I make deals with myself, it’s how I get through summer and prevent myself from feeling overwhelmed. We take it one deal at a time, one day at a time.

I say, “If you can make ten rings, weed the entire garden and deal with the bills in the mail pile by Tuesday, you can go to Bozeman, ride your bicycle and have a hoot with your girlfriends for four days.”

I say, “If you can clean out the chicken coop, mow the entire lawn and clean all the floors in the house by tomorrow night, you can begin the next day with the ten mile mesa run you love.”

I say, “If you can get that batch of images edited and submitted along with invoices, sit still enough to return Becca’s phone call and stay patient and kind while talking with the WIFI people as you try to convince them that they just need to send out a technician to deal with the problem, you can go to McCall for a few days of quiet and cool.”

My little deals with myself keep me present in the moment, in the day I am living — they keep me illuminated and buoyant, they prevent deflation and exhaustion.  I try to be realistic about what I can achieve so I don’t get frustrated by time limitations or when there are life glitches or last minute schedule changes (which are the very soul of the fire season…last minute EVERYTHING…we’re an entire tribe on call in one way or another for six months).  My little deals give me something to look forward to, a bit of dessert, a reward for hard work.  They help me shed my stress because I grow focused enough on the tasks at hand that I suffer a delightful sort of tunnel vision.

Keep it simple.  Keep it necessary.  Make a deal.  Get it done.  Receive the reward.

Summer in a nutshell!


  1. i hear ya on deals. i make them, too.

    BANGS!! so good……


  2. J, I’ve been fist-fighting with my life lately, this is exactly what I needed to read. You rock, woman! XOXO

  3. OH! I love love love this!! I’m ready to make some summer deals with myself! Thanks for inspiration, always! xx

  4. I love this so much, friend. Weed that garden and come visit me in AK!

  5. Such a fine way to put words to the give and take of Summertime!

  6. Kris in WA St. says:

    I don’t comment much…but
    I do ever so much ~ENJOY~ your words, photos, and spirit!!
    I’m so blessed to have found you…a long while ago! ;o))
    Much Love,
    Kris in WA St.

  7. I needed this! I am making more deals with myself… and maybe get the 4 kids in on it! In the past my deal has been ” get EVERYTHING done and then you can play…” but there is always something. Not any more. This has inspired me to work hard, AND to play. Also my sister lives in Bozeman and it has a place in my heart. My parents lived in Ennis for 15 years. I love Montana. It has my geographical heart. I am to visit in September. Thank you again for this post. It is a gift.

  8. nathalie says:

    I love this post…the deals with oneself what a great way to get things done. I am (or was????) a girl that makes To Do List and cross items as I do things, but I forgot about the reward….I just had the pleasure of having things done…now I will add a reward to those list……
    I love your bangs, you look great what ever you do and yes…they will grow….thank you for this post and have a lovely Summer.

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