I’ve relapsed. It’s Sunday and I’m sitting on my balcony, drinking my morning coffee, lost inside my own thoughts. I’m still in my pajamas at 11 a.m. and it’s exactly what my “condition” calls for.
Most of you have heard of “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (S.A.D.) which Wikipedia defines as “a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.” Anyone who lives in Minnesota is well-acquainted with this condition and people who live in the South have at least heard of it.
However, there’s a corresponding condition that’s been afflicting me since the days first started growing longer and that’s Seasonal Affective Disorder’s unruly cousin who settles in during the school break—“Summer Anxiety Dysfunction.”
This is brought on by the acute awareness that there are approximately only 15 weekends of potentially beautiful weather in which to pack a year’s worth of summer socializing. People start looking at their calendars in early May to plot potential gatherings: Which weekend should we have the barbecue? Which weekend should we do the pool party? Which weekend do we invite our friends to the cabin? Which weekend do we go boating?
Next, layer in the family commitments: Graduations, weddings, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day—and in my case Lucky’s, Oskar’s and my birthday. Our wedding anniversary (30 years!), my mother turning 90 and ending the summer with my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary.
As if this isn’t complicated enough, there are other events to be considered. Festivals, for example. In Minnesota, there are one or more town/city festivals every weekend, as well as art fairs, beer tastings, outdoor movies/theater/concerts-in-the-park and farmer’s markets.
And if you’ve got kids at home like KitKat, you can add in scheduling around sports tournaments and summer camps.
While these activities are mostly fun and I enjoy them, as an introvert, I reach a point where all the activity is enough to send me to my “quiet place” with a drink in hand.
At this mid-way point in the summer, I’ve already attended the following:
- Edina Art Fair
- Graduation open house
- Stone Arch Bridge Festival
- Back-to-the-50s car show
- Shakespeare in the park
- Fourth of July pool party with friends
- Several boating outings
- Cabin weekend with sister
- More meals on a restaurant patio than I can count
- Farmer’s market
And today, if I can motivate myself, I hope to go to:
- Wine Meets Art at the St. Croix Vineyards
- a concert and picnic at Lake Harriet
Then, this coming week, I’m looking at:
- An anniversary dinner w/Oskar
- Lumberjack Days in Stillwater
- Yoga in the park
- Aquatennial fireworks with KitKat
… and I’m still hoping to squeeze in yet this summer:
- Getting my Vespa out
- Lumberjack Days
- Anniversary trip “up north”
- Girls outing with my relatives
- Getting KitKat and her hubby out on our boat
- Uptown Art Fair
- More paddleboarding
- More biking
- Outdoor worship in the park
- State Fair
- Renaissance Festival
Whew! When you combine my weekend activities with a demanding new “day job” you can see why I’m exhausted…which brings me to my current relapse. Last weekend, we took Lucky up to see Blossom and then headed to my sister’s cabin. The girls came out and spent the day with us and there was much boating, tubing, paddling and sunning… After all that activity, I was spent… I. Was. Spent.
Consequently, while dragging myself through the work week, I couldn’t conjure up one ounce of energy to plan anything for THIS weekend, even though the forecast was for a beautiful couple of days. Yesterday dawned as the nicest Saturday for boating yet, but we didn’t have anyone lined up to go out with us, so Oskar and I just had a lazy outing on our own—we stopped at my brother’s beach and sat in lawn chairs at the edge of the river and soaked in the sun. It was glorious.
Then we came home, had a drink on the balcony and headed out for yet-another dinner on an outdoor patio. Afterward, we came home and watched a movie. It was just what the doctor ordered.
It goes against my Type A nature to occasionally let a summer day drift by in that way, but I don’t want to be so busy planning my summer that I miss enjoying it.
And, in compiling the bulleted lists above, it’s clear that I’m pretty blessed and have a lot of fun things to look forward to—should I choose to do them. But I also know that if I call a time-out to regroup, that’s okay, too. Sometimes a little laziness is good for what ails you.
One thought on “Too much happy can make you another kind of S.A.D.”
Fun to read post , Stormy. I found myself relaxing just reading it. Re your list of things you’ve already done, I was with you on 75% of those outings! Fun summer!
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