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Editor's Note: Summertime, and the living is easy

Published: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 9:43 a.m. CDT

Ah, summer.

OK, so it’s still May, but Memorial Day is behind us and there have been several solid shorts-appropriate warm days. I don’t know about you, but I spent a very long, very snowy, very cold winter dreaming about this.

If you have recently graduated, or you are about to graduate, congratulations and good luck to you. If you are young and have spent your entire life in school, and now you are ready for your grown-up life to begin, I have to warn you it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be. Life as an adult can be great – it really can – but a lot of graduates have this idea that once their diploma is in hand, everything else will fall into place.

That doesn’t always happen. In fact, it rarely does.

But don’t get discouraged. Find something you love, focus on it, and – here’s the key – take concrete steps toward making it happen, and you can be great.

It seems a little unreal to be facing summer days at last. Summer has a tendency to get away from me. I’m excited for it to arrive, brimming with things I want to see and do before it’s over. But in the day-to-day, the demands of everyday life don’t slacken, and it’s easy to say  “not tonight,” “maybe later,” until, whoosh, next thing you know there’s a nip in the air.

As I tiptoe toward middle age, I find years having an uncanny tendency to do the same thing.

So, in an effort to make sure I actually get out and do things this summer, I’m making a miniature bucket list – a sand pail list, if you will:

• I want to take my kids to the zoo. The older one has already begun asking about this. The younger one went as a baby, but it went right over his head; it will be a lot more fun to take him now that he knows what an elephant is.

• I want to sit around a fire pit or a patio table – or both – with family members I grew up with, swapping stories and learning new things about my family’s past and present. Even better if there are boxes of old pictures involved.

• I want to get away with my husband for a weekend and do grown-up things like drink wine and visit historical sites and not hear the great sighs of a bored child.

• I want to take a lot of long walks on soft evenings, and ride my bike around town on sunny afternoons.

• I want to lie on the grass and relax under the warm sun and not think about any of the chores or errands I could be doing instead.

• I want to eat a ton of sweet corn, watermelon, and garden-fresh vegetables (from someone else’s garden, of course – I don’t do bugs and dirt).

• I want to throw and attend impromptu parties, the kind that start out with someone stopping by for a chat and end up with calling more people and deciding to cook out. After all, summer, I think, is a season best shared.

Whatever your plans, this summer or just your weekend, have fun, be safe, and enjoy your MidWeek.

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