Happy four day week, everyone! I hope you enjoyed a nice long Memorial Day weekend. Mine was spent at my friend Nash’s parent’s lakehouse in Leitchfield, KY. Despite Leitchfield sounding like the location of a state penitentiary, it was quite beautiful, full of back country roads, woods, and the Rough River Lake that served as the main event of the weekend. 12 of us spent two full days lounging on the boat, swimming in the lake (a little triathlon training for me!), drinking out of koozies, eating s’mores, playing catch phrase (as well as a made-up dirty version), and just unplugging. It was a welcome weekend of pure relaxation, and a fabulous unofficial start to summer!
After driving 3.5 hours back to the ‘nati with Nash and her boyfriend Kyle, I hit the road for the last leg of my journey back to Columbus (between my Wisconsin trip and the lake, I’m over driving). It was during that drive that my initial summer excitement started turning into the dreaded “A” word – anxiety. What could I possibly be anxious about, you ask? It’s a good question. Summer is supposed to be all fun and games, right? Sunshine, burgers, cold beer, warm evenings – what’s not to love?
But yet, with every mile north I felt the A word creep closer and closer. You see, last summer, my 29th, was a difficult one for me. My vibrant social circle was all of a sudden no longer vibrant. Friends had moved away, some were settled into their marital routines and no longer inclined to hit the bars, while others were just busy with their fifth wedding of the summer. It felt like everyone’s life was changing while I was standing still. And for the first time since my freshman year of college, I found myself at odds about what to do on a Saturday night. More than once.
Whereas in the dead of winter I might be perfectly content to settle in with my fourth episode of “The Good Wife” (my current obsession), cat on my chest and curled up in blankets, that just doesn’t sound as appealing in the summer. Maybe it has to do with the fact that directly outside my living room window is a constant reminder that other people are out having fun while I’m horizontal on the couch at 9 PM. Or that something about the warm summer breeze makes people want to be more social. Whatever the reason, I find that summer can be hard for 30-something (and late 20-something) singles. Just like the Holidays can be hard for people with less-than-ideal family situations, the summer presents challenges for us single folk whose friends may be in different phases of life, and who might find ourselves without plans on a Saturday night.
And so that’s why, on the first unofficial day of summer, I felt anxious thinking about the next what-should-be-glorious three months ahead. All I could think was, “I don’t want to have another summer like last”. But then I realized, I’m not the same person I was last summer. Since then, I’ve worked hard to expand my social circle to include more “single and fabulous” friends. I’ve also worked on having fewer expectations for my day-to-day life. Instead of thinking, “tonight wasn’t as fun as I’d hoped it would be”, I chalk it up to just another night. And perhaps most importantly, I’m focusing on the present. Why worry about what I’ll be doing on a Saturday night a month from now, when all I really need to focus on is today? Of course, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t make plans. On the contrary, making plans helps combat the fact that I don’t have a group of ten friends at the ready to hit the bars on a whim as I used to. But I don’t have to spend time worrying about what might happen if I have a Saturday night that is plan-free (even if it’s a Gallery Hop Saturday). Maybe someone else will be plan-free and we’ll have a crazy night on the town. Or maybe not. Either way, I know I’ll be fine. That’s what living the O-HI-30 life is all about.
Bring it, summer!