End of Summer is Coming

It is hard to think about the end of summer when the temperature is still 101F (38C).  But August is winding down; school pick up lines and school busses are a thing to deal with when driving anywhere; and the rainy season is in full swing (thunderstorms almost every day including waterspouts). One of my tenets of Putting Positive Psychology Into Practice (link here to my post on Pat’s tenets) is about experiences:

Invest in Experiences, not things – when planning activities, think about them with pleasurable Anticipation; when doing activities, be Attentive in the present moment; and when they are over, Reminisce about positive past.”

So it is time for a bit of positive reminisce on Summer 2022.  My “What I Did This Summer” report!

This summer I had a whole list of activities planned. In my mid-summer blog post (link here – berate or celebrate), I attempted to shift my mindset to that list being not plans, but possibilities.  That is a challenging mindset shift to a list-checker.  In fact, I still did check-offs.  But I modified a few items along the way, and added in other fun activities.  I could view those new activities as substitutions, if I really want a % complete! The list began with 72 items. I added 9 new things through the summer. 20 are still unchecked. Some finagling with math could mean 80+% success, if I was one to like numbers. I do have a few days of summer left; can I boost that percentage?

The more important thing however is the positive reminiscing!

  • Fun Tribe activities continued this summer, despite many of the Tribe heading north to avoid the heat.  There were some new experiences: Rays baseball game, Rowdies soccer game, a distillery tour, a girl’s day trip.  There were some repeat fun experiences: girls mid-day movie outing, museum visit with dinner after, two dinner & theater evenings. There were two attempts at shuffleboard but were both rained out!
  • Hubby Dates. Not as many as hoped, but we did a bike ride to a local park, had a fun day trip to Weekie Watchi, visited the Tampa waterfront (on my to do list for a year!), went on a bioluminescent kayak evening, and had multiple theater dates. We also had a wonderful family visit, our first time on a plane in 3 years!
  • Lots of Friend Connects happened. From multiple long distance connects (some as beach walks on my end) to meeting up with some new people (get acquainted lunches) to local friend connects (book club, lunch dates), my Intentional Connection approaches seem to be working.
  • On the Foodie Front, I created a new summer cocktail for myself, had a bunch of the must-have summer foods (corn on the cob, fresh summer fruit, iced coffee, peach smoothies), went blueberry picking, and even tried a new-to-me food (soft shell crab).
  • I got into crafting – playing with corks, shells, and glass beads.  And now I’m starting some up-cycling glass crafting (see picture on this blog – my first attempt at glass flowers).
  • Pineapples.  In a summer activities for personality quiz I took, an add-on to my summer things was eating pineapple. It spent most of the summer on the to-do list, but I finally bought one, hubby cut it up, and yum.  I also planted the top, and maybe will be growing my own pineapple next year! Plus, I had pineapple soft serve ice cream at a summer festival.  A multi-hit on the summer possibilities list.
  • I volunteered at my Garden Club’s kid’s summer camp, began a summer study program (still in progress), and turned cardio drumming into a habit.  I also did a number of things solo – from a farmers market visit to shelling walks to thrift store shopping; solo activities are an out-of-comfort-zone growth area for me.

Looking back at my summer plan blog post (link here: summer plans; my blog post is a bigger commitment than the list of 72!) a big miss, once again, is not getting out on the SUP or trying the surf-ski (a type of kayak).  I really do not know what is preventing me from doing this activity!  Any ideas from you?

While some folks might think my seasonal list would create a negative vibe for not checking off everything, I actually found it inspirational. Throughout the summer, it reminded me of some fun things I like to do in the season, encouraged me to try new things, and now has allowed me to look back and reminisce about a lovely few months.  I’ll be creating a Fall Possibilities list next!

What fun thing did you do this summer? Do you have any recommendations for my fall list?

24 thoughts on “End of Summer is Coming

  1. Summer means outside time and even time in the garden I enjoy. We did a British Columbia lakes trip and it was fabulous! As to fall ideas… dinner and live theatre? No idea why that popped in except every time (which is hardly ever) that I go to a live theatre I enjoy it so much. Bernie

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  2. I’m with you Pat, I can hardly believe summer is almost over, especially considering we’re still bumping up agains 100 degrees F here. The kids are back in school, though, and September is only a week away, so fall can’t be far behind. It sounds like you made the most of the summer with lots of fun activities. I must say I like that you changed your list to “possibilities” versus “plans.” That feels more like things you get to do, rather than things you need to do. Enjoy these final days of summer!

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    1. Christie, I used the idea of a Possibilities List when I first retired (and I think I might need to re-look at the original one and blog about it!). It’s been really good to rethink my seasonal lists in that manner, versus to-do. Making a commitment to do one fun thing a week, beyond my “normal fun” stuff like cardio class and yoga, has also helped me stay positive and engaged in life. Many times that is something new, but often it’s a repeat of something I love to do… dinner & theater, shuffleboard evening with friends (yes, that will happen despite 2 rains outs!). I’m feeling an urge to do some fall planning, but first, yes I am creating a fall possibilities list!

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  3. You did a lot this past summer. Impressive. As for fall, maybe you could include visiting old graveyards when the trees are gorgeous and the inscriptions on the tombstones stand out. Taking photos of said. That’s on my list of fall fun.

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    1. Ally, Now I need to find graveyards! I really have no idea as I have not seen any locally – I’m sure they are there and I’ve just not noticed. Of course, we don’t get fall color change here. Up north, there was a graveyard I loved to visit in the spring with all the flowering trees and daffodils. Maybe I need to look at the “heritage village”… a place on my tourist-in-town visit list!

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    1. Janis, that is exactly it. The months can pass so quickly and I’m, “But I meant to do that this summer/winter.” Now, I keep lists (are you surprised?) about things I read about so I have ideas to put on the seasonal possibilities. And yes, feeling more settled… a surprise to me as we’ve been here only 15 months. But I’m really happy with our house, and pre-planning this summer really helped when lots of folks left for the season and it got so hot. Up north, we hunkered down in January/February for the bitter cold. Here it’s August and heat. A shift in mindset!

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  4. I can’t believe how quickly the summer has gone. The biggest thing for me was our 15 day driving trip and I catch myself thinking about the things we did. Specifically, I still picture us on the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle. I have a couple of things yet to do this summer – a couple of girls’ trips. They are back to back, which isn’t what I prefer but it’s how schedules worked out. Two totally different kinds of trips, but both will be great. Then it will be September. Wow. Tim just says it means we’re that much closer to getting back to Florida!!

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    1. Tim must be looking forward to coming back then! Are you coming back to same place? There’s a great new restaurant locally – Cocowood. Everybody is liking it (including me).

      Your summer trip was very inspiring to me. Driving cross country is on my “bucket list”! I have not gotten back into any travel planning … am wondering when the travel bug will kick back in! I’m really enjoying being a bit of a homebody right now…OK, out and about locally but still in my own bed every night.

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  5. Summer is indeed closing fast. This morning it was a little cooler and I heard a few crickets, which always tell me Fall is around the corner. I also scheduled my pool to be closed with my pool company. Your summer “done” list is impressive. I’m sure you are looking forward to starting on the Fall list!

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    1. I chuckled a bit as the pool-closing remark. That was always a big deal for end of summer….but it’s not one here! I have not figured out the end-of-summer markers here. It used to be a shift in tourism (less people), but with so much work-from-anywhere, we no longer see the usual downshifts in visitors by season. I’m looking forward to a bit cooler temps though. And I’ll be seeing more sunrises as daylight hours lessen. And watching for other “signs” as I continue to learn about living in Central Florida.

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  6. Hi Pat, the review of your summer activities is quite inspirational and I really like your glass flowers!! I will definitely sit down and start a Fall list for myself. One thing I’ve started doing is scheduling at least 1 thing to look forward to each week – whether that’s lunch with a friend, trying a new restaurant with hubby or doing a ‘tourist activity’ in my own town. So far it’s worked out pretty well and last week I visited the Art Museum here in Myrtle Beach to see the Frida exhibit. It wasn’t actually her work, rather work by other artists inspired by her. I’ve had this museum on my list for months and I finally went last week, it was lovely!

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    1. Sharon, I have a long list of “tourist in own town” activities myself! And yes, I am trying to plan 1-2 a month. A couple are as simple as checking out the local malls. Not that I’m a big shopper, but it’ll be nice to know what stores are where. (I knew all that about our previous town.) Museum visits – my target is one per season; we have so many great ones in the area! What I liked about my summer list was being able to look at it when I was planning my week and say, “Oh, I’ll do this on Thursday”! I’m working on my fall list now.

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  7. Pat, your ‘what I did this summer’ report sounds full and joyful and perfect for reminiscing. I love that many of your activities include learning about your new environment. Your advice to anticipate and be in the moment is spot on. Every day when I wake up my first thought is ‘what do I have to look forward to today.’ Sometimes it is as simple as coffee with a friend, but the anticipation creates a positive mindset that starts my day. I too have put off some things I had planned to do this summer, but I will either get to it or decide it really wasn’t that important.

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    1. Suzanne, I love your morning question! I do ta similar thing in my morning journaling… and I also write about what did I love about yesterday. For me that’s also a bit of being present and grateful… recalling yesterday’s moments. And then thinking about the coming day’s, even if it’s just a quiet afternoon reading. And yes, I do need to re-think if the possibilities that didn’t happen are that important to me! Good point there as well. Thanks.

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  8. Wow! You should definitely feel good about all you’ve done this summer. I thinking looking back at the list helps to remind you of all the things you did and what fun you had not an, “oh darn I didn’t do this or that”. Of course, that list might have had more negativity had you not accomplished so much! Those flowers are super cute! New career?? I can see you now at a fair selling your wares!
    I didn’t make a list and if I did I don’t think mine would have been as full as yours (and I consider that partially your fault because you’re not here to plan all the things LOL) but I’ve had a very nice summer. And kinda funny, but I feel like our life is getting too busy right now – maybe back to pre-Covid and I’m sure I completely love it. I find it interesting that I might want things to stay a little slower. Believe it or not I may try to leave some of my schedule with nothing to do.
    So, is there a fall/winter schedule in development?

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    1. Candyse, I’ve said unequivocally that I’m not going to make the glass stuff to sell! I actually cannot see me sitting all day at a craft show to try and sell them. But gifting them to friends… that’s another thing. 🙂

      I am working on a fall list. Maybe because I want fall to come sooner rather than later. I’m kinda over “feels like 105 degrees” days. And I do leave slots on the calendar for quiet time. It is really nice to look back on the list and remember all the stuff I did… and yes, that includes book reading, doing crosswords over an afternoon cocktail, and watching sunsets. I enjoy my quiet times as well as my active times!

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  9. Hi Pat – it sounds like you had a pretty full and ecclectic summer. I particularly love your glass flowers (I admired them in the photo before I realized you were their clever creator). You should do a post on how to make them so the rest of us can try our hand
    at it. The bioluminescent kayaking sounds amazing too – it’s something I’d love to see one day – I don’t think photos do it justice.

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    1. Leanne, The glass flowers were inspired by the girls day trip we took to a local whimsical garden. I looked on Pinterest for How to! I used the glue method (there’s a drilling approach as well). It’s really about finding lovely glass plates to work with – I visit thrift stores often now. Trying glass towers as well (next post will highlight first one there). I’ve always loved yard-art. So now I’m trying my own hand at it!

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