As I write this, I’m sitting at my desk with the windows flung open, reveling in the gorgeous morning outside my door. The mild weather and the hordes of returning college students down the road are reminders that summer is coming to an end. I can’t say I’m sad about the passing of summer (I’m talkin’ to you, Heat and Humidity), but I have looked back over the past few months to see if there are any lessons to be learned.
Here are a few thoughts on the season:
- Keep on keeping on. Heard the old saying, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade”? This was a summer of ups and downs with a lot of good mixed with some bad. Sometimes those lemons in life are simply not worthy of sugaring up into lemonade. Sometimes they just suck. At those times, I put my head down and get through it. Things will be better on the other side.
- Enjoy where you are and who you are with. The summer was filled with visits from our children and other family members, as well as friends and neighbors. Sometimes it’s too easy to get wrapped up in the daily stuff and miss the joy of being with the people who mean the most.
- Beware of self-promoted perfection. This nugget comes from our experience with house painters. After painting my fair share of walls over the years, we hired someone to paint both the inside and outside of our home. We tried to do the right thing: checked Angie’s List, read reviews, interviewed more than one painter for the job. In the end, we decided on a company in the middle pricewise. But I was troubled from the get-go by the owner’s superlatives about his work ethic. His customers love his painting, he won’t leave until everything is “perfect” because he is always striving for perfection. As time passed, we also heard about financial schemes that would have made him rich several times over, but, doggone it, circumstances were always against him. Two months later, he is coming back to take care of items that fell short of perfection the first time. I’m afraid we hired the Cat in the Hat for our paint job – the whole place exploded and now we’re waiting for him to put the house back together. The lesson? Watch out for people who self-promote in the superlative and trust my intuition. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Be kind. Sounds simple, but when things are going south, I find it hard to suffer fools gladly. I need to remind myself that I know nothing about what other people are going through, just as they know nothing about me. Giving someone a smile or a kind word not only makes them feel better, but it makes me a better person.
- Take time to read. Absolutely, this is important. I mentioned bibliotherapy in an earlier post and I have been practicing it all summer. Escaping into another world – even if it’s in the pages of a book – is a fantastic way to raise my spirits. And, finally,
- Believe in yourself. For me, this dovetails into my writing. I can do this. I believe.
What about you? Do you have any thoughts about the end of summer? Are you happy it’s coming to an end or do you wish it was longer? I’d love to know.