By Stacie Prada
Well into July this year, summer weather hasn’t arrived where I live yet. Days are cool and pleasant, but intermittent rain and cloudy days persist.
A few days ago, I ordered an iced coffee for the first time this year. With my first sip, I had a strong sense of summer. It was an involuntary and automatic response where my exhale was one of complete satisfaction. It made it clear to me how much seasons are about more than the weather. I’d been waiting for summer to start, and I realized I can enjoy summer without waiting for the weather to change.
As a kid, summertime meant a different schedule for me. It was a break from school for a few months, plenty of time swimming, riding bikes, playing with my siblings and friends, and leisurely reading novels. Summertime meant fun and felt like an escape.
I reminisce and ask myself sensory questions.
Which summer memories are cherished. What did I love about them?
Which foods and flavors connect me to those memories?
Are there sounds that evoke fondness within me?
What is within my ability to enjoy that doesn’t depend on things outside my control?
I think of the music I loved and played on repeat. Eating popsicles and attending outdoor parties with friends. Focusing less on television and more on time outside. Inspired by that sip of iced coffee, I’m eager to start enjoying summer.
*Stacie Prada was diagnosed with RRMS in 2008 just shy of 38 years old. Her blog, “Keep Doing What You’re Doing” is a compilation of inspiration, exploration, and practical tips for living with multiple sclerosis while living a full, productive, and healthy life with a positive perspective. It includes musings on things that help her adapt, cope and rejoice in this adventure on earth. Please visit her at http://stacieprada.blogspot.com/