Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Perfect Summer

EVERY year around March, I began my usual ritual of proclaiming just how sick and tired I am of the snow and the cold! Do not get me wrong I love the winter. In fact, I might be one of a handful of persons who will readily admit to being a winter baby. Maybe it has to do with me being born in the early fall. Or perhaps loving the combination of frigid chill-you-to-the-bone-temperatures and knee-deep snowfall, which present the perfect excuse to cower beneath a stack of blankets and be as lazy as you want to be. But it's something about that time of year, in between spring and winter, when I fall into a slump of boredom an anxiety, ready for something new and different to come into my life. Usually, I would chalk this feeling up to my loathing for the long summer months. For this winter baby, I equate summer to big nasty bugs, allergies, loud-noises and excessively hot days, which no matter how many clothes you shed off, you're still hot.

It is a well-known principal among some theologians and earth conscious folks that we are one with the universe, taking our rhythmic cues from the environment. And just like the seasons, our bodies, mind and spirits runs on a human circadian clock, evolving us through seasons of rest and reflection to seasons of renewal and vigorous action. Very recently I began to understand and appreciate that principal as once again, March came around and I felt the same feeling of world-weariness. So this year I tried something new. This year, I learn to listen to what my body was telling me and sought out the perfect internal summer day. You know, when the days are warm enough to wear your prettiest sundress, sit out on the grass with some ice cream and a good book. And the nights are cool enough that you can leave your windows open and still get underneath the covers without breaking into a massive sweat. For me, that meant seeking out balance in my life, learning to give my creative, spirited side of the brain a chance to shine, while telling my overly analytical left side of the brain to chill for a bit. And just like summer, it also meant learning to tide those hot and sticky heat waves as well as those chaotic thundering and lightening summer storms, which tend to stifled the mind, force your creative side into a drought and cloud judgment, until those perfect days could come around again.

This summer, I sought out new challenges to write, create and love more than I had ever done. I put myself in situations where I was forced to learn something new about myself and the world, meet people whom I'd never thought I had anything in common with and achieve something I never thought I could do. I took up bike riding (something I haven't done since I was a teenager), produced a talk show, co-wrote two scripts, took a belly dancing class, started a garden, gave up smoking and learned to let go of situations where I was seeking the approval of others and not my own unique purpose. I also challenged myself to exist in peace and enjoyment. Letting go of the need to fill every waking minute of the day with activities and learning to exist in stillness. From the many endless city festivals, where I would find the most pleasure in sitting back and absorbing myself in the music and company of others to just maxing on the couch with my boyfriend and watching bad reality shows. It was about bringing a balance, creating that perfect blend of challenges and calm, which made me become a better writer, a more understanding girlfriend, a caring sister, an appreciative daughter, a more pleasurable aunt and an overall better friend to myself.

While not perfect (who is), my journey has taught me some new skills, which will make my mind rest easy for the winter season. And when next March comes around, I will have already reaped the fruits of this newfound knowledge of myself and my internal grounds will be shifted again, ready to plant, sow and harvest some new challenges. As I began the second season of People, Places & Things, which begins this August on Gtown Radio (shameless plug), I'm curious of how other people view their perfect summer. What does this time of year mean for you and more importantly, what do you mean to this time of year?

No comments: