As the school year winds down, graduations abound and the days lengthen, I can’t help but feel nostalgic for those seemingly endless days of summer fun.

As a kid, I grew up on the lake and within 7 hours driving distance from the Gulf of Mexico. I was in the water for hours everyday at local public pools, along the shores of Lake Lanier or picking up seashells along the beaches of Florida.

I rode bikes with my neighborhood friends, trudged through the woods in our backyard to find the next big adventure and that old tree swing that someone unknown to all of us put up for the kids to enjoy.

We kids ran around outside until the fireflies couldn’t even create enough light to sustain our delight, while the parents sat in the backyard laughing and talking. All of it seemed idyllic, safe and endless.

….and I want those days back.

But, sigh, I’m in my 49th year with a mortgage, a daughter in private school, and resposibilities that demand that I turn my bedside light out by 10 and set the alarm for 6 (maybe 7?).

No more jumping on my bike to find my friends after dinner and grumble when my mom calls me from the front porch that it’s time to come home. 

I miss those dirty, carefree days full of possibilities.

I seriously just realized why summers don’t feel that way anymore. I’m not joking when I’m sharing with you that I just made the connection that I’m an adult now and that maybe the link as to why summers just don’t feel like they used to. I also had this realization about all special holidays….I was a kid and my parents were the ones who did all the behind-the-scenes-under-appreciated-work that made it wonderful for me, my sister, my friends and cousins. And now I’M the one who does all the magic-making. 

Are you feeling the same way?

If so, I’ve been thinking on this quite a bit this last week and I have some thoughts that I’d love to share with you. These are the things that made summers magical for me, and I’ve decided that I’m going to make the effort for myself and for those around me so we can keep that summer-time magic going. 

Because, hey, isn’t it always delightful to have special-ness among the ordinary?

First off, go find a nice place with an herbal iced tea (here’s a link to my favorite summer time homemade herbal iced tea).  I love to sit in my garden and day dream, looking at the clouds, listening to the birds, and smelling the flowers….already sounding like a good summer activity, huh? 

Feel back to when you were in a nice place in your life and the most fun things you did in the summers. Was it nieghborhood barbeques? Family day at the lake? Going to the drive-in movies? Catching fireflies? Swimming in the ocean or water skiing or playing out in the woods, riding bikes, playing with your dog, going to an outdoor concert? Camping, hiking, baseball games, running through the sprinkler, staring up at the stars in your backyard, making homemade icecream or popsicles? Or was it sleep overs with your friends and staying up way too late giggling or watching movies? Let your memory and imagination run wild. Feel those joys in your heart and your body. 

And then write them down. Remember them. 

What about creating some of the adult versions of these memories in your present life? Maybe you have kids and you want to impart some of those fun times into their lives. Or maybe you’re solo and you’re ready to bring that magic back into your days. 

Whatever your situation, whether you have money to spend or not, whethere you’re in the same place you grew up or a thousand miles away from there, are there activities that you can incorporate to add that spark into your daily responsible life to have some innocent fun?

….and maybe it’s not an entire summer filled, but maybe it can be an evening, a day or during your lunch break.

That’s what I’m planning on doing this summer! We already made our first batch of peanut butter chocolate chip icecream for the season. Our garden is ready to go and the lights are strung out in the backyard. Our family had its’ first grill out last weekend. We’ve got our June camping we planned with our friends for my favorite spot in Northern New Mexico. I have tickets to go see Dierks Bentley and Snoop Dog at the outdoor amphitheater compliments of one of my friends. My friend, Dr. Henry invited us to pick pears from his orchard onec they’re ready……fruit picking is a must for a successful summer.

No fireflies here, sadly, but hoping to make it home to spot some.

I also love summer reading….I’ve got about 12 fabulous books lined up and already pored through one of them (I was not disappointed by Ms. Phillipa Gregory). Are you a reader? I’m a regular used book purchaser, as long as I’m not looking for something specific, and then I can gorge my reading addiction for $2 a book. Do you have some good books? Always a summer favorite!

What about heading to the park and hopping on a swing? That still makes me feel like a kid and I think it does for most people.

Whatever you dream about and whenever you can create that sense of delight and wonder, in my opinoin, it’s one of the most healing things we can do for ourselves and for those around us. 

I know life is busy… me, I know. And at the same time, I really encourage you make fun times for yourself and enjoy what you have around you. I’m also writing all of this to you so that I can solidify it for me as well and we can all have a fun summer! 

p.s. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, I know this summer fun email doesn’t really work for you, but maybe you can translate it into winter fun activities!

And this video came up while I was listening to music as I was writing this post. It made me cry because it opened my heart so much. I wanted to share it with you and maybe it’ll make you feel happy, too!

Happy season, wherever you are in the world. Give yourself a big hug, smile and feel the joy that you can create for yourself….it’s healing and contagious!

Always, in healing, 
Dr. Arjan

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