Embracing summer in the desert
We still have a stretch of summer weather left to go and so I hope it's not too early to say this but I have been LOVING the summer. I'll never be one of those people who proclaims, "I just LOVE the heat," but I have changed my attitude this year and now actively look for things to enjoy instead of despise during the loooong, hot and dry summers. Or maybe acclimating to the desert heat just takes eight years!
It's easy to let a negative aspect of something color your entire perception and then overlook all the good parts. Laura Vanderkam writes about this in reference to the cultural narrative of working mothers being overly busy and I think the same concept applies to Phoenix summers. I could (and I think have in the past) see only the 115+ degree temperatures, blazing sun and being indoors when thinking of the summer. These are true parts of the summer desert experience but they aren't its entirety.
There is also: playing outdoors in the morning and going for family bike rides, swimming, popsicles, grilling veggie kabobs and fish tacos, summer beer, billowy monsoon clouds that build in the east past our house, sipping super cold iced tea at work in the afternoon (in my Hydroflask, naturally), Chris's relaxed work schedule, Fourth of July (and pie!), exploring new museums and indoor activities to do with the boys and Sunday morning runs along the canal trails. I used to think of how limiting the summer could be but this years I saw how much we are really still able to do.
Another big factor in my new! positive! summer attitude is surely the age of my boys. For the past three summers I've had either an infant or young toddler and/or been pregnant and could barely venture outdoors. Now we can swim, play in the hose and be outside for longer periods of time and I think it's making all the difference. Being outdoors replenishes me. Seeing all that we already did this summer has me thinking of how much more we can do each summer: more swimming as the boys can swim independently, longer bike rides, playing board games, afternoons at the library, more summer travel as it becomes easier and beating the heat at the movie theater.
I also had what might be the most obvious revelation ever several months ago when I realized that no matter how hot it gets in the summer it will get cool again. I know, ground-breaking! But when it's been hot everyday in recent memory and will continue to be so so hot for the foreseeable future it's strangely easy to forget that you will ever not be hot. It feels like it would be completely logical to donate any long sleeve shirts and long pants because surely I will never again need them. But with my newly realized meteorological knowledge I can remind myself on the hottest summer days, when it's hard to see the good of summer, that at least fall and winter will always come back around again.
I'm thinking that many people might have the same attitude towards winter, I'd love to know what you do to stay positive through whatever your toughest season is.
P.S. Erica and I talked about having a positive approach to summer in the Summer Cozy episode of The Girl Next Door Podcast!