Summer has always been my favorite season, but it has also long bred a deep churning anxiety in me. Fatalistic by nature, I tend to see darkness looming over every good thing. Summer, my ultimate good thing, is typically tinged grey with fears I can never really seem to assuage. Every day that goes by is one day lost; every day inching closer and closer to the absurdly early start time of the upcoming school year. Summer, with its water filled days and nights roaming the yard to catch fireflies in jars hours past “normal” bedtimes seems like some fleeting fever dream, never an actual season in which to live carelessly while watching fireworks and eating a bomb pop.
Every summer, I find myself using the previous year’s summer as a way to mark time and subsequently, to measure how little of it I have left. “Happy one year anniversary of the July 4th I forced you to watch Hamilton against your will,” I texted to a friend last week, remembering the night he came over brandishing a bag of Burger King fries and a Coke Icee at 11pm, falling asleep on my couch just as Mulligan said he needed no introduction and Yorktown was turned upside down. I had already done so many summer things by that night. This summer seemed paltry in comparison.
It’s not that I look at other people and feel a sense of FOMO; it’s that instead of a hot girl summer, I’m having a busy girl summer, and no matter how much I seem to try, I can hardly carve out the time to just…exist…with my friends and family.
I hate “busy.” I hate how working oneself into a rage tornado of burnt out fatigue seems to be the ultimate litmus test of how grown up you are these days. I don’t want to work hard, play hard. I want to work medium and play my DVR, propped up on pillows in my bed and a little pink from being in the sun and water all day. I want tired babies who sleep until 10am and come to me bleary eyed and ready to do it all again. I want the beach and the pool, and to finally cash in the rain check I have from a bounce house rental company for a 20′ inflatable water slide parked squarely in my front lawn. Instead, I have a to-do list that never ends. One of my best friends has a to-do clipboard. Busy girl summer has come for us all I guess.
I’m trying to remind myself that this season of busy, like summer itself, is fleeting. I’m growing a business, writing a book, freelancing more articles, opening a storefront, talking to a TV production company; all things I deeply want, all things that won’t occupy every ounce of my time forever. All the reasons I’m being pulled away from lounging with my toes in the sand are things that will, eventually, allow me to do just that hopefully with a greatly increased frequency. But for now, here I am, stuck squarely in my busy girl summer.