“August.” What is it about these particular 31 days? For many of us, August conjures up memories of the last month of summer: hot days by a pool, camping trips, back-to-school shopping or those final days before we left home for college. These 31 days were named after the first Roman emperor in 8 BCE in honor of several of his great conquests. The word “august” – when used as an adjective – means “majestic, venerable, or inspiring admiration.” There’s a little restaurant that I love in NYC called “August” and they cook with farm-to-table ingredients – certainly a way to inspire the admiration of our local farms and countryside!
If you’re anything like me, turning the calendar to August leaves us wondering, “Where did the summer go?” before it’s even over. So instead of preemptively lamenting the passing of another summer, what better way to honor the spirit of August than by focusing on ways that we can inspire admiration and majesty in ourselves? So for this August, I am challenging myself – alongside hikes with the dog, lazy summer evenings and a trip to the ocean (finally!) – to 31 days where I do something that makes me feel better about who I am. 31 Days of Admiration.
Whether it’s a small thing that I would normally do anyway (taking the dog for a hike) or a larger task that I’ve been putting off (annual physical), the idea is to do one thing each day for the next 31 days that will hopefully make me feel better about myself or lead me to make decisions or changes that truly show admiration for myself. Take a look at my 31 Days of Admiration Inspiration and let me know what yours are! If you miss a day or are just seeing this post, any amount of admiration is good!
Here’s to inspiring admiration!
Like most of us, when I was a young child, I couldn't wait for to June arrive (that's when school let out in California up until the late 90s in case you were wondering). So back up one month to May: Spring Break was past, Easter Eggs (and more importantly the candy) were way gone and all those standardized tests were sealed, sent and "statistified." Remember, in California there are no "snow days" and so the latter part of May became a waiting game for the end. I can't remember how many "extra recesses" we got or the number of independent work periods (read: no work) we were granted. As a child, the last weeks of May - as the temperature climbed higher and higher and we could almost smell the chlorine of the pool - were an excruciating period of waiting, dreaming and planning about what we would do with those cherished 90-or-so days of summer.
The other day - during one of those teasingly hot May afternoons - I was jogging/walking/jogging and I stopped as if something innate (almost primal) was awakened within me. The combination of the temperature, light and smell of the earth reminded me, "It's almost summer!" That awakening got me thinking about that powerful and uniquely human emotion: summer!
As a child, summers are a carefree time where days spill into nights and where water and heat commingle in a delicious (and oppressive) pairing. But then, as we get older, summers begin to take on more weight: change, transition, uncertainty. Whether it be our transition into high school seniors (my most cherished summer) or that frightful time after college graduation, our human rhythms are actually timed to reset and recalibrate (or rewind) in the summer.
I've certainly had my share of fretful summers - in some ways this summer (2014) marks the first time in many years that I am not undergoing some major life change. So that got me thinking about what it means to enter - once again - this time of year that became emotionally hardwired for excitement, angst and (dare I say) fear. Do we enter it with wistful thoughts of the past? Or possibly with fear or anxiety about what lies ahead? Or do we finally get a chance to enjoy a summer by the water not worrying about the Fall?
I'll see you by the pool.
My thoughts and reactions to the world in which we live...completely biased and unfiltered.