As a kid it was definitely my favorite season. I loved the long, sunny days filled with running around the neighborhood. We were outside until the sun went down. My absolute favorite thing by far about summer was swimming. I've always been in love with the water. My dad actually nicknamed me Weasel because I looked like one coming up out of the water with my long, lean frame. Anytime vacation is brought up I immediately think of palm trees and the warm ocean breeze. I love the sticky, salty feeling from a day of eating fried seafood and digging in the sand for treasures. I have so many fond memories of summer. Carefree. Happy. Sun kissed skin. I love all of it.
As an adult summer is somewhat different. Well, majorly different. Real life comes into play. We have jobs. Responsibilities. Vacations become an added expense and something to be budgeted. Then you have kids and the idea of getting into a swimsuit and prancing around half naked and *gasp* make up free (you know, not social media ready) is slightly terrifying. I now have cellulite, stretch marks, and veins. My boys have taken their toll on my body. Any vacation destination must also be kid friendly. Of course it's all worth it, but it definitely changes things. On top of all that you have Pinterest and everyone posting about their spectacular vacations and daily educational activities. It's less fun guys and more pressure. Definitely not as carefree.
Somewhere along the lines I stopped swimming. Something I truly loved, that brought me inner peace and joy, just didn't happen. I'd visit the pool from time to time to sunbathe, but was always stressed about how my body looked. The fact that my skin wasn't perfect. As a result I didn't really swim. I'd just get a little wet when I'd overheat while lying out and reading.
This year though something changed. I've been on a journey to take care of myself. To truly become the most authentic version of myself. Someone who believed in herself and could face her demons head on. Tackling things I'd tried to avoid for far too long. Part of this process has been trying to live fearlessly. I want to LIVE. I want to experience things. I want to take in this life. I want to love myself. I want to cultivate my inner peace and happiness. I want to dive in and swim. Imperfections and all.
So this summer I'm swimming. I dove into the deep end of the pool as my eldest son cheered me on asking to see me do it again. I floated, twirled, splashed. I played. I let the sun kiss my bare face. My freckles were set ablaze by the sun. My soul cheered. It was pure joy.
New summer memories are being made. During a recent pool day with friends my husband and I laughed and joked around as he picked me up and threw me into the water. We splashed and I felt like a kid again. The world and any stress melted away. This perfect moment would've been lost had I not decide to dive in. To swim. My niece stayed with me for 3 weeks this summer. We went alone to the pool one evening. We swam, tried to do headstands, took silly videos and pictures. Another fun memory I wouldn't have had had let myself not decide to let go.
So this summer I hope you all find something that in this season use to bring you joy. Recreate a happy, carefree memory. An innocent joy of childhood. It doesn't have to cost a dime and the payout is so much more than you can imagine. Before summer officially ends, I hope you all swim.