Summer is here!
“May gray” and “June gloom” are gone. We have just celebrated the 4th of July! So now what?
Summer just does not have the same meaning as an adult. The days are not as carefree. We don’t get to roam the streets looking for someone to play with or sleep as long as we want. Summer no longer guarantees time off or a vacation. What happened?
As a child there were no expectations placed on us during summer and we got a break from school. If you went to college summer still had meaning – it usually came by the end of May. And, if you worked while in college, half of your daily load was gone! Working hours would increase, but the hours of homework would magically disappear! Aaahhhh!!!
Summer would pass by in our late teens and early twenties as if it barely existed. Hours spent working left little time for the usual sunbathing and swimming rituals. The subtle changes in skin and hair color was proof we had scarcely been kissed by the sun. The real proof of summer was that there was money to pay for tuition and books. Yes, summer had changed.
As adults we begrudgingly accept this new definition of summer. We are adults with constraints, responsibilities and sometimes the summertime blues. We no longer gallivant the streets on our bikes looking for something to do.
Now, we jump in the car with a specific destination in mind and we have the pressure of being there on time. If there is traffic or a detour we are easily annoyed over the inconvenience. Most of us don’t drive around spontaneously thinking ‘Wow! What a great detour. I am so glad I saw that view.’ We are conditioned to focus on the destination vs. the journey.
The priority of an adult is work. Eventually, the family and home become the primary focus of our attention. Sometimes, we forget the need to take a break and appreciate life. The idea of going to the beach because it is Tuesday — or going to an afternoon Angel game on a Thursday remains only an idea. There are too many obligations and not enough time. Can you relate?
School Is Out For Summer
If you have young or school age children and are the primary care taker you might just get to re-live a bit a summer. You no longer help with homework and/or prod your kids to get up in the morning. Now, your days become filled with activities and day trips to keep your kids (and maybe a few extra) busy. Creating good times and plenty of memories. However, you are the leader, planner, organizer, transporter and playmate! Fun? Yes. Exhausting? Usually.
When you do take time out to participate/play in summer as an adult, even if it is with your kids, there is still the “list” that lurks in your mind. What didn’t get done? What did I forget? What about work? The stress of those thoughts can blossom like weeds, slowly spreading over your good time. You know what I am talking about it.
CURE THE SUMMERTIME BLUES
Here are some tips to help with creating a more meaning summer:
- Permission – Give yourself permission to enjoy your life! It can help quiet the lists and thoughts that keep you from doing the activity in the first place. When the thoughts creep in… remind yourself you have permission! It is okay to let the laundry wait!
- Play – Understand what play means to you. Golf? Tennis? Reading? Friends? What gives you the freedom to relax and enjoy? Take a day, a night, a weekend.
- Party – As in have one or go to one! Throw a party…large or small, it doesn’t matter. Gather with friends and enjoy their company. Break up your normal routine.
- People – Surround yourself with people you care about and who are fun to be around.
- Plenty of Sunscreen – Get outside! Morning and late afternoon is a great time to be outside. Walk. Ride a bike. Garden. Sit outside in the evening when it is warm. BE part of summer.
- Pool – If you grew up in Southern California, summer always included a pool somewhere, somehow, sometime. And it was GREAT!!! Get in a pool! Swim, float, read or play marco polo. Just remember: “Don’t pee in the pool!!!”
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