Here’s The Thing: The rules of summer

This is the first summer that I’ve given myself rules.

They’re not serious rules, just more like personal summertime guidelines. Ones that have really helped stretch out June and July. Did I mention that I’m a full time stay at home mom? I know, it’s obnoxious how we throw that out there. This isn’t a self help, how to, why it stinks, or why it’s the best type article, so don’t give up on me here.

OK, it might be a little self help. I’m hoping it’s helpful for people in my shoes as well as for people like my full-time working husband. He misses a chunk of the daytime fun because, well, we need food and shelter and he cares for us. Jane thanks Tarzan.

Rule No. 1 is to be flexible. July on the Kenai Peninsula has this yin and yang relationship every summer. We either want rain or we want sun. No matter how much we try to boss around the weather, it does what it wants.

Nature makes the rules around here. It’s fickle and bossy and often doesn’t know what it wants. It’s Alaska’s wife. Whether you plan on fishing, a play date, a sightseeing cruise, or anything that includes leaving the house, just remember you’ll have to adapt. Or it will ruin you.

Keep plans loose and keep preparations in the back of your car. But don’t let the unknown paralyze you! Just keep positive with a good attitude. Many moody Julys sitting on a soccer field has taught me this.

Rule No. 2 is to see the people you never see. I have kids in school and more than likely your friends or family do too. At the end of a normal school day it’s homework, dinner, and bedtime. So I made a point this summer for my kids to visit all the aunts and cousins we only see during the holidays or big celebrations. It’s been so life renewing. There is no pressure being around people that really love or like you. No expectations. They just want you to be you.

If you have those people in your life, find them! Touch base with them. While swimming in a lake or spending a day at the creek we have fallen back in love with these people we miss. Don’t feel guilty about leaving your regular crowd. Explain it to them or invite them. Enjoy catching up!

Rule No. 3 is to not be a glory hog. I don’t mind sharing fun summer things on social media, because it’s the one time of year I actually like seeing other people’s adventures too. I mean, seeing your kids play in a lake or kayaking near the beautiful mountainside is a nice break from seeing the sandwich you ate for lunch and how many reps you plan on doing for the day. (FYI, I had a turkey sub and plan on wearing black.)

The humble brag is rampant in our generation, but for some reason I become immune to it during the summer. Alaska is gorgeous and I love to watch people enjoy it. It’s so big and intricate that I feel like I could live here my whole life and still have an Alaskan bucket list. Keep up the fun, it gives me great ideas!

Rule No. 4 is that during these months, I try to remind myself that everyone’s summer looks different. At first I’d text my husband about what a glorious day we’re having! Guess who’s stuck in a warehouse working all day? Not me. We both stay busy, but a full-time job during a beautiful summer can make you feel like you’re being held captive. Like, you’re missing the grand finale, because you’re stuck on the toilet.

We try to utilize his free time and luckily most Kenai Peninsula activities last late because of the sunlight, so it works out pretty well.

Rule No. 5 is don’t panic until August. Sure, we have like four weeks until school starts, which I am actively preparing for and currently thinking about … but panic is a little much. If you live based on a public school schedule, then you enjoy three months of summer. July is still in the middle, so no talking about summer ending when it’s still the middle of July! It’s crazy and I won’t do it!

Here’s the thing: Summer is ending. I’m not saying that to be depressing. No feelings of dread allowed! Only calm, organized feelings. Enjoy the time we have left! June is serene, but has an adventurous heartbeat. July is spontaneous and flaunts it’s talent the most. August is composed and sounds like jazz. It’s the door that hits us on the way out. Make it last.

After all, Alaskan summers are the nicest week we have all year!

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at columnkasi@gmail.com.

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