Stephanie Spitler
July 09, 2013 7:00 am

I had a scary realization last week as I was watching fireworks explode in the night sky, after stuffing myself with the requisite Fourth of July barbecue fare (is there anything better than grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, cold potato salad and fresh corn on the cob? I don’t think so).

It dawned on me that we’re about halfway through summer already. Can you believe it? I definitely can’t. It seems like just yesterday I was unwrapping Christmas gifts, or dying Easter eggs. But now that I’ve officially waved my sparklers around and eaten my fill of red-white-and-blue popsicles, it’s time to take a good hard look at my summer so far.

One of the great things about the Fourth is that it falls in the middle of the summer, so it acts as a sort-of reminder to get us in gear. It shakes you out of your heat-induced stupor, and while you’re indulging in watermelon-flavored cocktails (virgin, of course) and lounging by the pool, you start to think about the (hopefully) awesome things you’ve already done, as well as everything you still need to do.

Summer is the only season with this built-in reminder party, alerting us to the fact that time is (not-so-slowly) drifting away. Think about it; no other season has one. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all major holidays that require some serious preparation, yet always seem to sneak up on us and appear out of nowhere. Same with Easter (if you celebrate these holidays, of course).

So, now that the summer panic has hit, what to do about it? I say, get out that calendar and start scheduling some fun. The things that are really important to you, that you absolutely 100% must do, won’t just happen spontaneously. Pick the weekend you want to head to the beach and get your toes in the sand, and book it. You have to make things happen, or else you’ll be sitting on your couch in a few months, wrapped up in a blanket, staring out the window at the snow falling and regretting (instead of remembering) the beach trip that never happened.

Now, for those things you’d like to do, but they aren’t at the top of your list, I say go with the flow on those. If you find yourself with an extra day off, or a friend who also wants to go to the amusement park, then go for it! I don’t think you need to schedule everything; in fact, that takes the fun out of it. Sometimes the best ideas are the last-minute ones. My personal motto: never say no to a spontaneous round of mini golf.

The Fourth of July is over, and we’re heading into those last, deep days of summer. But there’s no reason why the second half of your summer can’t be as good (or even better) than the first half. Soon enough, we’ll be breaking out the sweaters and tall boots, so enjoy the flip-flops while you can.

And if all of this halfway-through-summer talk is depressing you because you’re the rare person who is already so over it and ready for fall, guess what? There’s only five months until Christmas!

What’s still on your summer must-do list?

Featured Image via Shutterstock

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