Letting Go Creates the Perfect Summer Holidays

by Diane Sweeney on July 17, 2014

gi-letting-go-butterfly(1)According to the Law of Diane (which has reigned in our household for 25 years or so), summer holidays are supposed to be filled with family, friends, food – both cooking and eating, chatter, busy-ness, either hours of travel or days of guests.

It is not supposed to be a day for only two or interaction with complete strangers in the park. (well, that is allowed as long as family or friends are meeting these strangers with you).

It was a struggle.

I knew my husband Don needed a day to just BE. We had some major contracting work going on at our house all week. He wanted (and needed) to review what had been completed, reflect on it and prepare his expectation for the carpenters for the following week.

Thoughts of extended family time in NY or entertaining friends in our yard were floating through my mindand…

Had I asked to do either or anything else, he would gracefully gone along with the plans.


Give up the Selfish Control Stuff


It was time for me to be nice and not selfish and give the man a moment to call his own.

All the other moments of his life he sweetly gives to me.

So I did it. Truly. From my heart. But I wasn’t sure how I would react.


And what did I find ….. but that I had the most delightful, unpressured, relaxing and fulfilling 4th of July.



We woke at leisure,

Had our first cups of tea,

Headed into our wonderful little town’s “Good Neighbor Day” celebration.

We laughed and enjoyed all the young kiddies pedaling with all their might in the annual “Big Wheel Race”,  grabbed our favorite cup of coffee and slowly meandered through the vendors, stopping, touching, talking and enjoying the goods that local craftspeople made and sold.

Crossing the street to the food vendor and carnival side of the event we ran into people we knew, exchanged small talk and good wishes; and then chatted with complete strangers about the various food choices available to savor.

Don went to one food truck; I to another – each partaking in personal favorites. We lowered ourselves into uncomfortable folding chairs under the big white tent and listened to the fairly good band play old fashioned celebration songs like “In the Good Old Summertime” and the expected, and desired, patriotic tunes.

Smiling together at the people with the red, white and blue clothes, hats, glasses, socks and waving flags, we finished up our sandwiches, made room for the next group approaching the table and took the long way back to the car.


The Discovery


It was slow, it was nice.

We sat on our fairly clean patio  (and didn’t fuss about the non-clean parts) with our cold electric lemonades; a stack of newspapers and unread books – and read, chatted and enjoyed the incredible weather in our yard with no one else to prepare for and nowhere else we had to be.

My goodness… why didn’t someone tell me how nice this could be? I’ve been making myself crazy for years with the need to celebrate in a big way!

Several hours later together Don created a delicious meal of steak, clams, corn and potatoes on the new grill. (Obviously we still had the food part of the holiday!) We enjoyed it in the comfort of our wooded yard with our favorite Grenache/shiraz wine.

As Don grilled, I fed my beginning to emerge need to connect. A few Facebook postings and phone calls to family and friends to wish them a happy 4th satisfied that urge.

At dusk, we headed back into town and sat in our lawn chairs to watch the always reliable and rarely great fireworks show. We applauded the display and headed back home.

We returned just in time to watch the end of the Macy’s spectacular fireworks display, the entirety of Philadelphia’s fabulous fireworks, and called it a day.


The Ideal Holiday


The next day:

  • We traveled 3 hours on turnpikes and highways,
  • Saw many of our favorite people over the course of two days,
  • Ate and drank to excess,
  • Talked endlessly both days into the night, and
  • Watched a fabulous fireworks show from the comfort of my parent’s driveway. (With more wine, of course!)

It was a wonderful July 5th and 6th coupled with a newly discovered perfect 4th.


Sometimes Letting Go creates the best experiences of all.


Share some of your surprises when you’ve let go of expectation and tradition! We always love to hear your stories!


To your best,


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