Are your summers really easy?

“Summertime, when the living is easy.”  This line from the musical “Porgy and Bess” by G. Gershwin seems to always resonate in my mind when the warm breezes start blowing the cold weather away in Wisconsin. We all love summer.  For many of us, it is a time of vacations and connotations of freedom from school and work.  However, why does the song say the living is easy?  I think it is because summer seems to bring that association to mind despite the fact that it is not now nor probably ever was easy.  Nevertheless, we think of the lushness of fresh fruit, vegetables, the farmers market and long days and nights.  It does not matter that we may work all summer, the dream is still there of “easy living.” 
As we get older, many of us will think back to our childhoods with fond summer memories of doing nothing but playing baseball, grilling out, fishing, swimming at the lake, camping with our friends or weekends at the cabin with our family.  Perhaps these are more traditional Wisconsin memories but no doubt you will have your own memories associated with summer time.  All over the world, people are in vacation mode during the summertime.  Perhaps you will spend your summer traveling to exotic destinations or simply taking a short trip to visit relatives.  Summer brings a longing for what we want life to have in store for us as we age.  Summer is a time of psychological retirement years before any of us will ever retire.  You might say summertime is practice for that time in your life when you really have retired.
However, now that Karen is retired and I am working less, we have seen first hand how easy it is to stay busy with one project after another. I think we don’t really want to retire, we really want to simply lead the life determined by our own choices and not guided by the “bare necessities of life.”  Summertime is a time of easy living not because living is ever easy, but because we make our choices on what we do and when we want to do them. At least that is our dream.  Are you living your dream?  I hear people using this phrase a great deal as I talk to more retirees.  Why did they wait so long?  Why not live your dream now? Its summertime and the living is supposed to be easy.  
What are your best summer memories? What did you once do each summer that is now simply a memory? What summer traditions do you still celebrate?  What do you hope your future summers will have in store for you?  

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