When people ask “So what are you up to these days?”, I’ve recently been proudly declaring, “I’m having a “Summer of Me’.” What is a “Summer of Me”, you ask? It’s pretty simple: you take a period of time and strip away as many responsibilities as you can while still pulling in a paycheck. I equate it to summer vacation when we were kids, only you still have to go to work. But when you’re not at work, you have complete and utter freedom to do anything you want, including all those things you normally don’t have time to do, like read, clean closets, take long walks, go swimming, and cook. Or whatever it is that you normally put on the back burner. This could be adjusted into whatever time you have available: a weekend, a week, a month, a season, a year.
There are a few rules and regulations for a “Summer of Me”.
1) No guilt. Explain the situation to your friends/family, and then sleep till noon on Saturday with a clear conscience.
2) Being single helps. That way you can feel good about staying home to watch the “Godfather” trilogy instead of going to see “America’s Sweethearts” or something. I imagine that this could be incorporated into a relationship, though, if your partner isn’t the poster child of stress-monkeys.
3) You have to have earned it. Being a slacker your entire life doesn’t entitle you to a retroactive “Life of Me”; you’ve just been unorganized and lazy. Shape up, work hard, and then feel free to treat yourself.
4) Make a concerted effort to be good to yourself. The whole point of this exercise is the rejuvenation of body and soul; don’t waste it on bad TV and fast food. Use it as a learning experience, to get more in touch with who you really are behind the daily artifices.
That’s about it, although I’ll probably think of more by-laws later. Run with it, and let me know how it goes.