NEWSUMMER MEMORIES J une is the month when the summer really begins. The beautiful weather calls for families to spend days at the pool, for friends to enjoy an evening on the town together, and for us all to be outside having fun and enjoying the fresh air. However, over the last few weeks, we’ve heard long lists of things we can’t or shouldn’t do anymore. Many of these fond summer traditions are being discouraged due to health and safety concerns. Well … at least that’s what we are hearing for now. While the pandemic has changed the way we have been interacting with the world and with each other, I do not believe these changes mean we have to miss out on summer fun. Now, more than ever, it’s important for us to be optimistic. It is tempting to dwell on things we’ve lost. There is real grief in all this, and that grief should be acknowledged. But rather than focusing on the things we can’t change or do, why not think of all the things we can do? Summer can still be a time for fun with those we care about. Friends have shared fun stories about spending evenings playing board games with family or friends. Others are taking bikes rides together, dressing up for special candlelight dinners at home, doing video calls with family, having virtual wine nights with friends, or removing clutter from their homes. (Okay, that last one doesn’t sound like fun, but I am surprised how proud people are to have clean closets! And household chores usually are part of our summer routine.) Though we may not want to plan BIG family barbecues, most of us will probably still host more intimate barbecues, which can be more relaxing and personally rewarding. And even though it’s disappointing that many summer events have been canceled, no one can stop you from making your own fun. Try to cherish every moment, even when those moments aren’t easy to cherish. We never know when those moments will be gone forever. Unfortunately, I know this all too well.
and family members who are near or far away. I’ll be the first to admit that participating in a virtual wine night wasn’t quite the same as “yukking it up” and sharing drinks with my friends in person. I really missed the energy of being in a group, which video calls just cannot recreate. Yet I have to say I had fun and we enjoyed lots of laughs!
The COVID-19 pandemic created new hurdles we have had to overcome, but it has also given us the opportunity to think differently and focus on what’s really important. It’s the connections we have with each other that will help us get through this trying time and maintain our sanity. So since we cannot be together, let’s embrace the next best thing. Any time spent together is better than no time together at all! I spoke with one woman about an unexpected gift she received in the pandemic. While she is worried about her business, the stay-safe-at-home order gave her the chance to spend time with her daughter that she would not have had otherwise. She is working remotely where she can, and her daughter has been schooling at home, allowing them much more time together. This is the bonding time they wouldn’t have gotten any other way. She is treasuring these moments, and she has made a point to really enjoy them. Rather than thinking about all the things that were taken away in the pandemic, she chose to focus on something she received: time with her daughter. By embracing this kind of mindset, we can see all the possibilities before us. For example, I started on my bucket list and hiked 16 miles on the Appalachian Approach Trail. This is something I decided I wanted to do about seven years ago, and I chose to use this situation as a reason to finally get started. We are living through a temporary new normal, and that means we will have to make new summer memories. Who knows, maybe this summer will be the best summer ever! You have the power to decide.
This temporary reset has opened up many possibilities. The digital space provides great resources for staying connected to friends
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