How to Get Through the Summer Without a Vacation
Be thankful for what you can do
While many Americans are planning cruises, trips to the beach, and heading to vacation resorts, or to visit relatives, there are others who can do absolutely nothing this summer. Now, in 2020, because of the coronavirus, more people may need ways to enjoy life at home. To add insult to the injury of not being in a position to choose to travel is the attitude of others. It is unfortunate that people often relate to you based on their own personal circumstances and don't use discernment. As Kenny Rogers sang in The Gambler, "You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run" in other words, sometimes we should stop a moment and think before we speak.
I once attended a funeral and ran into a woman I had not seen in many years. She began going on and on about how she had just returned from Hawaii and that my husband I needed to go. On that particular day, I was having problems with my vehicle and was praying I could make it back home without breaking down. My daughter's husband had just walked out on her and three children and we were trying to help them stay afloat. I already knew that there would be no extra money for summer excursions and was trying not to think about it.
Social media amplifies the issues of life because if you are unable to take a vacation this summer, your news feed will be filled with posts from those who can and do. Don't let it get you down, by being thankful for whatever yu are able to do. Shift your focus away from the excursion that you were unable to partake in and set your sights on making the most of your summer.
Take advantage of opportunities
There is an old saying that you cannot stop birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest. We have no power to control those who like to share or even brag about their summer vacations. Besides, they have no way of knowing that you are hurting inside because your plans went awry. Keep a good attitude and find ways to do all the things that are possible for you. If you are able to attend a family reunion, wedding, church dinner, cookout, picnic or birthday party, enjoy it to the best of your ability. Take pictures as keepsakes to remind yourself that you were ale to have some fun.
During the summer months, many churches have their annual homecomings. If you don't have transportation, ride with friends or family. Some ministries even have vans, These church services are a wonderful time for food and fellowship. I know people who attend as many homecoming services as they can each year. Be sure to check out local festivals that are low cost or no cost. Most have vendors but in my area, there are two each year where food is free. Attend a fair or carnival and enjoy it as if you are at Disney World. Sometimes life is what you make it.
If you are unable to travel to the beach, or a local lake, be creative and find a way to get into some water. Consider a friend's pool, public swimming facilities or local water parks that may cost under $10.00. In this area, people love Splash Valley, a local water park that has free days for seniors who bring grandchildren. You can always make your own back yard fun, even if you don't have the funds for an inflatable pool or water slides. A revolving or stationary sprinkler attached to a water hose is great fun.
A few years ago, my grandchildren and I put on bathing suits and had a blast with nothing more than a water hose. One of us would hold it high and the others would run through the falling water. We found that by placing our fingers over the opening we could make it work like a sprayer. One of us would chase everyone else with the hose in hand and they would try really hard not to get caught.
Relax with a cool drink
You can be creative and make your own summer drinks to keep yourself cool. Reuse those plastic drink cups from fast food restaurants and fill them with lemonade, soft drinks or kool-aid, Place them in your freezer until they turn slushy. Put ice cream in a bowl and pour ginger ale over the top to make a delicious punch. Freeze your favorite drinks in the ice trays instead of water for a fun addition. Be sure to keep bottled water on hand in the fridge to have a cold drink without adding ice. Enjoy your beverage as you watch a favorite movie, or sitting on your porch or deck.
None of this can replace a real vacation, but these ideas will relax your mind and keep you from overthinking about what you cannot control. The key is learning to enjoy what you have instead of yearning for what is not currently possible. Be happy for those who are able to get away, then set your focus on being content until you can do better.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Cheryl E Preston