Summer is here, and so are those summer expectations.
First and foremost, there is an overwhelming pressure to enjoy summer. (“It’s summer! Summer is here! Don’t waste it!”)
I feel this every morning when I look out my window. “Ugh, it’s nice out there, I guess I should go out there and be uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want summer to feel unappreciated.”
Of course, it’s not enough to just enjoy the summer. We are all supposed to have well-mapped-out “summer plans.” Every spring the questions start: “You got any plans for the summer?” “What are you going to do this summer?”
Why do I need a plan? I thought summer was about relaxing.
Wait – are we supposed to schedule when we relax? That sounds stressful! I relax by not having plans.
Now, I understand my unplanned summer plan is not common. Most non-freelancers need to schedule a week off with their employers. This makes sense, but those aren’t “summer plans.” That’s called a vacation.
Some adults talk about their “summer plans” as if they just graduated from 8th grade or are living off some endless family inheritance. The only adults who should have “summer plans” are teachers and NBA players.
Summer plans usually involve a destination. (“You going anywhere this summer?”)
Why does summer mean we have to travel? It makes no sense. (“Well, the weather is finally nice here. I guess we should go somewhere else.”)
We live here! All our stuff is here! Why would we go somewhere where our stuff isn’t? That sounds like a situation we’d want to avoid. (“I almost had to go to this place where I didn’t have any of my stuff. I really dodged a bullet there.”)
Most summer destinations involve the pursuit of water: A lake, a river, the ocean. I live in the Northeast, so people always talk about the beach. “The beach!” Like it’s a summertime Mecca.
“You guys going to the beach this summer?”
I hope not! Have you been to the beach? It’s all sand. Just sand and bugs. I never understood the appeal of the beach. Sometimes you have to pay to park at the beach. You pay to park, and then if you want to sit down, you have to bring your own chair.
Yeah, I’ll pass on the beach.
My favorite thing to do on a beautiful summer day? Take a nap. Dream about fall.
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Story produced by Lucie Kirk. Editor: Chad Cardin.