I am a winter person – always have been. I enjoy the cold, brisk breeze that wakes me up when I venture outside, building snowmen and snow forts, making snow angels, going sledding, and the break from my allergy symptoms that comes with the wintery weather. I know I am in the minority here, especially among those of us in Indiana, where we sometimes experience blizzard-like conditions and are often plunged into sub-zero temperatures, but it is what I enjoy. Nevertheless, today I am tasked with addressing three aspects of summer which I look forward to, so I will do my best to come up with some positives.
The absolute best part of summer, in my estimation, is the end of the school year. My daughter will once again be home during the long days of summer, and she will fill my empty house with cheer. I keep busy in my support groups and with my online advocacy activities, so I do not experience the sting of loneliness that many in my GP community feel, but I do still prefer the physical presence of my family whenever possible. The end of the school year also means that the stress of homework, school-related activities, and early morning rushes to get ready will cease for a time. We still have plenty of commitments during the summer, but these are far less time-consuming and far more welcome than the school-required events that consume our free time at present. My ability to attend events and accompany my family on outings is quite limited now, due to my illness, so a break from the seemingly endless school functions will be most welcome!
Another positive aspect of summer is the opportunity it affords us to engage in outdoor activities that are limited during the colder weather. We are minutes away from the zoo, but we do not often go during the winter because so few animals are on exhibit. My daughter and I both enjoy visiting the zoo gardens and interacting with the various animals, and it is a relatively easy outing for me, since there are many benches and resting spots on the grounds I can utilize when I am fatigued. The warmer temperatures also mean that we will once again be able to go on our short, yet pleasurable, neighborhood walks.
Finally, summer is gardening time here, and I am looking forward to seeing all the beautiful flowers that will be in bloom. We plant a few in our own yard (although I joke that I have a “black thumb” because most of my attempts at gardening end in the slow, agonizing death of what should be beautiful blooms), but our neighbors have a veritable showcase of gorgeous flowers on their properties. My closest neighbor actually surprised me by planting the most gorgeous pansies in my ugly empty pots just a week or so ago. She knows I am limited in what I can do on my own, and she is trying her best to brighten my days. So incredibly sweet and very much appreciated!
Though I will always prefer the brisk, blustery days of winter, there are joys to look forward to in every season. I welcome summer and the outdoor opportunities it affords me – but I will greet winter with glee when it comes back around.