Guest blogger, Natalie, is an athlete and a 30-something mom with two girls and a dude on the way. With a light heart and serious intentions, she explores what it means to push her limits, seek adventure and enjoy the best of life. You can check out her written work at Hello Day and get a taste of her life at @hellodaynatalie.
Summer of "Now is Now"
According to some, summer was over before it even started. Back in May, I got an email from our elementary school announcing that the deadline to order school supplies for the 2017/2018 school year was coming up. I stared at the words thinking, “Who the hell is trying to make me think of September right now?”
A few weeks ago I was in Target to restock on sunscreen and replace a few pool toys. But, I had to weed through BACK TO SCHOOL banners and aisles to find the summer-fun section. Slow your roll, Target. You’re killing the vibe.
And don’t even get me started on the junk Costco is already pushing. Halloween, Costco? Really? How dare you?
Why is everyone out to remind us of what’s ahead? The responsibilities right around the corner. The tasks that don’t require attention at the moment. The demands of the future. Can’t they wait? Must they really be top of mind right now?
Well, let’s take a moment to call bullshit and liberate our summer vibes.
Because this whole notion of planning for back to school in May leaves me feeling ill prepared and anxious. Does my refusal to declare summer over the first week of August mean that I’m doomed come September? My enjoyment of the present trumps my planning for the future – does that make me irresponsible?
No. It doesn’t. For some of us, myself included, focusing on the future distracts us from the present. And I’ve found that I am best served when I choose to enjoy the now and meet the future when it shows up. Even if it means I’ll be one of the suckers who missed the darn early, albeit convenient, 2017/2018 school supplies order and is forced to walk the busy aisles of Target Labor Day weekend.
We’re right where we need to be - in the first week of August with several weeks of summer ahead of us. Settled into the lovely rhythm of warm weather and long days. Enjoying the moments that seemed so far off in January when we were surrounded by snow, drinking record amounts of booze and slaying each other at tic tac toe.
We’re right where we need to be – taking full advantage of dry skies and late sunsets. Letting spontaneity be our guide as we seek adventure outside. Spilling onto the sidewalk patios of Portland with cold drinks and big smiles.
We’re right where we need to be – sleeping outside and nursing mosquito bites. Loading our cars with bikes, kayaks, surfboards and tents. Packing the cooler and posting up on warm sands and diving into cool waters.
We’re right where we need to be – because now is now. August 2017 won’t be available for re-runs. Summer concerts and backyard BBQ’s will not last forever. The jacketless dinners on the deck may not be here in September. Now is here for our taking.
The future will be fine. Fall will come and we’ll be ready. The kids will make it off to school with stocked backpacks. And (somehow) we’ll look forward to slipping on those booties and bundling up again. And when we do, we’ll have the memories of a well-lived, sun-soaked summer season to carry us through the year. So, keep your head in the game and enjoy the awesome month of August, Burn Family.
And to those of you who can easily conquer the plans of the future without losing the presence of the moment, my hat is off to you. Also, I have some back-to-school shopping that needs taking care of. What do you say?