Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Summer of My Malcontent

When I reflect upon past summers in which I had ample opportunity to do absolutely nothing, yet felt compelled to remain a little worker bee, I think to myself, “Wow, what an idiot.”

As a pre-teen, I continued my education during summer break through daily viewings of the CBS soap opera, Guiding Light (most of the little I know about life came from that show).   I then committed myself to reading any magazine I could get my hands on:  Seventeen, Young Miss., Bop – anything that had self-help hints, make-up tips, and the latest news on Rick Springfield. 

At age 16, I started working after school and during the summer months.  As an adult the allure of summer vacation drove me into a career in education, so what did I do?  I set aside each June, July, and August to work on my master’s degree (which I never got, by the way, and I don’t even care).  I then moved into an administrative role, and haven’t had any summer fun since.

That’s a lie.  We’ve taken many fantastic trips and spent a great amount of time around the pool.  I suppose my little musing today is my declaration of rebellion:  I’m not going to bust my hump working this summer.  I’ve got plenty of little tasks lined up to keep me financially sound until I return to the full-time grind in August.  The bills will be paid, the groceries bought, and a few gorgeous things shall be purchased, no doubt. 

Society tells us to work work work so we can get more more more.  I’ve got more than I need, thank you very much, and quite frankly I’ve been through the ringer the last few months, and I know that I’m no good to anybody unless I get some time to just sit and be.

Therein lies the challenge, though, Sweeties.  I find it difficult just to sit and be.

I feel guilty for doing nothing.  I always have.  Isn’t that ridiculous?

So I’ve made a little list of things I’d like to accomplish, which I know counters everything I’ve said up to this point.  Gosh, am I a contradiction today or what?  Who cares – it’s almost lunchtime and I’d like to get this thing posted.

Beth’s Summer Fun To Do List:

Proficiency on the ukulele (I dream of performing a little cabaret act in which I tell funny stories and then balance them with depressing songs.  Think about it:  ‘Guy walks into a bar…’ followed by ‘Today Billy Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge..”)

Elegantly muse more –stop groaning. Ingrates.

Sew – My nieces’ Barbie dolls are swimming nude, and that’s just not done in my family.

Read – I do this already so I shouldn’t even put it on the list.

Anyhow, if you have the summer off, I encourage you to enjoy yourself.  If you don’t, I feel bad for you, you poor slob, and I do hope you can schedule in a little fun at some point. 

PS:  Because I’m a giver, here’s my recommended summer reading list, compiled with love just for you:

My Way of Life – Joan Crawford

Jenny and the Jaws of Life – Jincey Willett

Anything by David Sedaris

Gunn’s Golden Rules – Tim Gunn

The Complete Stories of Truman Capote



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