As August flies by, it’s easy to feel a sense of melancholy. You start scheduling meetings in September—those calendar days looming closer and closer—and you realize that summer is almost gone. But it’s still possible to relish these last days, squeezing more joy out of the minutes.
Here are some simple ideas for doing it:
1. Buy fresh produce.
Tomatoes and peaches are in season now in my neck of the woods, and it’s hard to bite into a sugary, dripping peach without feeling as though summer is still here. Pack a fresh tomato and mozzarella salad for lunch, and it’s like your garden is visiting your desk.
2. Listen to summer songs.
Summer has served as a muse for all sorts of cheesy pop ("Strawberry Wine," "Summer of ’69") or maybe you have songs that remind you of summers in your life (Alanis Morissette’s "You Learn" — but that’s probably just me). Make yourself a playlist and spend your commute reminiscing as Bryan Adams croons about the “best days of my life.” This summer's big hit is here.
3. Take an evening swim.
If your community pool has evening hours, take advantage of them. Come home from work on time, bust out of the dinner-bath-bedtime routine, and splash with your kids as the sun goes down.
4. Host a cookout.
It’s a shame to put that grill away without a few last meals. Ask one guest to bring sides, another to bring dessert, and all you’ll have to supply is the burgers and the beer.
5. Plan something for Labor Day.
It doesn’t have to be a three-day journey. Even just planning one- to two-day trips to places you’d enjoy will give you something to look forward to. Anticipation accounts for a major chunk of the happiness gleaned from any event, and summer is all about happiness.
6. Eat breakfast outside.
Have you ever had a picnic breakfast? When my toddler wakes up frighteningly early, sometimes we’ll go outside, sit on the porch, and eat a bagel. Coffee tastes better when you're watching the dawn sky.
7. Look at the stars.
My 6-year-old and I lay on the ground outside our house the other night trying to watch the Perseid meteor shower. We didn’t see any meteors (or “meat eaters,” as he keeps calling them) but we did get to listen to the cicadas and enjoy a warm evening.
How are you relishing the last days of summer?
[Image: Flickr user Rachel Kramer]