"What's the most interesting thing in your life right now?" Jamie asked.
"Our upcoming trip to California," I answered somewhat embarrassed.
That's not to say that I'm not doing anything else. But it is to say that when summer comes I have a really easy time understanding why people in Seattle get depressed in the winter.
The funny thing is that here in Phoenix the depressing thing for me is the abundance of sunshine and its utter brightness and high temperature. It's so bright it makes it difficult to look in the backyard. It's difficult to go get the mail. (I'm weak.)
Summer in Phoenix makes me wish we'd adopt the siesta mentality. For everyone's sake, really. Who wants to be out doing stuff from 1– 4 PM? I'd much rather grocery shop at 5 AM or 9 PM than during the day.
It's this time of year that I have my existential crisis. Jamie can expect to receive texts from me while he's at work where I express my dissatisfaction with life at 110 degrees. This is the same life, mind you, that at 75 degrees I believe to be the most charmed existence possible.
Other than leaving for the beach, how does one survive summer in Phoenix?
I have to make myself exercise. This means either doing so early in the morning or after the sun has set. Lately, I've employed the help of an app called Pacer. It's probably similar to those fitbits that people use but I don't have to sync it with my computer or update it. I am deplorable at both of those activities as evidenced by the weekly reminder I get from my iPhone that it's been sixty-three weeks since my last back-up.
I'm reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I'm sure that I was supposed to read this book twice before and did quite a shabby job. This time around I'm enjoying it while also getting a bit mired in Raskolnikov's manic thoughts. But I suppose that's the point.
We cleaned out our pantry and it is a thing of beauty. We threw out things that were expired, donated excess dry goods to St. Vincent's pantry at our parish, and put things back according to food genre. It was quite satisfying.
I have always compared summer in Phoenix to winter wherever winter is extreme. I imagine it has some similarities. Long periods of time indoors staring at your walls, imagining how you would change things. Time to really encounter yourself.
I, for one, often come up short. I realize how so much of my happiness is dependent upon the ability to walk down the street to the park at three o'clock when the kids are crazy. It's good, though, to realize the many ways that I lack fortitude. Jamie loathes complaining, so I try not to indulge.
And when times are really hard, I download a sunset/sunrise app that shows me the incremental shortening of the days over the next few months. Because shorter days are cooler weather and that's money in my mental bank.