Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy summer solstice!

I would like to officially wish everyone a very happy summer season!

I have probably said “Now THIS is my favourite time of year” at the beginning of each different season, but there is something extra special about summer.  For me, summers are so precious. Lazy weekends with friends by the pool and warm summer evenings on patios seem to fly by so fast.  In our unpredictable climate we have to cherish those beautiful days because a cold streak or a million degree humidex could always be just around the corner.

Some of fondest memories of my grandparents (my dad’s mom and dad) are from the summers they spent at our house.  I was pretty young at the time and I think a lot of my memories stem from looking through photo albums, so I’m so grateful to have them.  One summer my Grandpa Glenn and my dad built us a huge wooden play structure in the backyard.  Complete with a teeter-totter.  We definitely had the coolest backyard on the block.  My Grandma Millie and I would dress up and go on day trips together and she would always let me wear her costume jewellery and clip-on earrings.  I was in heaven when they came to stay with us from BC.

At the end of every school year, when I was growing up, my mom would set out the calendar for the months of July and August to plan the summer ahead.  We would choose camps to participate in during the week – mostly sport camps for me, but my sister went to nerd science camp once (I shouldn’t tease, this could be the reason she is now looking into pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience).  We would also plan long-weekend family trips here and there; the finale to the summer being my sisters and I’s birthday parties at the end of August. 

I remember feeling sad when I looked at the summer months on a calendar.  8 weekends or 2 months didn’t look as long as it actually felt in my mind when I imagined “summer vacation”.  I remember wishing that my mom wouldn’t register me in so many camps so I could just “hang out” with my friends, sleep in and watch tv.  Well, that certainly wasn’t an option, and I’m thankful (now) that my parents put so much time and effort into creating a well rounded summer for all three of us.

Now that I am a grown-up (ha ha) and in a relationship of my own, I have been planning out the summer calendar for Derek and I.  This summer is a little extra busy with our move and all of the weddings, so we don’t have many commitment-free weekends.  We still plan on steeling some quiet time by the pool and taking advantage of living downtown by staying out late on patios and having picnics in the park.

A few times I’ve looked at my summer schedule and thought “Wow, I can’t wait for fall to arrive so I can relax”, but I know I need to stop myself from thinking this.  People are always talking about how it is so important to live in the present.  I need to remember to stay present this summer and appreciate every second for what it’s worth.  

I remember when I was younger and I would hear people talk about how their whole summer has been eaten up by weddings.  I would think to myself “I can’t wait until I’m older and my summer is filled with weddings!”  The time has arrived!  So even though my calendar might be full to the brim with commitments and I sometimes feel like a kid who just wants to “hang out”, sleep in and watch tv my goal this summer is to make room every day so that I can soak in as much of all the summer events as possible.

How does your summer social calendar look?  Are your weekends full of weddings?  If so, how do you squeeze in time to soak in the summer?

Some scenes from last summer...

taking in the view of the Ottawa Valley after a hike in Gatineau

zip-lining with friends

enjoying the Maxville Highland Games

Canada Day in Ottawa, and a royal visit from William and Kate

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