Buzz, buzz! The ‘buzzer’ sounds ending the first half. What does this mean? It is not signifying basketball has completed twenty-four minutes. Nor is it the sounds of bees as they swarm around us. Well, it tells us that summer is half over, now that July has changed into August. None of us can recapture the initial part of this season. Yes, what was done was done. Anyway, would anyone really want to? A win-win situation from my seat. Boy, that seat is hot. Summer is hot, indeed.
Wow, it is hard to believe that August has arrived and that summer is fifty per cent over. Has July been a good or a bad month? Has the seventh ended or has the eighth begun? A coin can determine these ‘family matters’ much more quickly, but why? ‘What’s happening’ here? Conflict has its place, but not here. Most of the time, I think positively and move ahead. My life is not always about looking through my rose coloured glasses, but I choose to gaze at the ‘good times’ of my daily routine.
For many years in my past, I dwelled on the negative aspects. Statements I said were: ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I don’t want to try that.’ What a freaking sourpuss and condescending attitude. Back then, I was in muck and mire of quicksand with little or no rope to pull me out of my predicament. Yes, my life was in ‘the outer limits’ of reality. Poor me, I felt alone, helpless and very, very afraid.
Then, one day it hit me like a pizza pie in the face. Help was out there, but it was ‘one step beyond’ my reach and I could not see well through the ever-thickening fog. Like a familiar line often stated in The Three Stooges, slowly I turned, step by step and suddenly in the distance was that signpost up ahead…The Twilight Zone. At that moment, I got some strength and like ‘Tarzan or Superman’, I was able to find a way to get out of the quicksand.
Within a few moments, the fog began to clear and I awoke to my alarm ringing beside my bed. Another August day was dawning, while the TV was left on again and an episode of Today or Good Morning America was now background noise. So, this was just another August summer dream. Bummer, bummer. OK now, get out of bed and enjoy the day. Even with heat and humidity, we can try to relax outside. All of us from the 3rd Rock from the Sun have various abilities to appreciate the beautiful weather and have fun.
During these times of COVID-19 and racial issues, I realised that it was exceedingly more difficult. For me, I attempt to plan different types of activities one day at a time; sometimes only 60 minutes. By doing partialising techniques, it helped me to reduce my stress and anxiety. My suggestion during the second half of summer is to spend part of each day outside in the sun. Attempt this carefully, one does not want to look like a lobster or a strawberry. Ouch! This can be quite painful. Double ouch! Remember: this is your life so try to have fun while outside in August and do it at one’s own pace and speed, not someone else’s.
When we do this gradually, we can and do start feeling better with less redness or sunburn. Like on many instalments of Hill Street Blues, Sgt Esterhaus said: ‘Let’s be careful out there.’
It’s very, very important now to be safe during the summer, especially this year. Do not need an ’emergency’ and winding up in the ER. Therefore, please wear our masks outdoors, stay at least six feet apart (not to be confused with the show Six Feet Under), do not participate in gatherings or in large crowds. Plus stop torturing and killing one another by maintaining law and order.
Enjoy August, the rest of this summer, and all of the days of our lives. It’s a good time for me to reflect on my significant other, Maureen. Sweetie, I love you, I miss you and I still wish you were here.
Howard Diamond is a certified peer specialist in New York.
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