How To Have A Great Summer

– Ryan James Ross

I love sitting at tables with people I admire and just asking them about living a good life. I really love getting to do this with good food too. So…
Partner Margie and Ken Blanchard up with some breakfast soufflé and parfaits, and we get one awesome morning!

Many of the best Blanchard family stories and memories (and books) have come from summer adventures. So before they took off on their next trip, we asked them “what is the key to a great summer that is remembered forever?” And here’s what they shared…

Invest in creating experiences.

More important than buying stuff, or even just getting stuck in an summer rut, use your energy and resources to give your kids and friends a memorable experience. Experiences are the source of life’s stories and lasting memories, not stuff. Go try to build a raft that may or may not float. Get out there and gather up the people to ride bikes, go on a hike, take a road trip, or eat a burrito on a lifeguard tower at sunset. It takes energy, but it’s worth it. 

Create rituals.

Margie and Ken weren’t suggesting religious tradition here, but they were challenging all of us to create some unique things you do with your kids and friends that you can repeat monthly or annually. Make a unique food around a campfire. Go see fireworks from a boat. Walk to the store and back in crazy hats. Do that “burrito in a lifeguard tower” thing above… but do it a few times! When we have unique and creative rituals/traditions that we repeat a few times, those often become the best times. These rituals become the best moments with friends too. I’ve heard it said that even if you do a unique family ritual just three times with your kids, they’ll remember that “we did it all the time” when they’re adults! It takes effort to create a cool ritual, but it’s worth everything you put into it.

One cool ritual that the Blanchards have created is a “Breakfast with the Ancestors”. Every summer they get the whole family together and throw a potluck party in a cemetery. [Yes, we reacted to that too!] Weird as that sounds, they gather together and share stories of their ancestors and all the people that have shaped the family. They even share about the pets that they loved and lost, and all the fun stories about them. The first time they did this, not everyone thought it was a good idea… but now, years later, everyone loves and looks forward to this very unique Blanchard ritual.

Ask this question regularly: “What makes our family unique?”

When you’re together at a meal or one of these experiences you create, ask yourselves what makes your family (or your group of friends) unique… special… different. This question brings out appreciation and builds up identity. You may even come up with some cool family values and traits that you could creatively put up in your living room to further build the unique identity of your tribe.

So, here is our hope for you this summer…
Go invest your time and energy in creating unique experiences with your loved ones. Make up a new ritual that you can repeat — it will become a life long memory. Always ask what is special about your family and friends… it will form the beauty and appreciation of your little tribe of goodness.

May your summer be full of life, love, and enjoying the people that God has placed around you!

And if you want some ideas for great experiences, check out the Uncommon summer haps…






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