An Anti-Ode to Summer

Dear John Summer,

I must admit there were good times.  We enjoyed fantastic beach days basking in the sun and jumping ocean waves.  We indulged in barbecues, citrusy summer ales, and frozen desserts.  We spent lazy hours lounging beside the pool, laughing, and making memories with friends and family.

Yes, we did have some fun.  Truth be told, though, I have grown weary of your oppressive heat and humidity.  I long for the reduction in traffic and crowds that signals the end of yet another summer season spent living in a tourist town.  I am ready to trade those citrusy ales for richer Octoberfests, the barbecues for tailgating, and the frozen desserts for hot ciders.  Dearest summer, I realize you have a month to go before your scheduled departure, but I would be forever grateful if you could see fit to leave a bit early.

You see, I suffer from the reverse version of seasonal affective disorder, and I feel you are to blame.  Unlike many, I thrive in the fall and winter months and wilt in the summertime.  (I admit to a certain ambivalence where spring is concerned).  The colder air and shorter days make me come alive.  The long sticky days of summer drain me physically and emotionally.  My sleep is disrupted, and my anxiety crawls out of hibernation.  I find myself fighting depression brought on by days spent inside hiding from temperatures in the upper 90s with heat indexes making it feel well into the 100s.

My creativity is stifled and suffocated by the humidity that wraps itself around me like a hot, wet blanket.  I find myself writing less and less often, drained of energy and enthusiasm.  There are too many days when I never touch my laptop, too many days when my pages stay blank.  You have turned me into a lifeless, limbless pile of couch-surfing discontent.

And so, darling summer, I must tell you the same thing I told spring earlier this year.  You will never be more than a fling for me, a passing attraction.  My heart belongs to another…well, two others if I’m being honest.  My love affair with fall and winter will endure and stand the test of time, and there is nothing you can do to change that.

I ask you to bow out gracefully, to fade to black, and to ride off into one of your magnificent sunsets.  Please try not to take it too hard and know that there are many out there who will be glad to have you.  We just weren’t meant to be…

With fond regards,
Karen

Note:  I hope this tongue-in-cheek letter will help explain why my posts have been less frequent over the past few months.  Tell me, do you flourish in the spring and summer months?  Or do the fall and winter months make you come alive?  What time of year is best for your creativity?  As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback!

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59 thoughts on “An Anti-Ode to Summer

  1. I always like to think that I’ll flourish in the summer when I get a break from teaching, but it comes in fits and spurts. My brain needs a break, and I’ve found it best to fill up with activities that stimulate my creativity – like reading, traveling, cooking, gardening, and thinking – then the words seem to come over the fall/winter.

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  2. I hate the heat, it makes me tired, crabby and sweaty. I can’t sleep at night and am uncomfortable during the day. I like Autumn, the colours, the cooling evenings. Winter is OK provided I am cosily warm and dry, we have discovered that 19 degrees is good for us in the cold months, even on the boat. Spring is for everything new. I love the fresh bright greens as Nature awakens. Thus my year come full circle.

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  3. This is great! I feel the same way about the heat! You can’t take enough layers off to be comfortable and it is very stifling. I do love Fall and Spring though. Winter can be a little too cold for me depending on where we are…but I do love making delicious stews during the winter! I am also ready for the change to fall so I can start having all the comfort foods! Here’s to hoping we have an early fall!

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    • Yes to comfort foods! My crockpot is gathering dust, as it seems all of my favorite slow cooker meals are geared toward colder weather. I also enjoy being outside and hiking in the cold, crisp air of late fall/ early winter. Fingers crossed for that early fall!

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  4. I love to see the sunshine and it makes me happy – for a split second!! It is then much too hot for me to cope with. Like you, it drains me and saps my energy. Each season has something to offer though. The autumn with the beautiful colours and brisk, crisp mornings, the winter being snuggled up indoors although I do hate driving in the snow! The spring is actually the best I think. The promise of new life, and the summer to come, but without the searing hot sun!

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  5. I am the exact opposite and dread the ending of summer. My body doesn’t function in cold. The neuromuscular disease which causes my muscles to deteriorate makes living in winter a frozen hell. I have more energy in summer, feel better in summer, and don’t need to hibernate. I need to live in summer all year. But, my need for home care keeps me here in the northeast US because I live in a state with comparatively good programs.

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    • I have always wanted to visit New Zealand, it’s on my bucket list! Funny, but we are looking into eventually retiring to an island in the Caribbean. There will have to be annual trips to somewhere cold! Perhaps as I age my bones will thank me for the warmer climate.

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  6. Hehehe… a fling it is. They all are 🙂 Here I am, after enjoying winter now finally at the point where I kicked it out and welcomed beautiful spring with very wide open arms. So looking forward to see summer again, although I know it will be a struggle with it at some point. Ah the seasons… 🙂

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  7. Hi Karen!! I enjoyed reading your post!! It’s interesting how you have reverse seasonal affective feelings!! I can appreciate your love of cooler months although I’m the opposite… I tend to thrive in the summer and turn into a sloth-like person in winter!! Yet I have been away from writing on my blog this summer… I’ll get back into writing once I’m back inside 🙂
    Hope all is well and happy Monday !

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  8. I got used to the heat after 30+ years of living and working in it. Summers were busy because of my former profession. Spring and summer bring windsurfing and SUPing, but fall really is my favorite time of year. Now I have summers off! I like winter until January then I’m ready for warm temps. I think every season has its charms. And I love the way you wrote this post!

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    • Thanks ,Terri! My husband worked on Beach Patrol with the police dept. for several years (what a gig, right?!), and he got used to being outside in temps in the upper 90s while wearing a Kevlar vest. Now he complains that it’s cold if it drops below 80. 😉

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  9. It really depends. 🙂 I enjoy all the seasons, but my productivity is tied to how many other things are going on in my life. So I guess I’m season agnostic from the productivity angle. I am partial to Spring for the new beginnings and Fall for the gathering of crops and families.

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  10. Well put! I love the New England Fall and walking the beaches in RI when the tourists have left for home. And winter! Just give me a warm fireplace, a wooly blanket, a good book and two lap cats, I’m in heaven! We are kindred spirits. Take heart! September is just around the corner.

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  11. I’m with you! Autumn is my favorite, by far. Winter close second. Spring much closer to winter than summer. Summer, blech. Summer has the garden goodness and like, a few good times. My anxiety is highest in summer — the allergies, the Rosacea, the bees — fall can’t come fast enough! Winter has my love apart from the kids’ bus stops and insomnia. My health starts to fail when the weather starts to warm. I usually spend spring sick with this or that, although I must admit spring is pretty and there’s not as much shoveling or scraping. I am highly productive in September and October, without fail.

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  12. I love this, Karen. I never thought of summer this way, but I have to admit, I also spend lots of time indoors. I also wilt in heat and humidity. I long for those crisp fall days, although I can live without winter. There’s a lot of pressure to love summer. Mostly I love that its the opposite of winter. But there’s something about those milder seasons — spring and fall. They’re just right.

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    • It’s all relevant, isn’t it? I’d trade you the heat, humidity, bugs, and hurricane threats for some cold temps and snow. Until I had to drive in that mess… 😉 Allergy season is nearly year-round down here. We are coming into ragweed season now…awful!

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  13. Oh i live in India, you have not seen summer till you live here!

    Winter is the respite, the one season that is getting shorter and warmer each year. Rains are drenching and sporadic.

    Summers make everything a burden! 😦

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  14. I’ve always thought of myself as a summer baby because I love the water and the sun but to be honest, I appreciate each season for the things that are unique to each one. I love the changes that come every four months and I’m glad I live somewhere that actually experiences all the seasons. 😊

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    • I think when I lived in NJ I took for granted the true difference between the four seasons. Where I am now we go straight from winter to summer and back again with maybe a few weeks of fall and spring thrown in. Now that it’s September my heart longs for all the amazing things that are autumn in the Northeast!

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  15. Can a bit understand where you come from Karen, that summer never seems to end (except up where we are it is the 6 months of winter..haha) I honestly I could handle relentless heat either.

    The window of summer is pretty short up here, so us Canadians really tend to embrace summer. The odd day is in the 90’s, but mostly in the 70’s and low 80’s, very tolerable and enjoyable. 🙂

    Sincerely hope your days will cool down soon.

    ~Carl~

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