Are you having fun yet? Take this quiz to see how your summer fun is shaping up. Also below this post there is my Top 10 List of fun things you can do this summer if you’re stumped. Enjoy!
Summer Fun-O-Meter Quiz
By: Donna Burick
“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it ~ Russell Baker
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~ Henry James
“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” ~ John Keats
Here we are in midsummer and I have to ask – are we having fun yet? We love the energy of summer because it’s ripe with so many opportunities to have a great time. So let’s greet the heat with as much enthusiasm as we can muster and revert to treating this summer like we are back at camp.
What were your favorite summer memories? Was it eating hot dogs at a baseball game? Did you know that the average person eats 60 hotdogs a year. In fact, during the average summer festival in America, 5 tons of hotdogs, 20 gallons of mustard, 930 pounds of onions, 125 gallons pickles, 40 gallons of ketchup, and more than 3,000 rolls are consumed.
Or maybe it was sitting on the porch waiting with great anticipation as your family cranked out homemade ice cream. While you might think kids ages 2-12 eat the most ice cream apparently older adults (ages 45 and up) eat just as much! There is something special about sharing ice cream outdoors with someone you love and you will be glad to know that scientists have discovered that it takes about 50 licks to eat a single scoop ice cream cone. Maybe it’s not as calorie negative as celery, but at least there is some effort expended – so eat a scoop guilt free.
What summer activities that you so loved as a child can you bring back into your daily life? Make sure you are intentionally having some fun this summer. Recapture that carefree summer attitude.
To help get your mindset pointed in the right direction, I created this Summer Fun-O-Meter Quiz. Each answer is weighted with fun-meter points so you can see where you are on the fun scale.
1. It’s 8pm on a Wednesday night and still light outside. Are you thinking about:
- Going to bed early, pulling the shades and catching up on those episodes of Grey’s Anatomy you TiVo’d?
- Sitting down at your computer to play Farmville on Facebook?
- Pouring a second glass of wine and sitting on your back deck to watch the sunset?
- Breaking out some sidewalk chalk and spending some creative time outside.
If you answered A or B then you are not taking advantage of all the summer fun available to you. By staying inside and not doing something different than any other day you are not maxing out your fun-meter. Now C is a good answer but there is no activity or creativity involved. Plus, that second glass of wine might disrupt your sleep, making you less likely to have the energy to make the most out the next day. C is the answer that maxes out your summer fun possibilities. When is the last time you drew on a sidewalk? You are getting some vitamin D in your system and being creative all at the same time!
2. It’s 7am on Saturday morning. Are you:
- Shutting off your alarm so you can roll over for a few more hours of sleep?
- Dragging yourself out of bed, dreading your mile long to do list?
- Waking up with no plans?
- On your way downtown to go to the Farmer’s Market.
Now, sleep is a precious gift but studies have shown that by upsetting your sleep routine on weekends you make it harder to be alert the first few days of the week. It is better to stay within the same bedtime & waking time to keep your body in a rhythm. Also, that’s the thing you do in Winter. Summer is begging you to get up and out. As for B, it’s good that you have things you want to accomplish but all work and no play is really dull!! Make sure you plan some fun into each day so the things you have to do are sandwiched between things you want to do. As for C, spontaneity is great but less gets done when it is not planned. You don’t have to have your weekend scheduled down to the minute but without a guide it is easy to get lost. So D has the most fun-meter juice. Get out of bed and start your day with a fun summer activity. Buy some local fruits & vegetables, see old friends and jump start your day.
3. It’s 3pm on Sunday afternoon. Are you:
- Dozing off in front of the TV or on Facebook?
- Grocery Shopping?
- Walking in the park?
- On the lawn with some friends having a picnic at a Sunday Music in the Park concert?
At the risk of repeating myself, summer is all about getting up, out and going. This is the time to do creative, active, fun things. So, cross A off your list. As for B, I know we all have to shop sometime, but the point is to make sure you intentionally structure your time to maximize all the fun things available to you this summer. Shop in an off time so that you really make the most of your day. So, B needs to be rescheduled. Answer C is a great one, but it is solitary. It’s fantastic to get outside an commune with nature, but just not all the time. Balance is the key here. So D has all the most fun-meter points. You are outside, doing a special summer thing, listening to great free music & enjoying the company of friends. An all-round splendid rejuvenating activity.
I know it’s hot, and the kids are probably starting to get bored and underfoot, but we are only half-way through the summer! Therefore, you can keep doing the same thing or you can reorganize your thinking and make this summer the best one ever! Be intentional about your time and energy.
Plan fun activities, go fun places and just really enjoy the special gifts this time of year brings. There are many fun, free things going on so seek them out. Reach back into your memory and recapture some of those things that made you smile when you were younger. Just get up, out and going.
[The article above is a reprint of my July 2012 Living Well column in Natural Triad.]
Top 10 Summer Fun Activities
- Blow Bubbles – there is just something really playful about this activity!
- Pick Berries and then make something fun with them.
- Watch a fireworks display.
- Lie on your back and pick out interesting cloud shapes.
- Build a fire and roast marshmallows.
- Create cupcake planters. http://www.whimsy-love.com/2009/04/cupcake-planter-tutorial.html
- Play tourist in your hometown.
- Grab a friend and a camera and get silly. For example, take a picture of yourself lounging in from of a fountain like a Greek goddess.
- Make stepping-stones for your garden or yard.
Bonus: Tie-dye shirts, create fun summer drinks, or plan a scavenger hunt for your friends.
Most of all just get out there and have some fun – the kind that includes lots of laughter and maybe a sprinkler.
Please leave me a comment about your favorite summer activity or favorite summer childhood memory.