Wednesday Words

At My Life’s Work, we view opportunities for independent reflection as important in a person’s own process for building self-awareness, wisdom, new behaviors, and different actions.

Every other week, we publish a new edition of our “Wednesday Words” to support your own personal or professional development process. Check back regularly for new essays, email us your feedback, and please share with friends and colleagues.

And…if you would like to receive these essays on a regular basis, subscribe to our newsletter.

 

June 18, 2014 - Beginning Summer Night's Dream

I am no Shakespeare.  That said, on the first night of the Solstice, perhaps there’s something word-worthy in introducing my vision of a

Beginning Summer Night’s Dream.

In this dream, a vision of the next few months rolls out in front of me.  It’s not (although on some level, I wish it were) a summer “fantasy”   - the stuff of Greek Island cruises, fresh morning berries with crème fraiche,  lounging under white-washed ceiling fans,  24/7 sundresses or sizzle.     I’m a realist and, with 49 July’s behind me, I know that this summer will be as sweaty and sticky, busy and short as the last.

So, the dream, my dream needs to be balanced.  It can’t be so big that it simply won’t/can’t come true yet it must take advantage of what summer has to offer so when September arrives, my body and mind, having slumbered, are perhaps a bit more full or ripe or rinsed or quenched.

One word of caution.  This is my dream.  I don’t expect others to agree with its every detail.  That said, I do believe that many of us fall similarly “victim” to the same summer “play” in which we want and expect thrill and/or chill, we might even dabble in thrill or chill, but nothing chilling or thrilling really happens.   We awake in September and we’re still a little thirsty, empty, brittle…a little tired.

So…my dream.

  • In it, I have my thrill and chill experiences only smaller, quieter, lighter.
  • In it, days (realistically not every day but some days) mean self-induced and self-permitted liberation.  I imagine a subtle shift from the constant running and doing and never getting as far as I’d like anyway.
  • In it, I then see myself as the child who plunged 12 feet into the icy blue (in temperature and color) diving well and went “differently” far.  This part of the dream reminds me that deep swimming holes as well as bike trails and juicy novels are great ingredients for simpler, yet equally far-reaching summer voyages.
  • In it, I only have to travel as far as my backyard to actually smell the roses, which, for some reason in DC, have been incredibly and uniquely beautiful but, I suspect, generally unnoticed again this year.   I dream of just a bit more communion with the summer landscape – mowing lawns, picking fruit, watching fireflies and butterflies and stars fly .
  • In it, I don’t have to fly away the last week in August.  Opportunities for vacation moments abound nearby.  In fact, hourly injections of books, beer, barbecue, Bermuda shorts, and/or baseball turn my lazy/hazy afternoons into my holidays.

Unless, in my dream, I dedicate these lazy/hazy afternoons to elusive naps.  Stretching out on the bed replaces beer and the seventh inning stretch.  But then, I wake up, ready and refreshed for an evening game or picnic or outdoor film festival –the last act in my,` not Shakespeare’s, summer story.