of white button down

What ordinary moments or rituals help you get in your groove? Do you have any unconventional passions? 

Blog Comments

My wireless earbuds have taken me to a new level.

I love your take on reading and podcasts! I too have turned to podcasts. Would you be willing to share your favorites?

Hi Jess! I know that two of my favorites are How I Built This with Guy Raz and Up and Vanished. If you are a true crime lover then Up and Vanished is for you. I am so curious about how businesses are born and built and that is why I love How I Built This.

Jess like Julia I am a huge How I Built This fan. Two others that I have been loving lately are Work Life with Adam Grant (an insightful and thought provoking podcast about how to companies and people are making work a better place to be, but it’s full of practical life applications too) and 30 for 30 (the podcast version of the popular and often moving sports documentary ESPN show – check out the Bikram Yoga series).

Hi Jess! Lately I’ve been tuning into Up First from NPR (10 minutes of the daily news you need to know—I listen to it while getting ready in the morning), the goop podcast (interesting conversations with “leading thinkers and culture changers”—I just listened to the episode with Audrey Gelman, founder of The Wing) and The Influencer Podcast, which keeps me up to date on the ever-evolving world of influencer marketing— helpful for my role at work!

Podcasts are game-changers for busy moms! I find that they also take the sting out of traffic-filled commutes or taking kids to sporting events all over town. I’m loving Ologies right now – and my kids get something out of it too – ya know, volcanology, epidemiology, etc. Also, Oprah’s for some soul feels and Forever35 for fun beauty product and self-care talk.

YES! Podcasts definitely make commutes less painful. I’ll have to check out Forever35! I used to love Fat Mascara—inside access to the beauty world from two beauty editors. They have the best tips for what you need and what you don’t, and I love their interviews with industry insiders. I loved the interviews with Jo Malone and Charlotte Tilbury.

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