Every year about this time I drop into what I affectionally call the "Summer Blah". Unlike many individuals who get depressed in the winter months I find myself down and out in the summer months. This started when I was suffering from Grave's disease many years ago. Grave's is a thyroid disease that caused by hyperthyroidism and one of the main side effects is a complete and utter sensitivity to heat. I spent several years getting this disease under control and during that time the summer months were gruesome. There are only so many layers of clothing you can take off and be allowed in public. Now that Grave's disease is behind me I still find myself being down in the summer months. Part of it is a familiar fear and dread of the heat, but It's shifted for me over the years and I have recently realized that the primary reason I seem to be down is I actually love the idea of hibernation and self discovery that naturally occurs in the winter months. I crave alone time and it is seems much more acceptable to want to be alone and hibernating in the winter when its freezing outside. But in the summer there is this unspoken expectation of going and doing and being with people all the time. Add on top of that seeing pictures of everyone else's vacations and summer travels on Facebook and you get a serious case of what's wrong with me? Why am I not out doing all that?
As I find myself in this familiar yet uncomfortable place again, I am taken back to the word compassion. Compassion for myself and where I am in the moment and the realization that its OK if I don't attend every summer party or celebrate every holiday with a blow out bash. But I couple that with a stern look at my day to day routine. Where can I soften the hard edges? Where have I let my spiritual journey and practices become too rigid and without play? I find that it is the times of year that are hard for us, the seasons of our life that are most difficult when we need the most play, we need the most lightness. So here's to more play and more exploration, more reading my self help and spiritual study books by the pool. Here's to late nights on the deck watching fireflies and yes, the occasional summer party and epic vacation.