Monday, August 11, 2014

In Which I Try to Come To Terms With Summer Expectations

It's that time of year again.
The time of year when annoying back to school ads take over-all the while reminding you that it has been a decade since you needed to purchase back to school supplies. Nights get darker and chillier and you begin to recall with disgust what it feels like to get out of work when it's already dark out. Yet your cheap flip flops are worn out and breaking, leaving you limping in one shoe down a dirty city street. And you actually feel like you just can't eat anymore Mister Softie.
Yes, the end of summer is coming. 
My favorite dive bar has already taken the summer beers off tap.
And as we face the mortality of our summer selves, there is a sense of panic and regret that you haven't lived these hot, sunny days to their fullest. Back in June, when the summer seemed endless and pregnant with possibilities, talk was cheap. But now, those summer bucket lists sit with far too few things checked off. And, if you are anything like the over-thinking and over-dramatic me, you begin to realize this all could be foreshadowing your youth and life in general, and how you may never accomplish anything on your life's bucket list. And then you panic. Then pour yourself a gin and tonic to try to cope. Then realize that maybe if you had spent less time sipping gin and tonics on your porch this summer, you could have gone out and done those things you wanted to do.....and oh god.....
This summer I ran in a 5K, went to the beach, had BBQs, lounged by the pool, got a sunburn, ate seafood in salty air, went to a carnival and ate fried dough, went to concerts, saw fireworks, ate strawberry everything and giant slices of watermelon, toasted s'mores over a fire, watched Sharknado 2.... I mean, really what more could you ask for our of your summer? 
And yet, as happens every summer, I keep feeling that there is so much more I wanted to do. I wanted to have a water gun fight, I wanted to go on a boat so I could hashtag #ImOnaBoat, I wanted to make all those crafts I pinned while enjoying boozey popsicles with fresh fruit in them, I wanted to go on a road trip in a convertible and discover places......
The problem is, summer, like the holiday season, often goes from being what should be a wonderful time to actually being stressful and frustrating because I enter both with these totally unrealistic expectations. And of course, as the turkey burns and the tree falls, and the expectations can't be met, I end up disappointed and cranky.
So my summer (yet again) did not find me doing everything on my bucket list or, say---making out in a waterfall
From the movie "A Walk on The Moon" about the life changing summer of '69
I didn't learn to surf, I went on no epic adventures, and there were no exciting shark sightings the two times I managed to get to the beach-though I did get and wear this amazing bathing suit:
But maybe that is ok. Maybe summer is just about those simple pleasures. Setting goals and having grand expectations is fine, but I'm thinking it's important to remember to just be happy with all the wonderful and simple things I did do. It's summertime after all. The living should be easy.
With that said though, before giving up and putting on a cozy sweatshirt to head inside to hibernate with Netflix, know summer is not over. There are a few weeks to squeeze every drop of juice out of those lemons of summer and make some lemonade. With vodka in it. Drink it all up.

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