7 ways you get time to savor during summer in Chicago

As we enter the last full week of June, I’m already starting to feel like summer’s almost over. True, the official start of the summer season was just days ago, but I know that summer itself goes by in an instant. Blink your eyes in early July and before you know it school’s back in session and people start putting pumpkins out.

I have to remind myself to enjoy every last minute of summer. Fortunately, I find that I get so much of my lost time back during the summer – I gain extra minutes that I need to remind myself to savor. Here are some of the minutes I get back from each previous winter.


Mealtime clean up. We often have lunch or dinner in our backyard, and aside from having it be a fun, pleasant way for us to eat together, there’s also less clean up time involved after we finish. That’s five minutes per meal that won’t be spent sweeping or mopping. Score!


Leaving the house without putting on coats and winter gear. Five minutes per excursion at least.


Laundry. Summer clothes are smaller, and so the laundry seems to build up slower. Plus, thanks to sandals, there are way less socks to wash, sort and match. I’m going to give myself an extra twenty minutes per week for this one.


Driving in summer weather. Every winter, I feel like I lose at least six hours to driving in bad, snowy weather. Sure, in the summer there’s some construction, but it’s nothing like trying to navigate my car in a snowstorm. Let’s say five and a half hours for the whole season.


Dropping off and picking up kids. In the summer, since there’s no preschool, I’m wasting way less time waiting around for my kids to finish or start various programs. That’s about forty minutes per week that I’m not sitting outside some class on a bench.


Finding and planning fun activities. It’s just quicker in the summer because the options are easier. Park. Pool. Bikes. I spend so much time in the colder months searching online for library story times or other nearby activities. In the summer, I get a lot of that planning time back. Half hour per week, conservatively.


Easier holidays. So, in the summer, we have Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. BBQ, BBQ, BBQ. They are the best holidays because they are the easiest to celebrate. You grill some food and sit outside in shorts. That’s it! Then there’s the winter holidays- Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah, New Years. Talk about major time sucks! Cooking takes forever. Decorating takes forever. Cleaning the house to have people over takes forever. Shopping for gifts, forget about it. Valentine’s Day requires a lot of planning, gift buying, possibly cooking or baking, too. They’re simply the worst. There’s none of that in the summertime. That’s about four full days of not dealing with that stuff!

Each summer, I’m just rolling in extra time: full minutes, hours, and days that I’m not losing to wintertime activities. And so, what is a person to do with this influx of extra time? Mow the lawn, of course. Apply sunscreen. And spray for ants and mosquitoes. Enjoy the rest of summer, every last wonderful minute of it!

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