Summer time and the living is easy…

What is your idea of the perfect summer day? When you look back at your past life do you ever have the feeling that those special feelings of long, lazy summer days are gone forever? Sometimes it seems like we can only remember but not quite grasp that feeling. It’s hard to imagine how it would feel for me now, having the whole summer off to hang out at the lake or camp with my family or just running wild in the neighbourhood. Life has become more complicated and life is so full of responsibilities, work and duties that it feels like an impossible dream. As I grow older I realize it’s more important than ever to grant myself the peace and joy of a summer vacation, even if it’s just for a few days.

Here are a few things that I like to do to try and stay sane and recapture that endless summer feeling.

  • Get outside. I try to spend as much time outdoors as possible when the weather is good, especially those hot summer days when sitting in the shade, trying to catch a breeze, wearing a big floppy hat and reading a great book are the only things on the agenda.
  • Add water to the occasion. A brisk swim in the ocean or a lake is a summer necessity for me. Better yet if I can spend a long summer day sitting by a pool, lake or on my favourite beach. When it’s not possible to go to the water I have been known to stick my feet in a wading pool or run through a sprinkler. It’s all good.
  • Eat something juicy. I love summer fruit and living where we do we have access to so many amazing local fruits and vegetables it would be a shame not to indulge. Ripe, sweet cherries heavy with juice from the Okanagan, peaches, plums, watermelons, and berries all feel like summer to me. Fresh corn on the cob from the Fraser Valley takes me right back to my childhood when we would ride our bikes to the farmers house down the street and buy freshly picked corn from a table manned by the youngest of the farm folk. Could there be corn so sweet anywhere else in the world?
  • Share time and food with friends and family. Picnics, barbeques or cocktails and snacks on a restaurant patio are all great ways to wind down, relax and enjoy the warm weather and warm friendships.
  • Enjoy a refreshing cocktail or a yummy fruity drink. Whether you like to add alcohol or keep it “virgin” there’s nothing like a frosty glass of something icy cold on a hot summer day.
I know everybody has  different ideas and different realities to contend with, for example, I don’t have children so I can indulge in my own fun whenever I like but I reckon if I had kids it would be a blast to try to recreate some of my past summer joy for them.
What is your favourite summer memory?
What takes you right back to endless summer?
xoBarb

Bikini. Would you dare?

I have always loved to swim and started taking lessons before I was tall enough to touch the bottom of the pool and breathe at the same time. This involved a lot of hopping up and down and although I didn’t pass that first year because I could only manage to swim under water and not on top of it, it certainly didn’t discourage me from loving the pool. I took lessons and then I learned life saving and I even raced for one summer although I was never really built for speed. I have always felt comfortable around water and swimming pools and for most of my life I also felt comfortable in a swimsuit.

You might think that this is the part were I tell you that I don’t swim any more because I feel too fat to be seen in a swimsuit. Not so. In fact when I went to the Mayan Riviera a couple of years ago I packed a couple of tankini swim suits only to find myself green with envy when I saw other big girls in actual bikinis. Where the heck did they get them? I asked around and it turns out that most of them had shopped in large American department stores to find their plus size bikinis. It just so happened that the next day a swimsuit company came and put on a fashion show around the pool at the resort and then set up a table to sell their wares. Yes, I will admit I may have had a few cocktails when I went over to the table and defiantly asked if they had a bikini that would fit ME. The woman dug around the pile of bikinis and pulled out a cute brown patterned suit and held it up to me. She told me I could try it on in the pool changing room before I bought it so off I went. The suit did fit. I put it on and walked out to the pool to pay for it. I felt…shy, empowered, proud, nervous, exposed. I also felt like it really didn’t matter to me if other people thought I was way too fat to wear a bikini. I didn’t know any of those people and I would probably never see any of them again anyway. Besides, there were some other larger woman wearing 2 piece suits, but I was bigger than them.

I wore that suit for the whole 2 weeks I was in Mexico. I developed a beautiful golden tan, I almost lost both pieces to  rogue waves more than once and I had several interesting conversations with people I barely knew about body image. I had decided that it didn’t matter. I decided it was none of my business what other people thought of me. I decided to wear a bikini in public. It was awesome!

xoBarb

All women have the right to BARE ARMS!

How do you feel about your arms? When it’s hot out and you see people wearing sleeveless tops and dresses what do you feel? Do you feel like you couldn’t possibly wear something sleeveless because your arms aren’t slim and trim? I used to feel that way too until one day I realized that I was denying myself the comfort and cuteness of sleeveless clothing because other people might be offended by my chubby upper arms. Really!

How did I change my way of thinking about this one body part? I guess I just realized that even if others thought my arms were too chunky to go sleeveless, their thoughts would be fleeting. The truth is, most people are too busy worrying about other things to give more than a passing thought to the circumference of your upper arms or even to notice that when you stopped waving goodbye to them your upper arms waved just a little longer.

Why do I go sleeveless?

Because it’s really none of my business what others think of me.

xoxBarb