Top five: Stop whining and enjoy the summer already
In the midst of these 100 degree days, it's easy to forget how much summer rules. We spend all of this time talking -- or worse, complaining to total strangers in line at a coffee shop, on the bus, at the gas station -- about how hot it is (as if talking about how much something sucks is going to make it better) when we should be remembering how summertime is truly great.
Dude, it's officially summer!
Maybe it's that, as adults, our time is no longer split between the school year and summer vacation, so we forget the beauty of the heat. A few years ago, I was introduced to the idea of the Summer Solstice, and have found some great ways to celebrate the changing seasons. I may be a witchy Catholic, but that doesn't mean you have you have to find your inner pagan just to give the sun a little ritual love.
So, in honor of summer solstice happening tomorrow, June 20, here are some ways I've found to celebrate the hotness, instead of, you know, talking about "how lucky we are that Colorado doesn't have humidity." Whatever that means.
5. Create your own D.I.Y. Summer Solstice Ritual
For as long as I can remember, Summer Solstice was just called "The First Day of Summer," which sounds boring. Not familiar with Summer Solstice? According to Wikipedia:
"Summer solstice occurs exactly when the axial tilt of a planet's semi-axis in a given hemisphere is most inclined towards the star that it orbits. Earth's maximum axial tilt to our star, the Sun, during a solstice is 23° 26'. This happens twice each year, at which times the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the North or South Pole respectively."
In other words, it's the time when the earth is all, Hey, it's summer now! Let's celebrate! While I save charging my crystals for the full moon each month, the Summer Solstice is a great time to talk to the sun, to acknowledge that without it, the world would die and stuff. Maybe you could even bring back the old "running through the sprinkler" activity on the first day of summer, as a way to break in the season. Better yet, roll out a Slip N' Slide and belly flop down on that hot plastic like no one is looking.
I personally like to honor the entrance of summer by packing up all of my winter clothes and breaking out the terry cloth. Seasonally changing out my attire reminds me that not only do I get to pretend winter doesn't exist for a few months, but I also get to wear clothes made out of towel material in public.
4. Plan an entire "summer is awesome" day
The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, meaning, it's light outside until, like 8:31 p.m. Ditch your pre-stressed plans, call in sick, and enjoy the true summer holiday. Can't have fun without your Google calendar, iCal, or day planner telling you what to do? Make an itinerary of summer freedom. Here are some ideas from my own personal calendar, because as a freelancer writer, sometimes I schedule when I eat popsicles:
6 a.m. Watch cartoons (remember when you used get up early, on your own free will, to do this without a DVR?)
7 a.m. Eat popsicles for breakfast
8 a.m. Put on a bathing suit (because nothing says "summer" like wearing a bathing suit for clothes, all day long, even if you don't make it to the pool).
10 a.m. Walk to the creek (or ditch, or river) and collect weird, gross bugs.
11 a.m. Call all of your friends on their landlines to see if their moms will let them go to the pool.
12 p.m. Eat peanut butter sandwiches on the front porch.
1-3 p.m. Find your floaties, and hit the pool!
3 p.m. Take a nap in the sun (in your bathing suit).
4 p.m. Play on the playground (but be careful that the metal slide isn't too hot).
5 p.m. Hot dogs!
6 p.m. Put on your Walkman and ride your bike.
7 p.m. Go swimming again.
8 p.m. Have a dance party in your yard (or, if you're like me, practice the pre-choreographed dance routine you've created to "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins, because your neighborhood is truly your stage).
9 p.m. Pitch a tent in the backyard (and even better, have a sleep-over!)
10 p.m. Read Goosebumps to your tent-mates and pass out. You've had a long, authentic summer day.