Beat Summer Hibernation
Depending on where you live, summer can look very different. For me in South Jersey, summers are usually hot and humid, and daylight lasts till almost 9:00 at night. Summer reminds me of being young and carefree. My Grandma P and Pop Pop had a trailer at a campground down the shore. I spent so much time there on the beach in Sea Isle and the boardwalk. I knew everyone in the campground and had full run of the place until dark. Times were different then. When we got a little older us kids would go to the beach in the morning and grandma would set up her chair, take out her book and give us each some money. We would roam the boardwalk until the money ran out and we were bored and then we’d head back to grandma. She would pack up and we would spend the rest of the day in the campground. Nights were filled with campfires and bingo. Pop would give us money to play; we won candy bars!
Summer also reminds me of vacations. My parents believed firmly that we take a vacation together every year, even if it was a short one or close to home. I remember the first time I was tall enough to go on a REAL rollercoaster with my dad and visits to visit my aunt with Grandma I. Those are some of my best memories, and I try my best to make family vacations a must with my boys now.
As I grew older, I spent many years thinking of summer as just another time of year. I hated it because the heat meant I could not hide in sweatpants and sweaters. To me, being invited to the pool or beach was akin to being asked to go to the dentist! I did it a few times because I had children and I did not want them to miss out on things because of my hang-ups, but that doesn’t mean that I enjoyed it. It also didn’t help that going to the beach was a constant reminder of what I was not. Lately, I have decided it is not going to affect me as much anymore. Not because I am thinner—I am no way bathing suit ready—but because I have decided that my family is more important than my insecurities. So I am willing to show a little more of my body to the world—to heck with what others think!
I love summer again! I am viewing it like that little girl who loved spending time at the beach with her grandparents and vacationing with her parents. I am going on amusement park rides with my boys, attending picnics by the lake, and wearing a bathing suit and swimming. I recently wore a dress out that I never would have before; I even walked around a mall with my shoulders and arms exposed! These might seem like trivial things, but to me they are overcoming the voices in my head saying that I am too fat to do them.
So, I challenge you: What do you dread doing in the summer? Take that thing
and embrace it! Go to the beach and enjoy time with your children, go for a hike, wear something your insecurities have kept you from wearing that everyone else says looks great on you. Reach outside your comfort zone, let go of self-doubt, and grab hold of the joys of summer!
What’s your favorite summer memory? What you are overcoming this summer? Share in the comments.