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5.26.2017

Balance

Summer is definitely the time when I lose my 'balance,' so to speak.  A lot of things about my routines and goals get thrown out during the summer months, which I think it part of the reason that I don't particularly care for this season.  I always end up feeling a little lost or behind on a lot of things, just because I'm not as productive as I am in fall and winter.  In many different areas in my life.  Mainly it's because summer is so much more unpredictable as well as full of more out of the house plans.  People (in Chicago at least) are done with their winter hibernations so there's so many plans being made and things to see and do.  A lot of which come up at the last minute because 'hey it's so nice let's play hooky and do X.'

I'm making plans this summer though, to combat the usual feeling of being off center.  Some of the things I really want to focus on:

Health

People who workout outside in the summer months, I don't know how you do it.  I hate being hot and I can't even stand to sit out there for a few minutes, let alone run out there!  But even working out indoors is a challenge for me in summer because it still is hotter and you sweat more, even inside.  So there's been plenty of summers past where I didn't do a dang thing except maybe dance around when a cover band is playing somewhere.  That definitely can't happen.  I can balance the being outside and walking and moving more with the need to be on the treadmill all the time, but that doesn't mean I can drop it altogether.  Our treadmill is indoors, next to the bedroom.  The excuses available are minimal.  I want to work it into my schedule on weekdays so I don't need to worry about it when I'm busy on the weekends.

The other part of health is the eating, which you would think would be easier in the summer because of all the in season fruits and vegetables available for dirt cheap.  But while I do buy and eat those things, I also spend way more time eating crap food at fests and drinking more.  Let's get real, I'm still going to enjoy my summer cocktails.  But I'll need to stick to low calorie alcohols and stay away from the beer.  And mixers unless it's something good for you, like coconut water.  This will be a challenge because I just really like beer.  PBR, specifically.  And I'm going to make a serious plan for (a) eating before I leave the house and (b) bringing my own food with me, so I'm not tempted by all the greasy things they serve at ballparks and bars like nachos and anything on a stick.

Blogging

I fail at blogging in summer.  Total epic fail, every year.  I systematically take a nosedive in April and May and then peace out until September.  But I have put up a blog post every single week day all year so far and I'm not about to quit now.  June, in true Stephanie fashion, is already done.  Because I wrote them all in March.  I planned ahead for my summer lull.  And yes I know that blogging in general sort of peters out in summer to pick back up at the end of August but I don't want that to be me this year.  Since I worked so far ahead, I think I'll be fine as far as posts go.  But I am making a plan to actively stay on top of responding to comments and reading other blogs - every morning on my commute into work, since I don't have summer break, obviously (if only.)

Finances

Woof.  This is a tough one.  I don't suck at finances in the winter months, despite the holidays!  Christmas is at the same time every year, it is not a surprise nor an emergency.  It's quite simple to plan for, which I do.  And besides the holiday stuff, which I keep to a minimum, nothing really happens during winter months like January, February, and most of March, so it's easy not to spend money.  Summer is a totally different story.  Going out all the time always costs money, and I generally don't even consider how much it really adds up.  I take cabs to and from places, I spend money on Starbucks in the mornings and cocktails at street fests during the day, and then end up eating crappy food at a bar at 7 pm and spending even more money there to hang out with my friends until bar close.  I cannot keep thinking 'oh this PBR is only $3,' not when I have 17 of them.  So I'm making better decisions in this area this summer.  More conscious use of public transportation, more bringing my own snacks and drinks.  To be honest, I've always been good at bringing my own drinks.  Not beer, but parrot bay coconut rum in water bottles and I have a long and lovely summer history.  Don't worry, I have a post coming up in just over a week entitled 'how to sneak alcohol into places you're not supposed to' so I got your cheapskate back.

Zero Waste

I just reminded myself about how not zero waste I can be during the summer when I mentioned rum in water bottles.  Plastic water bottles.  For shame!  Those have got to go, which is why I now have the reusable ones I mentioned in last week's Three on Thursday post.  There's a lot of waste associated with going out and enjoying the weather, which you really don't realize because it doesn't end up in your home trash can.  But it ends up in a trash can all the same.  So here's my summer mission: absolutely no straws in drinks, no drinks in plastic cups, no carrying my liquor in anything that isn't reusable.  And no buying any food from a truck that comes in disposable containers because that crap is terrible for you anyway.  The food situation will really be a focus when I go out - planning ahead on what I can transport myself, easily, or what restaurants I might be able to stop at that use real plates and silverware.

All that to say, I need to be more conscious of my actions during the summer months.  I've been far too lazy and reactive in the past, and I never like when I do that.  This summer, I want to be more in control of my own self and what's important to me.

How do you feel about summer?  Is it business as usual or do you find yourself relaxing more?


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