Well, summer’s just begun and it’s already at full throttle with temps soaring well into the 90s. My co-workers are dragging like old tired dogs, the inside of the car is somewhere around 300 degrees when I get in to go home, and even the residents who are always cold have been begging for Popsicles all day. The nights are warm well into the wee hours, then dip into the 60s for approximately five minutes just before dawn. You can’t find fans or pool chemicals anywhere now, and nothing moves…..unless it’s headed for Baskin-Robbins.
Me? I’m LOVING it. There are few things in life that put me in a happier frame of mind than staying up late on a hot summer night, posting random crap on Facebook as I chair-dance to salsa music on my iPod. These are the times when I feel most alive—when all things are possible and the world exists (at least temporarily) for the purpose of delighting me. Colors, flavors, and scents burst forth with vivid passion, and I almost become intoxicated with sensory stimuli…..like the bright red, purple, pink, and even black petunias in my front yard. The commingled fragrances of lighter fluid and freshly-mowed grass. The shivery-good taste of ice-cold melons, the satisfying sweet-tartness of fresh strawberries, the fuzzy but rewarding texture of ripe apricots.
All of it literally screams “SUMMER” to me, and I cannot resist its siren song. That’s why I can’t seem to get to bed till well after midnight no matter how early I have to wake up: I don’t want to miss a moment of it. My self-discipline has taken its annual vacation lately, because this is my very favorite time of year and I want to let my hair down (if it weren’t too hot on the back of my neck). But, not to worry…..it should be back by early October.
Being the well-trained psych patient that I am, however, I’ve already run down my checklist to make sure things aren’t spinning out of control:
Am I eating nutritiously? Nah, it’s too hot to cook and nothing sounds good but a tall glass of sweet tea and the soft-serve ice cream they have at the King Kone down in Felony Flats.
How’s my sleep hygiene? Um, I know I’m supposed to stick to a schedule, but I also know that I’ll make up for summer’s sleep deficits when winter comes and I have to be dragged from my warm bed by the proverbial team of wild horses.
How well am I dealing with stress? Oh, I dunno…..I think pretty well for someone with moderate-to-severe financial problems who just started a new job and won’t get paid for a month. And did I mention that I spent some of my last unemployment check on summer-scented room fresheners and matching soaps from Bath & Body Works?
Now, I know what all this must sound like…..and if you’re not well-acquainted with me, you’re probably thinking I’ve got a touch of hypomania going on here. But you’d be mistaken, because this is my default mode in summer—absolutely everything is brighter and cheerier, laughter comes much more easily, and even losing weight is less difficult because I’m more active and drink lots of water. Besides, if I were hypomanic I’d have gone outside with the flashlight at 11 PM last night and pulled weeds in the garden, like I thought about doing before I remembered that I’m afraid of the bats that like to buzz the house after dark.
So, if I get a little wordy now and again, or wax eloquently about some sort of sensory treat, don’t worry too much…..I’m only being my summer self. 🙂