You may live somewhere unbearably hot and humid, or somewhere unseasonably cold and clammy; geography aside, the season holds a certain appeal. There is not other time of the year in which the message is “slow down you move too fast.” For three months (out of every year) we are expected to indulge in the lazy hazy days of summer. This mood and mode are in direct opposition to the other nine months of the year that can be characterized as “make a buck, make a buck” (to quote Alfred the Macy’s Santa helper.) It’s a startling contrast when you think about it.
We are a money worshipping society. Ever day there’s a study on wealth, a new report about what it takes to retire, or an expose on social mobility. “To infinity and beyond” is our national motto. We care less (collectively) about the quality of life versus its price tag. Yet here smack dab in the calendar year we’re told to kick back, put on our wayfarers and sip an umbrella drink. And yes, how we engage in these endeavors varies according to wealth. But whether your driver is taking you to the Hamptons helipad Friday afternoon, or your sitting on a folding chair in your backyard, toes in the wading pool, drink in hand, the mood and the intention are the same: the living is easy.
You may enjoy all the recommended activities of summer, or you may find all that outdoorsiness to be uncomfortable and buggy. What you do isn’t nearly as important as how you feel. You can of course choose to engage with summer as a competitive sport making your way through a “bucket list” (the very term conjures an unpleasant farm or outdoor plumbing experience.) That of course is your prerogative. But unlike any other time of the year there is no external pressure to do so. Summer is about sensory pleasure pure and simple. It’s three months of berry stained fingers, sand in your toes, the cooling breeze of a fan on your skin, and the sound of clinking ice (and the ice cream man.) It’s a season of forgetting your troubles and just getting happy.