Friday, July 29, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer

I'm afraid that the summer doldrums have hit full-on. Doctors have actually recognized that in this part of the world there's a kind of reverse seasonal affective disorder, where people get depressed during the summer because it's too hot to be outside during the daylight hours, and that means less sun exposure and cabin fever. It doesn't help that we still seem to take our cues for what the season should be from the media centers and retailers in the northeast, where a really hot summer day is 90 degrees, so they plan stuff like outdoor concerts and festivals and Shakespeare in the park for the middle of summer. Never mind that it's still 96 degrees at 10 p.m. We should be doing stuff like that here in April and October. We should be buying patio furniture in September. Summer activities should be indoors -- the equivalent of what might be planned for the dead of winter in colder climates. It's just depressing to see notices about Shakespeare in the park or outdoor concerts and then think about how miserable it would be. We have this mental image of a pleasant picnic under the stars where it's a comfortable 70 degrees in the evening, when actually even at the end of the event it would still be hot enough here that in the northeast they'd declare it a deadly heat wave if that were the high temperature for the day. We should get on our own schedule here and quit trying to live up to some externally imposed idea of the seasons and then I think we'd be happier.

With all the summer doldrums, I need something to perk me up, some good news or something really good to happen to me. Not that my life has been miserable. I've had a string of minor disappointments (though I suppose that some might consider them major disappointments, but I've grown used to this sort of thing) without anything truly bad. I've had good times with friends and enjoyed some good books, movies, etc. But I haven't experienced anything of the sort that makes me want to immediately call my parents and all my friends to share my awesome good news. The highlight of my summer may have been the surprise IRS refund. I could use some really good news or something great happening to me. Maybe WorldCon will be really, really great.

With that kind of general bummed feeling, I made a point of finding good things to focus on when I was out running errands this morning. I found the latest Vorkosigan book at the library (but I may need to re-read the last one before I tackle this one) and a book I've had on hold for ages finally came in. The lady in line ahead of me at Target had a Rock-em, Sock-em Robot in her cart, and that triggered a fun conversation among her, the checker and me as we waxed nostalgic about toys from our youth. I've been working on exercising regularly this summer, and I wore my "skinny" jeans on my errands (in the irony of vanity sizing, the "skinny" jeans I bought about eight years ago are actually a larger size than the newer jeans I was able to wear before I started exercising). There is a slight possibility that we won't hit 100 degrees tomorrow. There are clouds in the sky now. See, life is pretty good. But I still want something awesome to happen.

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