Summer Break – The Grown-Up Version!
“School’s… out 🎸 for 🎸 summer!”
Are you singing along? I remember chanting this line in my head (with absolutely no idea who Alice Cooper was) during the end of my school days, dreaming of 90 degree afternoons at the pool and late nights in the backyard, playing flashlight tag and being eaten alive by mosquitos.
Every year as May rolls around, I feel an unexpected anticipation, a feeling that something’s coming around the corner. When I finally put my finger on it, I realize that somehow, somewhere, I am still internally waiting for summer break.
But alas, I’m a grown-up! Perhaps I’m still experiencing this summer longing because I am only a “sophomore in real life”––that is, two years out of college––and the seasonal nature of school is still built into my biological clock. And while I absolutely love my full-time job, there is a sobering realization that summer breaks are no more. (Enjoy it while it lasts, kids!)
All that being said, there are still SO many fun ways to celebrate summer, even if you work 9-5 during the weekdays. Here are a few tips that can help you get back into the swing of those fun summer nights:
1. Get Outside
Summer weather is my favorite! I know it’s hot and humid, but the early mornings and evening/nighttime hours are often the perfect temperature to me. And guess what you’re not doing during these times? Working!
Wake up 30 minutes earlier and take a walk before work, or plan a game of frisbee with your friends after dinner. Do not go straight home and watch Netflix until you go to sleep––enjoy that extended daylight!
Take a walk with a friend!
2. Do Summer Reading
Your mom is probably not going to pay you a dollar for every chapter book you finish, but that shouldn’t stop you from going to the library or your favorite bookstore! If you’ve fallen out of the habit of reading, let the new season be a reason to kick you back into gear.
If you don’t know where to start, check out the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog, or listen to this episode of one of my new favorite podcasts, “10 Things to Tell You” with Laura Tremaine. Last but not least, you could check out one, two or three of the blog articles from another cool website, rachelsinclair.net :).
3. Listen to Country Music
I love strawberry cake all year round, but for some reason it tastes even better around Easter. In the same way, country music just feels like it’s made for the summer! Make a playlist, listen to it at work if you can, and by all means, go enjoy the country concerts that come to your city.
Last year Lady Antebellum headlined the free 4th of July concert in downtown Nashville. Was it crazy? Yes. Hot? Yes. Was I there? YES! We were exhausted at the end of the night, but it was so worth it!
4. Eat Fun Fruit
If you know me or have listened to the podcast episode with my mother, the professional food style/recipe developer, you know that I am more of an… uhh… “experimental” cook in the kitchen 😉. In the summer, I love to purchase and toss together different combinations of fresh fruit!
I call this one the “Barney Salad,” featuring kiwi and grapes! Now isn’t this more fun than a plastic Dole cup of pineapple?
5. Start a Puzzle
Time to pull out those nerd glasses! 🤓 I looooove me a fun puzzle, and summer is a good time to start one.
Puzzles are a fun activity where friends, family, roommates and really anyone can contribute, so long as they understand the right method for putting a puzzle together. (Sift through the puzzle pieces in 2-3 containers, build the outside first, and DO NOT lay all the pieces flat on the table at once. Obviously!)
6. Hang with Friends
Don’t get me wrong, I hope you are hanging out with friends during the fall through spring as well! But in summer, there is so much to do. You have farmer’s markets, movie nights, pool days, cook outs, weekend trips and more. Don’t lose that sense of freedom just because you work during the day!
A quick weekend trip to Columbia, Tenn. to see my dear friend Annie!
I realize this list does not contain mind-blowing revelations about fun activities, but that’s because I want to share things from my life that are doable, practical and truly joyful. So find what you love about summer, grab some friends and go have fun!