I remember how excited I’d get as a kid when the summer months arrived. Every year on the last day of school or college when the last bell rang, I felt a sense of adventure and anticipation as I looked forward to the whole two months of bright, sunny, and fun days. The small but happy moments of eating the first mango of the season and traveling by train to my Nani’s house are still etched in my memory.
The relief of being able to sleep in as long as you like and having as much time as possible to accomplish whatever makes you happy is the first feeling of summer. This urge still exists in me as an adult. I truly find this whole process of adulting extremely difficult sobs. And I’m sure I’m not alone when I say it can be a tad bit depressing to sit at our desks and attend meetings while our little cousins bask in the glory of the summers. Oh, how annoyed I am to have grown up!
Dreams of a Lemonade stand
Having said that, summer also means unlimited ice-creams and longer days to play in the out. Though adulting has taken away the latter from me, I still have ice cream to my rescue. I guess the only cons to summer while living in a tropical country like ours is the soaring temperatures that bring about so much sweat that may not be enjoyable always.
Growing up, I was so enchanted by the western concept of setting up a lemonade stall. I just so badly wanted to do it. And then as years passed by, I was yet again enchanted by the concept of having a summer job. Back then, it was unheard of to set up a lemonade stand or have a summer job, and to a certain extent, it still is. I just can’t help but wonder ‘what if that wasn’t the case?’ Would I have had more fun?
Only last week, my little cousins who are visiting me asked if we could take a trip, and involuntarily my response was ‘let’s go on a weekend’. Back when I had summer holidays, the concept of a ‘weekend’ didn’t exist for me. ‘How the times have changed!’ I thought to myself. And as a working professional, I’ve felt my work satisfaction and productivity diminish throughout the summer.
Keeping the spirit of summer alive
Sometimes I think to myself if summer vacations for working professionals should be a thing. Like every other natural human being, I googled my curiosity and some of the answers here on Quora made me realize, I’m not alone.
What I’ve come to realize is that rather than fighting something that is unavoidable, I can choose to embrace it. I read this a while ago: ‘Limit distractions by embracing them,’ and it has stayed with me ever since. I know it sounds like I’m contradicting myself but it has actually worked for me. I take small breaks, but when I get back to work, I’m more productive. Here’s something I always ask myself:
As a kid, I loved going to summer camps. I made new friends, participated in fun activities, and came back home having learned a new skill that I’d flaunt about to my friends when school started. For almost a month after schools opened, my friends and I would discuss how we spent the holidays. Summers are truly all about the experience and I’ve already begun experiencing the whole new concept of ‘workcations’. Honestly, a little rest and rejuvenation hurt no one. The serenading views of the hills sure don’t sound so bad to work out from.
It all ends at adulting
One would think that only working professionals have it tough. ‘Being your own boss’ doesn’t make things easier either. I remember while I was growing up, my father, a businessman, hardly took a vacation with us. He’d not even take Sundays off. It’s more clear to me now that it doesn’t matter what you do – own a business or work for one – there’s less fun for the grownups. I guess this is how most adults feel:
I guess the trick is to understand that taking a vacation or taking care of oneself while having to work can coexist. It’s also important to never lose the spirit of summer. One could work for as long as they’d like but still find time to have a little fun.
As the summer memories wash over me in waves, I’m overpowered at the moment; having to fight through the urge of leaving everything behind and disappearing in the hills. It feels good to recollect the fun times and hundreds of ideas that summer would bring in my little mind.
Hot temperatures and the summer season, in general, can be viewed as both joyous or depressing – it’s just a matter of perspective. I believe that by seeing things in a negative light, one can be sucking the fun out of the little things. Instead, by taking action and planning ahead of time, you can always have a more positive outlook.
Acceptance is the only way forward
So, I told myself that if I start thinking of summer as a season of achievement and fun, I might not only like the fun part of summers but also every other aspect – including having to work during this three-month saga.
I listed down everything I wished to do in the summer and chose day- or week-long activities that didn’t need a lot of energy or stress but offered me just enough adrenaline to feel accomplished at the end of the day.
I also worked on decluttering my physical as well as mental space. Having Marie Kondo’d my life, I realized that I was prepared and ready for work during summer once my mind and surroundings were open. I was more open to socializing and getting involved in things that helped me grow and discover more enjoyment.
If this summer is an episode of ‘The Office’ then my mood is Stanley. Signing off, a girl who’s missing having fun during the summer!
Moral of the story: Thou shalt take a summer vacation and beat the heat.