In the summer, our expectations about our relationships seem to increase (second only to during the winter holiday season.) The season of long days and extra sunshine seem to heighten our desires for all that we could be experiencing with others!
Expectations Increase in the Summer
Summer brings up a lot of idealized pictures: happy family vacations, backyard barbeques with neighbors, street festivals with friends, and sipped drinks on patios with our BFF's. Our summer activities beg to be done with others. Any time our expectations go up, we're at risk of having our disappointment rise with them. In that gap between our hopes and our reality often comes the surprising feeling of loneliness -- surprising only in that it's summer time where the truth seems most obvious to us.
Most of our chosen winter activities (i.e. TV, reading, crafts) could be done without friends as we left work in the dark evenings and enjoyed being holed up in our comfy homes. Come sunshine, however, our desire to soak up every drop of summer brings us out of our hibernation, looking for our playmates.
Scheduling Challenges Also Increase in the Summer
When trying to schedule a Sunday brunch with friends, it seems there are no available weekends when one of them isn't at some wedding, some get-away trip, or some family reunion, or doesn't already have tickets for some outdoor concert. It seems more moves happen in the summer so we sigh every time another announcement is made about a going away party. Our kids are home from school which means we have all kinds of changing schedules based on various camps, child care swaps, road trips, and longer evenings keeping them entertained. The yard needs more "sweat and tears," our home demands new projects, our calendar seems ever chaotic.
The irony is that the season when we most want to play is also the season when play is often hardest to schedule.
Three Tips to Summer Socializing
Our relationships, beyond our partners, our kids and our extended family, are important to keep fostering. Even when we're busy. Especially, when we're busy. Listen to the small voice inside of you that longs to have comfortable and easy friendships and know that you get there only by going through stages that involve lots of scheduling, intention, and consistency. But get there you will.
May you be surrounded this summer with a sense of purpose when it comes to creating friendships that matter.
Follow Shasta Nelson, M.Div. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/girlfrndcircles