As a kid, I loved summer. I spent my summer days exploring in the woods behind our house, splashing in the creek, and swinging from trees. Of course, I was covered in sweat, bug bites, and rashes from poison ivy, but I didn’t care…at least I wasn’t in school!
Then, the inevitable happened…I got older. I let myself become a victim of the “Summertime Blues.”
I still love spending time in the woods, especially in the Fall and Winter. However, Summer in Arkansas is HOT and STICKY! Summer also brings with it snakes, swarming bugs, and plants that give you rashes. What didn’t bother me as a kid, now drove me crazy as an adult. Part of my job requires me to trek through the woods, so I can’t ride out the Summer indoors.
I also notice that people become more impatient with one another during the Summer. Fuses are shorter. There is more honking of car horns, yelling, and negative social media posts.
With Summer comes the added bonus of higher monthly utility bills.
Depressed yet? I certainly was. I let the Summertime Blues consume me. I became one of those short-tempered, miserable people. I would wallow in the negative.
Several years ago, I made a decision to change the way I was living. Actually, it is a change in the way I view my life and the world around me. This has led to a change in my actions (and inactions).
Part of this journey is Gratitude. Everyday, I began to recognize something for which I am Grateful. Starting with one thing leads to seeing more. This then led me to searching for Gratitude in all aspects of my life, including times when I experience hardships.
Summertime Blues no more. I am Grateful that I have a job that allows me to spend time outdoors and experience the wonders of Nature. I am Grateful that I am in a financial position where I do not have to worry about the high utility bills. I am Grateful that we have access to a lake where my boys can spend Summer swimming, fishing, and enjoying the outside. I am Grateful for my hammock, where I can meditate and continue to develop my conscious contact with God.
Gratitude allows me to thrive in the positive. I no longer wallow in the negative…or at least I now know how to get out of it. Progress, not Perfection.
Enjoy the Summer!