We're in that slow, thick part of summer - the dog days, if you will. The time of year when your skin becomes sticky just walking to the car and the air conditioner groans in the afternoon heat, trying, like The Little Engine That Could, to keep your insides 25 degrees cooler than your outsides.
Every night, the sky gets dark after dinner. A summer storm rolls in and drenches us before an abrupt departure, gone as quickly as it arrived. Perfect for sleeping, I always think. We've been caught in a storm three times in the last two weeks. Twice while playing tennis and once on a walk. We sprinted back to the house and I slipped on my slides the whole way home; our shirts soaked through and our hair dripping by the time we reached the door. We both laughed as we stood in our entryway, soaked and smiling, knowing we could have avoided it if we'd run when we'd heard the thunder coming.
This is our July around here. It's busy and fast, mixed with slow and unpredictable. I'm trying to leave a lot of white space for writing and creative thinking, while simultaneously trying to charge ahead - cover a lot of ground - before an impending busy fall. It's warm and happy and beautiful and a little bit chaotic and messy.
I'm battling the emotions that always come with slowing down. I reduced my freelance work, which fulfills the part of me that wants a higher income and more checks on my to do list. Whenever I do this, an onslaught of feelings pour in, like a stream rushing through a dam that finally loosened. I have to relearn the belief that my worth is not in what I produce or accomplish. I have to remember that creative work requires a slower pace, more reflection and dealing with a lot of emotions. But the worth is always, always worth it in the end.
We're here almost the entire month, soaking up my very favorite season in this city. We're watching less TV, consuming fewer podcasts and trying to spend as much time outside as possible. It's ponytail, swimsuit and sunscreen-as-makeup season and I don't want to make it anything more complicated than that.
So, that's where we are today, July 12, almost halfway through the month that marks the halfway point of the year. Happy mid-New Year, to you and yours.