I was driving home from work the other day and somewhat in a foul mood. I was tired, hot, and sweaty as a result of the sweltering heat outside my vehicle. I could feel the promise of a pounding headache at my temples, and no matter how much water I downed, I couldn't get it to go away.
My car AC was blowing full blast as I sat in crawling, rush hour traffic, and sadly it just couldn't keep up with the 100-degree suffocating air outside. The only thing on my mind was how I needed to get in an exercise when I got home, but I didn't want to put in the extra effort because I was so lethargic from the heat - and I was grumpy.
I don't like being in a surly mood. I'm usually an upbeat person. But lately, my energy levels had been low, and I was feeling somewhat lackadaisical. I'm not one to write off changes in my personality as "unimportant," so as I sat in traffic, I sorted through all the possibilities of why I'd been feeling off.
As I gazed out over the hazy horizon, it hit me. I don't like summer. Yep, I said it, and I don't feel bad about it (don't think I didn't hear you gasp). Before you judge me, hear me out. The one and the only reason I do not like summer is that of the scorching heat. It is most definitely the root of my crabbiness from late May through the end of September (even October down south). And I think I've known it for years but never had the guts to admit to it. To some, it is a shocking admission. But to me, it is a form of therapy to be able to finally accept it.
Don't get me wrong, I love the "idea" of summer - long days, vacations, sweet juicy watermelon, ice-cold beer, soft sandy beaches, and lazy pool days. But all of these things come with a price tag - a very hot and blistering price tag. As a child, the heat never bothered me, and I never wanted the summer to end, but as an adult, I find it harder to be excited about the summer months.
I mean, who likes to start sweating the moment they walk out the door in the morning? Who likes to feel like they are draped in an electric blanket every time they step outside? Who likes to feel like they are zapped of energy after the simple act of going to the store? And! Who in the hell wants to pay the whopping power bill generated from an AC unit that never shuts off. I certainly don't, and I know you all can relate.
As a result of these things, I find myself wishing for the crisp fall air to arrive more speedily each year. The cooler weather immediately cures my summertime blues and renews my spirit. I'm convinced that my English and Scotch-Irish blood is responsible for this. I just don't handle the heat very well.
Unfortunately, though, my realization saddened me. Maybe because some of my best memories are from my summer vacations as a child. But we have to grow up, and in doing so, our lives change. I'm no longer able to sleep in and ride my bike for endless hours with friends, or play in the pool until I'm completely water-logged and exhausted.
Also, our preferences change as we age, and my dislike for the summer months just happens to be a change of preference for me. I was worried I was the only one who didn't like summer because you don't hear that kind of "profanity" very often. So, I did what I do best, and I Googled it. Turns out there are a lot of us anti-summer people, and I started to feel better about my "condition." I found this engaging post by Darragh McManus called “Why I Don’t Like Summer,” which you can read here, and it helped me realize it's okay to be different and admit my true feelings about the beloved summer season.
So here's the solution to my problem now that I've accepted I have one (admitting it is half the battle). I'm going to bite my tongue and not complain about it being 80 degrees at 6:30 in the morning (mainly to avoid my husband's eye rolls). I'm going to suck it up and enjoy hearing the contagious laughter of my 4-year-old son while he's splashing around in the pool. I'm going to be very thankful that I work in a building that, to me, has below-freezing AC output. I'm going to pop the top to that ice-cold beer after my grueling, sweat-induced, workout.
And I'm going to rejoice when I see rolling dark thunder clouds in the distance or when the forecast calls for a rainy day wash-out that will no doubt bring the temperature down a few notches. I’m just going to deal with it like everyone else. Because, after all, there isn't a damn thing I can do about the hot summer months in the south, and unless I choose to relocate, they're here to stay.