Sunday 10 August 2014

"Summertime Blues"

wish i could do this
Just let go. Let go of how you thought your life should be,
and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness.
― Caroline Myss

It's summertime and I am happy. It's surprising to me to see those words before me and to know that they are true.
It may be interesting for some to learn that many people don't enjoy summer. The weather is uncomfortably hot and things take on a temporary feel. And, if you are one of these people, there is the sense that something is wrong with you if you aren't savouring every moment of summer's splendour.
There have been many summers that I have felt part of this group, the quiet ones who felt a bit out of place because we didn't love every moment of the season. This feeling was compounded for me over the past few years because I was very ill, fighting severe depression.
Part of me has also felt very guilty about not living up to society's expectations. I should be at the beach in a bikini or on a patio with friends having drinks or going on a super fun road trip! What was I doing instead? Retreating to my parents' country backyard to lick my wounds and heal myself, something that proved to take more than one season, more than one summer.
You have likely heard of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) which mostly afflicts people in the winter months due to the reduced hours of sunlight. About 10% of those people will experience it in reverse - in the summertime. There are a few reasons for this, according to WebMD: the heat & humidity, financial stresses, disrupted schedules, and body image issues.
So, are you one of these people? Are you a member of this super-secret club? Come closer because I have something to tell you: it's OK. There - I said it. It's absolutely OK if you don't love everything about summer. Think it's too hot out? Don't want to fight traffic out of the city every Friday afternoon to head away for the all too brief weekend? It's all OK.
The big lesson for me on my journey in and out of depression is this: do what you need to do for YOU. Are you happier at an afternoon matinee in an air-conditioned, dark movie theatre than at the beach? Then do it. Don't measure yourself against society's expectations, big or small, because they are most likely just your perception of what you think is expected of you. Be you. Set your own pace and your own goals and dreams.
Yes, this summer I am happy. I am depression-free and embracing the things about the summer months that make me happy. I am staying in the moment and recognizing and welcoming the simple things in life that bring me joy. Maybe you should do that, too.

KB xo


  1. My parents backyard is my favourite place to be in the summer time. It is warm, sunny with lots of shade. And the company is always lovely. If my nephews are there we have pool parties and we run through the sprinkler... well ok, it really only needs to be my mum and me for that to happen.

    For awhile when I was running away from depression as hard as I could, I was hiking both days every weekend. Seemed like a good idea at the time, and it is a great way to escape all sorts of things. But, in the end, it's not actually what I like to do. I am happier hanging out in my parents yard, or on my balcony with my crazy container garden, going for a bike ride, playing beach dodgeball with friends (for the record this does exist and there is even a league here). In Calgary going to the mountains every possible moment is a culture... but not for me.

    Thanks for your post about doing what makes you happy. Sometimes I forget that lesson. It is good to be reminded of it sometimes.

    So glad to hear that you are happy and having a good summer this year.

  2. Find your bliss and follow that!


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