In grade school, at the beginning of the school year, students are often asked to write about their summer vacation. However, as the sun begins to set on the season, I am contemplating how to live like its summer all year long.
After all, some of the most important lessons in life are learned in the summer, away from the routine and rigor that may be necessary, but is nothing like a day at the beach.
Here are my top five ways to live like its summer – no writing required:
Be a tourist: You don’t have to wear a camera around your neck to capture the best of life. You just need the perspective of a curious tourist excited to learn, explore, discover, and indulge. Be open to new experiences, people, points of view, and cultures. There’s a whole world out there, so be willing to get outside of yours and pursue new opportunities, meet new people, and share new adventures.
Do your summer reading: During summer, books are a luxury, not a requirement. On my nightstand, are several books meant to make me better, holier, and more whole. They were half-read, half-heartedly. But on the top of the pile, still in its brown paper bag from the bookstore, was a fiction book that once unwrapped took me outside of myself, into someone else’s world. Sometimes, what we need isn’t self-examination, but escape. Having goals for improvement is admirable, but so is broadening perspectives, and rediscovering hope in happy endings.
Experience JOMO (Joy of Missing Out): It’s the opposite of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). How fun is that? JOMO means you don’t have to attend everything. Instead of feeling guilty, you feel JOY! How can you not love this? Stay in your pajamas. Stay home. Stay away from the hype of what’s new, what’s next, and what’s going on this weekend. In the summer, the best moments aren’t the ones we are racing to keep up with, but the ones that renew us like the respite of shade from the glare of the sun.
Ice cream drips: I love a butterscotch dipped ice cream cone from Dairy Queen. But I don’t love that it sometimes melts faster than I can eat it causing sticky goo to drip down my hand, onto my leg, and all over the seat belt. But that’s life. As sweet as it is, it’s often messy. Sweet and sticky go together, and remembering that (and a napkin) helps us to enjoy the best of life despite our circumstances.
Go fishing: Okay, I don’t really fish, but I do go on the boat in the evening sometimes and read magazines and sip wine while my husband fishes. I like the idea of fishing because its result can feed us. The beauty of summer is that it allows us to rest and make sure that our lives feed us, too. And if it isn’t, we can always reel it in and cast in a new direction.
Life is never going to be postcard-perfect, but it is a beautiful gift that can be enjoyed regardless of the season. The simplicity of summer illuminates what matters most and often that has nothing to do with our jobs, to-do lists, or our most well-intentioned goals. Always, it is the people in our lives, the space we make for them, and the memories we make, that linger long after the sun sets and the tides recede.
What would you add to this list? What is your favorite part of summer that you want to keep going?