We’re just a few weeks away from Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer. Every summer I start out thinking we have so much time to fit in so many annual traditions and new experiences, so many rites of summer large and small.

But the truth is, it all goes by so quickly.

If you’re like me, summer starts out with so much promise. This is the year I want to declutter. I’m starting with my garage—and a yard sale. A successful yard sale definitely doesn’t happen without some advance preparation. Neither does a truly restful vacation, for that matter.

That’s why I say it’s important to plan even vacation time: set aside some days (if you get paid days off, take them!), schedule a family vacation, and allow some breathing room in the schedule. And then stop planning. Be spontaneous. Connect with each other in genuine ways.

My family has rented a cabin on a lake for a week every summer since I was 11. It wouldn’t be summer for me without that week to reconnect with nature and family. It’s the focal point of our summer, which also includes golf, the community pool and swim team, grilling, walks with the dog—the sort of everyday pleasures that make summer special.

Not every day is a vacation, of course. And so we take “mini breaks,” too—an hour at the park, an afternoon horseback riding, a dinner in the back yard. Be sure to schedule them into your calendar like a legitimate appointment. Because they are a legitimate appointment.

And if you’re in my area on May 14, pencil in my yard sale.

In Vibrance & Health,