By Jamie Kirk

 

Stop apologizing for what you want.  Stop agonizing if what you want will be accepted by your friends and family. Stop pretending that you don’t want what you want. Stop acting like what you want is not a need. 

 

Even though the Young and the Restless was a daytime soap opera, I like the name, or something very similar to it… The Summer of the Aged and Tired. Not that it represents my friends or me, but it really does seem to have a ring to it.

 

The summer is hot, we are easily agitated, the air conditioners go out, the dogs get more smelly, and we just generally get in a wonky mood. Very similar to how we get when it’s the middle of January. Same things, only in reverse.

 

We have to be careful not to start getting so irritated that we make quick and bad decisions.  We have to exercise patience, and we have to be a little more controlled in the way we behave. And most importantly, we have to remain our authentic selves.

 

The reason this becomes more difficult in the summer is that we often become competitive, anxious and compare ourselves to our friend groups. The summer is fewer clothes, more drinking, more pool time, more outdoor activities and a chance to be out and about. This can cause us to try and be something we are not. Or even get jealous of what our friends have, the way they look, or perhaps the entire life they are living.

 

With the summer months winding down, we need to say no when we need too, and yes, when we should. And most importantly, not have any regrets in any direction we choose to pursue. Life is really about choices; we just need to make sure they are our own choices to have. I don’t like just making this a “seasonal” article, because our ability to make sound decisions happens in the other three seasons as well. They only get more pronounced in the summer.

 

When you are at the pool, or at a BBQ in the next few days, take some time and reflect on the choices you are making, and confirm they are all about you and not about someone or something else. Make sure that you are committed to honoring the direction of your life. Being selfish when necessary and being kind always.

 

Take a break from doing things because they are right for someone else, and validate that your choices are right for you, and you only. After all, if you don’t make it about you from time-to-time, you can’t expect anyone else to. I know this for sure; folks are watching the way you treat you, and no one will treat you better than they observe you treating yourself.

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