Saturday, July 13, 2013

summer lovin'

By student blogger Leah

We take our summer break pretty seriously around here because we only get 26 precious days. Now, you stop that “psshhhh” at me for those of you working folk who get maybe 14 days of vacation a year or those professional cooks who are lucky to get 2 days off a week and no extended vacation, I hear you and I will be in your boat soon enough but right now I get to hang out in college-land and I’d like to do all the hanging out that I please. All of the students and most of the faculty (I know those mail room angels are still on campus---you go mailroom angels!) leave campus for three weeks in July. Students are required to find another place to lay their heads and the chefs trade in their whites for flip-flops (I hope, but don’t actually know). Many of my fellow classmates go back to their hometown jobs or pick up cool summer gigs where they cater weddings or even chase hot dogs around a grill at a beautiful country club.

After much contemplation, reflection, and deep thought this is the general equation I have devised for my summer lovin’:

2 parts people who make you smile
If they’re parents, friends, lovers, mentors, strangers, or cheerful customers, make a little time for people who turn the corners of your mouth in the upwards direction. Science tells us that smiling is good for our health, take it or leave it. I just like how I feel when I smile but I understand if smiling isn’t for you. Substitutions include: people who tell good jokes (dare you not to smile!), people who give good handshakes, people who smell good, or people that make you feel warm inside…just find yourself a few good people.

2 parts food you love
Whatever tickles your fancy, now is the time to treat yourself.

2 parts food that is good for your body
Maybe if you’re lucky, you can just make it 4 parts food that you love but if high protein, no refined sugars, good fats, whole grains, and natural foods aren’t your go-to food loves…I understand because they’re not mine. Summer time brings a bounty of inspiring produce and fresh products that make nutritious eating particularly delicious, so eat 10 fresh peaches or 4 ears of sweet corn---go crazy because in November, Mother Nature isn’t quite as sweet.

1 part fun
I know what I like for fun and you know yourself better than anyone else too. It is also possible that you get caught up doing “fun” things that you don’t really find fun for whatever reason. Cut that out, and find yourself a little fun. You’ll know when you find it.

1 part productive fun
Walk on the beach, travel to a new place, work for the night at a restaurant you love, visit a farm, go to a museum, watch an interesting and educational documentary, send someone a hand written letter, learn to knit, do a little volunteering----whatever you decide to do, this is the portion of your energy spent doing something you like that benefits other people or contributes to tangible success.

I think I’ll get back to soaking up a little sunshine and spending time with people who make me smile. Another smile to the universe for granting me this bit of respite? Don’t mind if I do.

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