Adulting in the Summer

It’s a bummer that I don’t have three glorious summer months to sleep late, watch television, play in the water, ride bikes around the neighborhood with my friends and run barefoot all day every day.

When we lived in town, I ironed my dad’s shirts to earn money to go swimming at the local pool. To this day, whenever I hear “Band on the Run” and “Benny and the Jets”, I am transported back to that magical time when the jukebox played whatever songs you wanted to hear as you lazed around the edge of the pool. I can smell the Coppertone suntan lotion and I can taste the pickle juice. I remember how much courage it took to jump off the high diving board. Oh, the thrill of it all!

When we lived on the farm, there was work that involved a hoe and a cotton field. I was definitely taught the value of hard work and that if I wanted something, I needed to work for it.

Summertime has a different connotation when you become an adult. It’s all about the hard work because there are bills to pay, or rather, a lifestyle to maintain. You’ve probably already read about the lifestyle changes we have made in our family over the past six years. We’ve gone from wanting it all to realizing that what we had worked so hard to gain was largely meaningless.

I am trying to gain back some of the whimsy of my youth – the innocent longing to live a life of joy and doing fun things just because I can. Doing this means that sometimes I have to just throw out the schedule and live in the moment. That’s not easy for me to do. I like order and schedules. They comfort me. Some call that being a control freak. Ok, I call it being a control freak. Guilty, as charged.

A few weeks ago, I was at the funeral of a man who had a wife of almost 49 years, kids, grandkids, a career, a hobby and lots of friends. After the video played at the end of the service, someone behind me said, “They had no regrets because they always had so much fun together.” I love that!

I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with dying, but I am obsessed with living. I don’t want to waste a moment of precious time, however long that is. Yet, I do. Often. I complain about this or that. I get complacent and bored with how the events of my day will unfold. Ho hum. I do the same thing today as I did yesterday and that I’ll do tomorrow. Or, I get so busy doing for everyone else that each day becomes a challenge to be endured rather than to enjoy.

Yes, I work hard because I like honoring my responsibilities (aka paying my bills). I don’t work as much as I have in days past so that I can say “yes” to what matters most to me. Just last week, a colleague said, “Wherever you spend your time and money is your priority.” He’s absolutely right.

I think I’ll go get an ice cream cone and take a swim and then maybe put on some bug spray and go watch a little league baseball game. While there, maybe I’ll get a hot dog and a pickle juice snow cone. Seize the day, folks. Seize the day!