Most of us will enjoy many more summers. Depending on your age, you have already seen “several” summers come and go but still have ten, twenty, or even fifty more to come. It occurred to me today that two summers ago I was spending every Wednesday with my friend Barbara “Sunshine” Blake. For years she wanted to write a book about her most unusual life but never put pen to paper. When she called to tell me she had Stage Four lung cancer I immediately suggested we meet weekly so I could turn her life story into a book. Another summer has passed and I haven’t finished writing “Wednesdays With Sunshine”. Time flies and it’s easy to put off projects that are meaningful to you and others.
If you ask most people they can recall fond memories of summers gone by. In many parts of the country summer is short (one of four distinct seasons) but in San Diego our summers are long–but don’t heat up until after the coastal fog and overcast days of May and June. Even with a summer that stretches well into October I still would never get around to doing all the things that make summer fun. A few years back I made a sort of “bucket list” of summer fun. It’s sad we have to plan to pursue our passions and the things we enjoy doing but don’t do enough. Alas, it’s the reality for anyone with responsibilities that don’t go away just because it’s warm outside.
This summer I added something new to my routine. I’m taking two minutes each morning to do nothing but think. Again, it’s a shame we have to force ourselves to stop doing and start thinking. When we rush from task to task we don’t always stop and think if these are the right things to do. When we are always connected sometimes disconnecting (just for a few minutes) can create space in our brains for tremendous ideas and insights. We are all probably guilty of wishing we had more. Once a day we should take a minute to be thankful for what we already have. It’s also nice to spend a minute more at the end of the day to recall the highlights and relive the memorable moments.
This all brings me back to my friend Sunshine and her book. She was an eternal optimist and a fighter, but I believe she knew deep down the cancer would overtake her and she was in her last summer. During that period she would always pick the place to meet. She loved to meet in the park, on the patio of her favorite restaurant, and at my place at the beach. With a name like “Sunshine” it’s no surprise she loved the sun but most of all she loved life. Trust me, she didn’t waste one summer. She lived loud. I miss my friend, I miss meeting her every Wednesday to talk about her wild life, but most of all I miss how she never let a meeting end without saying to me, “Okay, enough about me. Go out there and live YOUR life.” I plan to.
MY BOOK “WEDNESDAYS WITH SUNSHINE” WILL BE OUT LATER THIS YEAR