When I was a student, from childhood into my 20s, I would spend much of the school year looking forward to the summer. June would arrive, classes would end, and the unscheduled days would stretch out in front of me like the waving fields of wheat that reach all the way to the horizon. Adulthood carries with it the expectations and responsibilities that translate into schedules and requirements, but somehow summertime gives us permission to put some of that aside and be a bit easier on ourselves.
Even today, with childhood memories living like relics in the corners of my mind, I feel like summer is a regenerating season. I thrive on the warm weather and the days with extra hours of sunlight. Many people use New Year’s Eve as the time to determine their resolutions and plans for the future. I prefer to use the summer. It’s easier for me to look at life as a big picture when I’m immersed in the same feeling of freedom that the end of the school year used to bring each June.
I rely on the sounds of summer – lawn mowers, summer bugs, children playing, soft breezes – to keep myself focused on the small joys that life brings us. I’m pretty easily excited by the tastes of summer – corn on the cob, watermelon, tomatoes off the vine, anything that grows in my garden – because that fresh local goodness is only available seasonably. I look forward to the events of summer – county and state fairs, outdoor concerts, baseball games, road trips – as reminders that some glorious things don’t change. And as for the blues, the name of this little missive, summertime always seems to bring with it the most beautiful blue skies – both day and night – the bright blues of swimming pools and the deep blues of lakes, blue birds, blue flowers – and all of it is accessible because we can be outside to enjoy it.
And so this brings me in a very slow, summery, roundabout fashion, to the point of this piece. Coming out of COVID, we have an opportunity to think about our work the way we used to think about school being over. Sure there will be a lot more work to come, more clients with more needs, more busy seasons, new technologies to learn, new challenges to overcome – but right now, as summer begins, it is a great opportunity to take some time to look around, enjoy the simple beauty of where we are, revel in the great work that we do, and appreciate who we do that work with. If you slow down and let yourself embrace the summer months, the pleasure associated with the knowledge that we are all coming back together can be just as precious as those long days of childhood summers.
I hope you too will be able to capture the joy of summer and take it with you into the fall and winter and the future of your work and your work relationships.
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