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By Laurel Pattenden

In Canada, summer is not a time to dally since it is so short. Full calendars, full of people and full of fun.

This more adventurous season fills our digital cameras with proof. This sounds absolutely thrilling to some but to me it spells exhaustion. I am more of the lawn chair, sit in the shade, book pile at hand kind of person. Perhaps a nap on the porch. You could describe me as a rather “shady person” in the summer. This is the new me. My older self was much more into the scrabbled mix of activities.

I have noticed now that my expectations are always greater than my energy. My to-do list is longer than the tank is full. So, to rectify this I dug deep into my memory of those long lost ancient mathematical symbols “greater than”, “less than”, “equal to” and “not equal to”. Maybe not so ancient but were located deep in the archives of my brain. Throw in a little summer randomness and, bing-bang, you have a unique, personalized, curated summer of your own personal delight.

To start, always evaluate your personal energy level. Do not lie to yourself! Yes, we all could swim across the lake or bike to the small town at some point in our lives. Past experiences can remain current in my mind, but the reality of mathematical equations will soon squash them.

Expectations are “greater than” energy.

Vacation travel miles increase as we visit families and friends, interesting historical site, campgrounds and the lovely beach shores that Canada has to offer. As we accumulate travel miles I think we also do some time travel. You probably feel your summers are over in the blink of an eye. Summer is more than two months yet at times it feels shorter than the month of February.

Yep, time travel. Pay attention to this phenomenon so you don’t get stuck in a time warp.

Time traveling is “not equal to” miles travelled.

Our house does not have air conditioning. We survive with fans. Fans everywhere. All types. This year I was purchasing a few more and decided to buy a fan without a remote. I could save money, not misplace the remote and be a tad greener by not needing batteries. Plus having no remote would help my couch potato behaviour.

I felt good about my wise choice and also a bit smug. With most of summer having gone by, I have yet to notice visible changes to my physique from dishing a few remotes.

No longer so smug.

Fewer remotes are “less than” bowls of ice cream.

Gardens, whether they are flower or vegetable, always give us a glimpse of Eden. The massive trees in leaf and the tiniest tree frog size up our summer months.

Awareness and involvement in nature raises our curiosity and our spirits. Whether you are walking or sitting, whether you are traveling miles in your car or traveling with your senses, we all live for the experience of summer.

Summer is “equal to” the beauty of God’s creation.

Besides my mathematical equations for curating summer, even I have to put up with the randomness that insists on bringing the unexpected.

While being a couch potato, with book in hand, minding my own business I happened to feel this odd little thing on the back of my neck. As I began to pick, pry, and finally pull it off, that little tick pulled my skin off.

Randomness, eh!  

Laurel is retired and likes to spend her time in her art studio.