I call it Montana mania. While life can
be quite peaceful in Lewistown most of
the year, come summer the floodgates
unleash a frenzied tsunami. Suddenly
whatever solitude one had is lost for at
least until the end of September. Hence
empty houses are full of house guests
while our social calendars are booked
solid with back-to-back barbecues and
pot lucks. And while we really should
all be out enjoying this lovely place -
we're much too busy making potato
salad to enjoy the great outdoors.
Out of this world
Why do we do this to ourselves? Have
we all forgotten what summer truly is
all about? Before air conditioning we
all opted to escape the oppressive heat
somewhere else. Be that the mountains,
beach, or lake. Anyplace but home our
summers were filled with swimming,
backyard play, and catching fireflies at
dusk. Now we can't seem to find time
to escape reality. So like it or not, most
of us never if ever get out of town. All
of which means we rarely escape, kick
back, chill out. It's one endless grind!
Far away from it all it was easy to shift
gears. Within one's rustic oasis a layer
of either pine needles or sand lay upon
the floor. Nobody seemed to care and
if need be you swept the porch. One's
summer standards naturally slipped as
did their stress level. Therefore most of
us spent the summer in slightly damp
bathing suits without a care. That was
all due to the fact that there were NO
cell phones, cable, or other intrusions.
Thus everything that had seemed to be
so important was suddenly put on hold.
Every Friday Manhattan empties out
like an unplugged sewer. Everybody
races to the Hamptons, Berkshires,
or "Upstate." However once they hit
their supposed idyllic finish line, the
competition is actually just beginning.
While environment or accoutrements
are a bit more casual - one still must
jockey for the best table at the local
eatery along with the sweetest corn
at the farm stand. Then of course one
measure one's tan against all others.
Hence the rat race never really ends.
Nowadays few if any of us hit the
escape hatch. Instead we multi-task
in an attempt to maintain a work/life
balance. Unfortunately in our frenzy
to have fun and pay the bills nobody
ever actually relaxes. Even after the
kids are finally put to bed, the "to do"
list rarely gets checked off. Instead
of sitting back and sipping vino we
Facebook. Burning one's candle at
both ends has never worked. So why
do we risk burning ourselves out in
the heat of summer? Can't we chill?
Catch as catch can
This summer we need to think differently.
Actually what we need to do is stop doing
whatever we're doing and reconnect with
ourselves. In truth that for most is beyond
challenging. Within our modern techno
streamlined existences, it's hard to draw
a proverbial line in the ever flowing sand.
And yet that's exactly what we must do
in order to refresh ourselves before life
returns back to normal post Labor Day.
And so even if you can't run away, step
out of your routine and smell the roses!
There is light at the end of the tunnel...