I would say “Happy August!”, but I’m not feeling entirely happy about it. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but to be honest, saying that phrase gives me more anxiety than anything. August 1st is an unwanted reminder that summer is two-thirds over — and I’m definitely not two-thirds of the way through my emotional love affair with it. There is never enough time to bask in the summer magic. Why do June, July and August always go by SO FAST?! 😣
As someone who has lived in the Northern U.S. for the entirety of my 32 years of life, summer has always been a magical time for me. Summer is the three-month window when everyone and everything comes to life; a glorious 90-day whirlwind of weekend getaways, beach time, outdoor parties, picnics, sunshine, and catching up with old friends.
In the summer, I feel happier and healthier, and the world around me is more vibrant and engaging. Every day brings more of that summer magic. There’s a feeling in the air when you’re grilling out with a group of friends as the sun goes down, or jumping over waves in the ocean — it’s pure, uncomplicated bliss. I have to admit that sometimes an average week of summer feels as though it brings me as much joy and excitement as 2-3 winter months combined.
Over the years, my passion for summer has led me to question whether or not I should relocate to a warmer location, like Los Angeles or Miami, so I could bask in the summer weather all year round. But every time I consider moving, I am forced to recognize that the main thing that makes summer so magical is also the thing I resent about it the most — it’s fleeting. Perhaps feeling like we need to pack every ounce of our summer energy into 12 short weeks is the very thing that makes every summer so amazing.
I have called New York City home for the past ten years, and let’s face it — New York City wouldn’t be New York City with a year-round summer vibe. This is a city of extremes, and the beauty this city has to offer often belongs to its fleeting moments; the intense highs and lows that New Yorkers both loathe and live for. So when summertime rolls around, we go all-in. We splurge with our time, money, and energy. We refocus on the things that make us happy. We give ourselves increased permission to live in the moment. We take the time to play, and even more importantly, we sometimes even allow ourselves to do nothing at all, other than basking in the sunshine and enjoying the summer magic around us.
The point is, it’s not summer itself that is so special; it’s our reaction to it. We live every beautiful summer evening and weekend to the fullest, making plans with the people and for the things we enjoy. We have to go all-in because summer will be over before we know it. It always is.
Incidentally, that’s also a reason to go all-in on life. Our time on this earth is limited, and the quality of the life you live is often determined by your ability to recognize and act on that fact. Maybe the real secret to living your best life lies in channeling that summer mentality year-round — becoming that version of yourself who doesn’t question whether or not you should spontaneously run full-speed ahead and jump into the pool with all of your clothes on. You just do it — because life is happening now.
I have every intention of going all-in on this last month of summer magic — but this time, I want to make an effort to carry a little bit more of my summertime spirit with me into the rest of the year. After all, my AOL screen name growing up was sumMer2586. Even at a young age, it seems that there was something about the “me” of summer that I wanted to take on as part of my identity. Sometimes our childhood self is wiser than we could ever imagine.