Note It, Name It

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…” begins the song from Porgy and Bess. Easy for some, right? In my lucky life, summer really is an easy time, even more so now that I don’t have a regular job. I am more in touch with the seasons because I am not preoccupied with earning a living. From the window of my upstairs writing/quilting/yoga space, I can see cars move along a 35 mph road. I like to imagine the drivers heading to and from work, and remember the years I was one of them. I’m grateful I don’t have to do that anymore, though I’ve had some very fulfilling jobs.

Summer for this semi-retired woman means farmers’ markets and the CSA, corn on the cob, leafy trees, no sweater, no socks. Ice cream, long evenings, reading outdoors, picnics, baseball teams, hot dogs. Sandy beaches, seagulls, cucumber cocktails. And equanimity.


In summer there is less to do, it seems, though people with lawns to mow and gardens to weed may disagree. My herbs grow in pots on my deck, my tomatoes in a hanging basket.


In summer, equanimity descends on my world. I’ve been listening to a meditation app called Ten Percent Happier. One of their popular teachers is Joseph Goldstein and today I practiced equanimity with him for 15 minutes. He said to observe whatever feeling comes and goes, whether good or bad, happy or sad, uncomfortable or not. Just note it and name it: “Bored. Sad. Frightened. Tired. Content.”

Equanimity is in short supply these days. I don’t see it in the world around me or even in the books I read. A good story needs some kind of conflict, whether external or within the main character. Something to push against. But in summer, I don’t want to push. I just want to be. That’s equanimity. I’ll let you know when I get there.

What is this summer like for you? I’d love to read your comments.

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