Summer in Texas can be hard. Really hard. There’s a song by the Indigo Girls that has a line in it that I have always loved and connected with. The line is:
“I could go crazy on a night like tonight, summer’s beginning to give up her fight.”
I love that line because it’s how I feel on that night in September or October, when the relentless Texas summer begins to give-way to the cooler temps of fall.
Living in DFW my entire life, summer has always been the hardest season for me because of how incredibly and relentlessly hot it gets here. In the summer of 2011, for example, we had an entire record-breaking summer of clear skies & over 100-degree temperatures. It was dry, hot and absolutely miserable. I remember getting into my car every single day from June to September and being burned by the door handle, steering wheel, my seats, everything was so hot it quite literally hurt. Even going swimming was hard that summer because the pools all felt like warm baths. And though that summer was hotter than usual, it is no secret to anyone in the USA that summer in Dallas is one of the worst summers in the nation.
But so far this year, that simply hasn’t been the case, and I have not only noticed it, but I have been absolutely reveling in it.
Last week, for example, the high stayed in the 80’s for most of the week, and the low was in the 60’s at night. It’s the middle of July and I slept with my windows open for 3 nights in a row! And even though it’s a high 90’s day as I type this, (and will be over 100 a couple of days this week), according to the weather calendar we are headed for another couple of days of highs in the 80’s next week. It’s been raining here more than any other summer in recent history too. This summer has felt more like spring than any summer I can remember.
So a couple of weeks ago I mention to a friend how awesome this summer has been so far, and he quickly shushes me and tells me not to jinx it, totally squashing my happy little recognition. Then a few days later I post on FB that I’m so incredibly grateful for this cooler than normal summer, and 2 people, warn me to stop saying it out loud because Mother Nature might hear me and turn the temps back up. Now I know that they were joking, but it bothered me because I also know that this kind of “Don’t Jinx it!” attitude is really common when things are going unexpectedly well for us, and I honestly believe that it hinders our ability to be joyful in those moments
I cannot emphasize enough how much I wish this trend in our society would reverse itself. In 2011, I saw post after post about how miserable it was here that summer, but NOBODY told those people to stop complaining because pointing out the bad only seemed to make it worse. (Which it does!) Why did nobody tell those people to stop? Because in our society it is totally acceptable to complain about getting what we don’t like, but NOT to revel and enjoy the surprising things we get that we do like. And I think that if we switched that trend, it might actually contribute to our ability to be happier as individuals.
My amazing friend and Colleague Jessica Demla just shared a quote with me that I think perfectly sums up my feelings about why I wish this trend would reverse itself:
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. – Mahatma Gandhi
How often do we hear someone say, “I don’t wanna jinx it” referring to talking about how unexpectedly good something is going, like a new job or a new love interest? But I wonder what consequences we might be unintentionally causing by stopping ourselves from thinking about, talking about, and really enjoying that surprisingly good thing. How might stopping ourselves from reveling in our happiness make it harder for us to enjoy it, because what we are saying is NOT in harmony with what we are feeling & doing?
My challenge for you is to completely revel in the good surprises life offers up, talk about them and enjoy them with purity. Speak that joy out loud, especially the unexpected joys that come your way. Let your words be in harmony with your feelings and your doings, and recognize the positive impacts