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SEIZE THE SUMMER Sometimes the Simple Pleasures Are the Most Enjoyable
My favorite childhood summer memory doesn’t involve a trip to Disney World or a massive fireworks display. While those events are undoubtedly magical, the experience that sticks most with me involves a subtler kind of illumination. As a kid growing up in New England, I’d often head to the coast during the summers with my family. In the evenings, you could see hundreds of fireflies, which we called lightning bugs, sparkling in the air. To this day, summer
nights always evoke the wonder of those creatures for me. On some nights, I swear that I can see them, even though they’re not a fixture in our area. I guess you could call it a nostalgia-induced vision. I bring up the lightning bugs because we often put too much pressure on ourselves to make the summer special. We book extravagant trips or weeks- long excursions to exotic locales. We pack our calendars with seasonal events, from beach parties and cookouts to camping trips and cruises. We create long summer reading lists. In short, we aim to squeeze as much into the season as humanly possible. Now, don’t get me wrong, I value these adventures as much as the next person. I’m not saying that you should scrap those vacation plans. But when you put too much on your plate, it’s easy to get fatigued and grow weary. Ignoring simple pleasures can make the dog days of summer feel oppressive in a hurry. Luckily, you don’t need to go crazy to enjoy the warmest days on the calendar, especially when you live where we do. San Diego has so many sites that allow you to take advantage of this time of year. Walking through Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve may not require hopping on a plane, but it feels like you’re inhabiting another world. Paddleboarding in Coronado and kayaking in La Jolla are easy ways to get out on the ocean and enjoy the water. A trip to Del Mar racetrack is the
perfect way to spend a Saturday. And those comprise just the tip of the iceberg. We’re truly spoiled for choice when it comes to activities.
If you’re anything like me, you might find the most magical summer memories to be the quietest ones. Sitting outside with a glass of rosé in your hand and your favorite summer playlist on the speakers can be just as transportive as a trip to Tahiti. What matters most isn’t how much you spend or how far you travel. The summer is what you make of it. So don’t feel the need to keep up with the Joneses this summer. Do what you want, not what you feel like you should do. When we were kids, that’s what summer was all about — a time when nobody told you what to do or when to do it. We may not get two-plus months off anymore, but why should adulthood be very different? I encourage you to seize the summer on your own terms. Whether that means traveling or simply staying at home, the choice is up to you. But if your idea of a summer delight is a treat from an ice cream truck, you may want to run after it to burn off those calories.
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