Remember the days when we had MONTHS ahead of us with complete freedom? Maybe there were part-time jobs or scheduled babysitting hours in the mix, but for the most part…we were free. We made it. School was over, and summer had arrived.

Yeeeaaah…so, fast forward to NOW, where the summer seems to intertwine with the rest of the year…only the weather gets hotter. Work, with the exception of a few extended weekends, aggressively take the place of those beloved days of freedom from our past. I remember it being a bit of a harsh reality when I first stepped into the “real world,” realizing that I had to accept working all the time from then on. I was growing up, and learning responsibility. Wasn’t necessarily a fan of this little switcheroo, but when I received that first pay check….oh my goodness gracious….that feeling was nothing short of sensational. I was “newlie” free in a completely different way. Suddenly, I was entirely responsible for maintaining that financial freedom. Somehow, that ownership and responsibility was better than any other perception I previously held for the word “freedom.”

HAPPY 30th, SEAN!!!

Now that I’m more rapidly approaching 30 (and SEAN just turned 30 YESTERDAY!!! Check out that stud off to the right), the moments of freedom are still everywhere. It’s just that I have to remind myself that, despite all the requirements of: having a home with Sean, errands, bills, wedding planning, LIFE planning, work planning – the most important thing to do for my current “newlie” sense of freedom is to carefully balance the most pure and happy things in my life: family, friends, time with Sean, and “Katherine Time” as I always have called it (just time to myself…like right now in a coffee shop). So what’s my recommendation on summer efforts to keep the balance of freedom!?

Days off. You got ’em? USE THEM. Keep your sanity by splurging with those necessary extra days to make the weekend longer, more blissful, and a little more roomie for the potential of a road trip. Newlie examples: True Life: I have the Day Off (PART I), and PART II

Projects. The simplicity of working on a project for dinner, your home, your room, your friend’s birthday gift…whatever the reason, it’s incredibly refreshing. It takes your mind away from the mindless reality T.V., that I too get sucked into, and into a “newlie” made creation of your own. Newlie examples: Projects by Newlie, and What’s Cookin Good Lookin?!

Move itGet outside and move it! Seriously. Summer is THE time to do exercise. Too hot? Join a gym, dance along to your Xbox, or go for an evening walk after dinner. Just take advantage of the summer’s extended sunlight while we have it. You don’t need my silly blog to tell you that, but I sometimes do…even just to hold myself accountable for keeping up with it. Regardless of what inspires you to move your rear…just do it. It’s the best sense of freedom that you can give your body. Newlie examples: Workouts with Newlie

Giggles. Friends and family time IS the summer in my opinion. Laugh, eat, drink and be insanely merry when the sunshine is at its happiest. More recently, I feel like I’ve been catching up with friends at a much better pace than over the first half of this year. I love to stay in touch with them, to laugh until I have tears in my eyes, to learn what everyone’s been up to, to cheer them on when they’re trying something new and productive, to hug them (did you know that humans “need” around 8 hugs a day!?), you get it. I just need a good giggle. We all do.

And with that, I’ll leave with you with my most recent giggle session from yesterday:

Martini’s in Chestertown (on Maryland’s Eastern Shore) with two of my favorite girls: Kaitlin and Kendall.

Happy Freedom.

Thoughts? Please comment!

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