Summer Lovin’ – How to Keep that Summer Feeling All Year Long
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It’s that time of year: a melancholic reminiscence begins to linger from great summer experiences, summer performance programs have closed or are coming to an end, and there’s a short lull before “it” starts all over again – a regular work schedule, school, audition season, etc. “It” is typically not like summer. Summer tends to bring with it opportunities for things like discovery, inspiration, and/or relaxation. Oftentimes it offers new experiences, new people, new thoughts, and the excitement to begin the “it” with renewed vigor. Yay!
And then the “it” comes. Things get busy very quickly, life gets shifted back to “normal” (whatever that is), and all that special summer stuff gets pushed to the side in order to take care of everything that comes with what follows. It’s typical for the discovery to be forgotten, the inspiration to wear off, and the relaxation to turn back into stress. But does it have to be this way?
Part of the issue is that the mind seems to see them as two different things; it perceives the summer event as stopping and the “it” starting, rather than continuous paths that can run parallel and even intersect. Changing the mindset to reflect this parallel, intersecting concept can keep those positive, productive experiences of summer happening all year long! Here are some ways to keep that summer lovin’ feeling going:
1. Get a notebook and write down your reflections of things that happened, good things you learned, or things you thought about planning/doing. If you gathered handouts or notes during a program, add any of those that would be helpful to the notebook. And here’s the real action item: Look at it. Often. Most people take great notes and then the notebook gets put away, or they have great ideas, and they don’t write them down. These things tend to lead to inaction, which can be frustrating. Keep those ideas and notes close. Add to them, parse them out, create action plans from them, and schedule those actions. The notes and ideas aren’t much good if they never get applied!
2. If you met new people, keep in contact. It’s so easy with social media and email to stay in touch. Sadly, this usually doesn’t happen. We connect with everyone, have new best friends for a couple of months, and then we go back to our “other” life and sometimes never talk to most of those people for a long time, if ever again! It’s an odd phenomenon in the performing world: people latch on to each other and create a new nucleus for the time they are together, and when the nucleus disperses many times the seemingly strong friendships fizzle as well. This doesn’t have to be the case, and from a career perspective, staying in touch is a good idea. Yes, it takes a little extra time and effort. But it’s worth it! Not only do you retain the friendship, support, and networking opportunities, the feelings and experiences that you gain alongside those people will stay fresh in your mind as well, helping to quell that melancholic feeling that often accompanies the sudden loss of the summer family.
3. If you worked with someone new that was inspiring to you, continue to work with them past the event at which you met if possible. And if that’s not possible, stay in touch and continue to cultivate the working relationship you started. Maintaining and growing that relationship can keep you feeling inspired and can give you a current business contact!
4. If you discovered some great things or came up with some great ideas, make sure they get put into action. Many people get stuck on this part, and because of that those great ideas get embedded in a notebook or float around in the mind and they never come to life! There are many possibilities here – friends, family, accountability partners, and/or professional consultants (like yours truly 🙂 ) could be instrumental in helping you get from A to B. It’s also important to be aware of who might not be helpful. If you’ve been through a shift and others near you haven’t, your changes may be met with some resistance. This is normal – be sure to stay true to yourself and find those who can help you move toward your goals!
So why not give these a go and see if you can keep summer going past the time of the experiences themselves? Merging our summer events into our lives rather than defining them as being over can also help us to normalize more quickly, and we can continue to enjoy our experiences and discoveries throughout the year.
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