August has never been my favorite month.
It is sort of like the Tuesday of the year. No holidays. Too late in the summer to actually schedule a vacation. Often scorching hot where we live. Grass turns brown. And dusty. But the leaves haven’t begun to dazzle yet. Here in the Midwest, it feels like we are all posed inside of August just waiting for the season to turn. Waiting. And sweating.
Then, miracle of miracles, the weather changes. Deep blue skies. Huge white clouds. A breeze that promises to blow away every worry. Suddenly, I’m like a teenager going from despair to glory in five seconds. One should not be so controlled by atmosphere. But this year, I’m looking for the happy wherever I can find it.
So, here are three ways I have found to give August a bit of an upgrade. We might move it along to the hump day of the year.
Have a baby.
It is probably too late to take this step for 2020. You could start planning for next year, though. I did this many years ago, and it has paid off in big ways. First, the earth is a much better place thanks to that little human who grew up to become an amazing person. Second, she gave us a reason to celebrate every August. If you aren’t planning to expand your family, just look around for someone else to celebrate. Find any excuse to bake a cake, send a card, buy a gift, or throw a party. Celebrate somebody. I promise it will help.
Okay, I suppose you can’t do that one, either. Although, it only takes a license, an officiant, and a willing second party. You could probably pull it off if you have that last one. Three of our four children chose this month for their nuptials many years ago. They built their own celebrations into a month devoid of such things. This transition month is a good time to reaffirm relationships. Before we hit the busy holiday season (Come on Christmas!!!), August is a great time for a bit of reflection and dedication. Plan a romantic night with your spouse. Or a socially-distanced conversation with a close friend. This year of all years is a good time to reaffirm the miracle of relationships.
Buy School Supplies
Yes! We can all do this one. Buying school supplies is the mark of an entire society saying, “Let’s have a fresh start. Endless possibilities.” Of course, this year is weird. Along with notebooks and pens we are buying masks and hand sanitizer. One school list in our region included a lawn chair for outdoor instruction when possible. That’s new. Even if you don’t have children in school, shop for yourself. Get a new notebook. A fancy pen. Or a set of glittery markers. Find a box of crayons if you want to go old-school. August is a time of fresh starts for every teacher and student across our nation.Let’s make it fresh for the grown-ups who didn’t get a summer break, too. Here’s a hint: If you are a grandparent, consider sending “school shopping money” to the grandkids the way you would send birthday or Christmas money. Even a little dab makes a huge difference for family shopping.
August probably doesn’t deserve the poor reputation it has in my mind. Life in a pandemic has certainly taught us to be grateful for every day and every season. I mean, somebody has to be the Tuesday. Maybe I should celebrate August for simply doing its job.
Hurray, August! Way to go holding the calendar together for us. (In case you couldn’t read my tone, no sarcasm was used in this sentence.)