A Different Sort of Summer

June 1, 2020

If you're like me, you're sick and tired of hearing about the virus. You're tired of living life in this cramped, socially distant way.

Perhaps in summer more than any other season, we are social creatures. Summer calls for bonfires on the beach, pool parties, barbecues, and summer shopping sprees.

And yet--in this locked down, quarantined summer of ours, we are forced to come up with creative new ideas to spend our time.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Take an online course while you sit in the sunshine. No sense in wasting your time. Learn something new--how to watercolor, how to macrame, how to whittle, anything--and make your summer productive in a different way other than how many elaborate parties you plan.

  • Start (and maintain!) a journal. It's tempting to think that only external things are worth chronicling, that if we have few social events going on, that there must not be much worth writing about. But there are plenty of other things going on that aren't external. Journal about how COVID is making you feel, about how people are surviving with their non-essential businesses, about how your relationships have changed through this time. There are plenty of things to record without having an expansive social life.

  • Go on nature walks. Now that most parks and hiking grounds are opened again, this is becoming more of an option for those of us not living the country. I've recently become intrigued by the hobby of foraging. Combining a nature walk with gathering food is a healthy and cheap past-time.

  • Learn skills that will make you self-reliant. I'm sure I'm not the only person to think about how I would cope if the economy crashed. I've been making my own laundry soap, bread, and yogurt. Doing these things doesn't make you paranoid. It makes you prepared and economical

  • Delight in cooking. Buying different ingredients at the grocery store can become a fun game. If you never cook with fresh garlic or ginger, this is the time to try. A new sort of fruit at the supermarket? Buy one and give it a taste.

  • Finally get to all those book recommendations that you've been hearing about. Order books through your library (if your library is doing book pick-up) or find a used copy online.

  • Figure out your budget or create a new one. This is a notoriously lonely job, but it's also one that gives your financial future a fresh buzz. It may sound like about as much fun as sorting your sock drawer, but it is so worth it. And speaking of sorting your sock drawer...

  • Switch out your closet. Put away sweaters, leggings, coats, boots, etc., and switch in T-shirts, airy skirts, and sandals. Talk about an instant mood lifter.

We hope that you're staying safe and finding ways to keep yourself occupied and socially distant while not completely disconnecting from friends and family.

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