I've always had a love-hate relationship with summer.
For one, I was a child who thrived on routine. School was my happy place. I loved home, too, don't get me wrong, but stick me at a desk for seven hours, hands clasped, learning from the books and teachers I adored? The definition of contentment.
Summers can be rough. In the South, summers mean heat and humidity, air as thick as the sweet tea we drink. (And I don't like sweet tea, so you can see how I'd be at a disadvantage.) For a Florida girl, I'm also rather pale, hair bordering on a shade of red. Suntans aren't really a "thing" for me, and sunglasses pose a special difficulty for someone who's nearsighted. I was well into adulthood before I learned to just retire all denim for the entire season; jeans stick to sweaty legs, causing a unique sense of claustrophobia. Ask me to rank the seasons, and I would easily put summer at the bottom of the pack.
But now I work retail.
Autumn -- my favorite of all the seasons -- is now bustling, filled to the brim with activity. My own personal calendar virtually ends at October, when the store's calendar takes over. There is our town's One Book program, plus Black Friday and Small Business Saturday and Christmas shopping that starts after Halloween. I've had to kindly and gently explain to friends and family: If you love me, you will stop asking me to do anything from November 1 to December 31. My life no longer exists.
So sure, fall has the cute clothes and the cooler temperatures, but it's a rough season for me personally. Perhaps this change has softened my heart to sweet summertime, because for the past two years? I have been all in.
Give me all the shorts, tank tops, and baseball caps. Give me no make-up and put lemon juice in my hair. Take me to the coast; give me a large Coke in a styrofoam cup with crushed ice and a straw -- you know, the kind you can get for $.75 at a gas station. I want ice cream in all the flavors, and daylight until the sun's practically ready to come up again. Drive me somewhere with the windows rolled down and the radio blaring. (I'm oddly in the mood for country music.) Take me to a baseball game and dress me in red, white, and blue. Stick an American flag in my hand and feed me a hot dog. Sit on the front porch and shoot the breeze, even when there's no breeze to be found.
In June, the store slows down, and people in Thomasville treat summer as if it's a verb, so Jordan and I practically have the city to ourselves. I kind of like it, and I think all of this makes it official: I love summer.
Sure, when August rolls around I'll probably be in the middle of a heat stroke of some kind, but for now? I'm on board with this whole summertime thing. I get it now.
Here, then, in the spirit of the new season is a little list of goals I've made for the next couple of months. A summer bucket list, of sorts. I'm keeping it simple, as the season requires:
01. Take a day trip to the beach.
02. Celebrate fourth of July with friends.
03. Grill out.
04. Sit on the swing with Jordan.
05. Redo photo wall.
06. Organize vacation photo albums
07. Complete a puzzle.
08. Binge watch a new-to-us show.
09. Save money for Taylor Swift tickets.
10. Find a new, quick getaway spot.
Happy summertime, friends. Let's make it a good one.