I hate summer. There, I said it! I can’t believe I’m publicly admitting this but it’s true!
Summer is my least favorite season. “Blasphemy!” you might say. Most people I know adore the summer. It means freedom, family vacations and pool time. It means flexible schedules, fruity drinks and family barbecues.
But to me, summer spells H-O-T. And I can’t stand being hot! I was born in New York and grew up in Connecticut. I’ve got bona fide Yankee blood in my veins. When I was a kid, a week of temps in the 80's was a serious heat wave. And yet, I’ve lived the majority of my adult life in the South – Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina (3 different times!), Florida and now Texas.
You’d think I’d be used to summer by now. Maybe even grown to like it a little bit. Sadly, that’s not true. It’s still my least favorite season (Fall is my favorite and winter/spring tie for second depending on where I’m living!)
So how do I deal with it?
I’ve changed my relationship to it.
So take a minute and think about something or someone that you are frustrated with or is driving you a little bit crazy. (Let’s not use “hate” because that’s probably too strong of a word!) What if you could change your relationship with it or them?
- Your business. (Are there stuck parts? Things you’ve been ignoring?)
- Your body. (Feeling tired, heavy, uninspired?)
- Your mother-in-law. (Lucky for me, that’s not an issue… but I know for a lot of folks, it is!)
- A friend. (You wish you could spend more time together but you are both so busy.)
- Your child. (Terrible twos or the dreaded teenage years, anyone?)
- Where you live. (In need of some organization, fresh decorating updates?)
I learned a long time ago the concept of “what you resist persists”. In other words, if you keep focusing negative attention on something and focusing on how much you dislike it, it will continue to be part of your experience and make you miserable. However, if you learn to be at peace and accept your current reality, you can have a different experience of it.
So how can you change your relationship with ____________ and create a new reality for yourself?
1. Stop trying to change it. Don’t expect it to be any different than it is. (When I first moved to Florida, I used to watch the weather, willing the temps to go down into the 70's and 80's, like the summers of my youth. And then I’d get upset or disappointed when it was still in the 90's!)
2. Identify healthy boundaries regarding it. Know what is and what isn’t acceptable. And stick to it. (I get overheated very easily and I used to hike, bike, swim and play tennis outdoors in the heat of the summer with friends but then I’d pay for it the rest of the day with fatigue akin to heat stroke. Now, I just politely say “no thanks” and find other activities to engage in instead.)
3. Seek out ways that you CAN embrace it. If Plan A doesn’t work, try Plan B. (A day at the pool in muggy, stifling Houston is not so much fun. But a day at the beach in Galveston where the breeze is blowing and it is 5 degrees cooler? Let’s go!)
For me, I don’t hate summer any more. I don’t dread it and I don’t badmouth it (OK, well, a little… but I’m a lot better than I used to be…) And as a result, summer is just part of life now. I still look forward to fall but I’m not trying to rush through the summer anymore.
How about you? What are you ready to change your relationship with? Tell me! I’d love to hear about it!
Here's to summer (like it or not)!