Holding Onto Summer

The days after Labor Day mark the official end of summer. I for one have always tried to hold on to summer for as long as possible and not let Labor Day mark the beginning of  the end. And why not? If the weather is still warm, the beaches are still open, and we’re still grilling and wearing shorts why is there a need to jump into pumpkins and apple picking? No thank you!

This year especially, I think we all deserve extra summer time. Most of our summer was spent worrying about the Fall, afterall. This could be coined the un-summer summer. We need more time to relax, and chill out before the cooler weather arrives and we are forced inside again. Summer gave us the great outdoors and that allowed us to have some kind of social life. We need more nights to be outside with friends. We need more fun, laughter, lightness with the people we love and most likely will have a harder time hanging out with during the Fall. 

We need more of that feeling of being free. If there was one thing summer 2020 gave us while we were shackled by this virus was some sense of good old fashioned freedom. We may not have been able to eat inside at restaurants or walk around without thinking about wearing a mask but we did get the freedom to be outdoors. The outdoors and social distancing are this virus’ kryptonite. We did everything possible to take advantage of this. Being outdoors saved our mental wellness and inspired physical wellness too. Why would we want to not try and prolong it every minute more we can of summer’s outdoor glory?

Never before have we appreciated as keenly the simple joy of being outside having drinks with friends on our porches, bike riding, fire pitting, etc. We of course made sure to take social distance and mask precautions but outside – we could make things possible.

As we head into the Fall we will start having to grapple with having to be indoors. At least for those of us who live in season changing climates! The thought of not being able to be social makes me want to hold on to summer for as long as possible.

We are all wrestling with the only certainty we know Fall brings us: uncertainty. We just don’t know what Fall will be like this year. Will schools shut? Will our offices open? Will our jobs be secure? Will the virus get worse? Will we get a vaccine that works? The list goes on and on. Normally after Labor Day we head back to school. Even as adults we get the sense it’s time to get the sand out of our hair and get back to business. But right now I’d rather make it my business to stay in summer mode for as long as I can thank you.

This Fall won’t be or feel the same. Our kids may be back in school and we may be putting away our beach gear, but it doesn’t feel like that time when we come alive again and start getting back into the swing of things. Not all of us live in climates with four seasons. I do, and I use the seasons to create different feelings – winter lets me hibernate, spring gets me into the world again, summer helps me just relax and fall kicks me back into gear. But the seasons don’t seem to be doing their standard jobs. Nature might be on track but seasonal feelings seem to be out of whack.

This Fall, we will have to think about how to create summer conditions even when the weather gets colder. How can we stay outside as long as possible is the question on everyone’s minds. Schools are conducting outdoor classes. Exercise studios and gyms are taking their offerings outside as well. Even churches are trying to hold services outdoors. People are buying up outdoor heat lamps too to make sure they have the warmth even when it gets cold.

September is the fourth month of summer in 2020. It has to be – for our sanity and well-being. Rushing into the Fall season doesn’t seem to make sense right now. Enjoy every summer day you have left! Winter is coming!

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