by Christy Gualtieri
Fun fact! Did you know that the origin of the term “Dog Days of Summer” refers to Sirius, the “Dog Star,” and its prominence this time of year?
When you hear the phrase “Dog Days of Summer,” what comes to mind first? Is it stifling heat? Long days that stretch long past when the supper dishes have been cleared away? Popsicles and sprinklers, or getting in some time to work on the garden before the sun goes down?
You might think of things like that. Most people would, and not think of, say, Halloween costumes and pumpkin-flavored everything, but here we are: it seems as though August 1st begins the retailer’s race toward everything Autumn, even though that season doesn’t begin for another six weeks. Back-to-School sales began in July, and Halloween candy already lines the shelves, pushing for space beside the picnic condiments.
It’s a conversation that pops up many times throughout the year – “Halloween just ended! Christmas stuff is out already?” “Christmas was yesterday — is that Valentine’s Day candy out already?” “Valentine’s Day is next week, it’s freezing outside…are those Easter egg dyeing kits?” And so it goes. We run ahead of ourselves, feeling rushed, because consciously or not, these things rush us, push our thoughts toward events big and small that are weeks (and sometimes months) away.
And because of this, the temptation is to live in the future, focusing on things that haven’t happened yet and completely missing what’s going on every single day. It’s fun to look forward to future events, of course, but I find that when I’m constantly thinking of what’s coming up next, I’m dissatisfied with what’s going on in the present. And every day, every season has its own joys; what a shame it would be to completely ignore them!
It’s only August. The days are still long. There will be time enough for earlier bedtimes to help the kids adjust to early school mornings, time for pumpkin-flavored raisin bread. When so many things around us shout “Get ready now! Don’t miss out!”, take a moment to think about what you need for just today, and enjoy it! The next thing will be here soon enough.
Until next time, be well!
Christy Gualtieri is a freelance writer specializing in pop culture, religion, and motherhood. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and son, blogs at asinglehour.wordpress.com, and tweets @agapeflower117. Follow PghPsych on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates, inspirational quotes, articles, and different events and causes related to good mental health!