As it is midway through May and barely cracking 60 degrees, with 20mph winds to boot, I thought I'd take this week to share some of my favorite Remedies. If Summer Fever is the mood of endlessly grey days of winter or a rough stretch of rain, clouds and general anti-summer, Remedies are the bag of tricks you pull out to pick you up more quickly and cheaply than a move across the country. (It ain't all sunburns and endless waves in CA right now either.) Remedies come in three varieties: Free!, Cheap and Treat Yo Self. The following are my Free! Remedies.
BOOTY SHAKE (AKA TACO MUSIC)
Working at the taco shack, days were both defined and saved by the playlists that shook the walls. Thanks to Matt Webster (DJ Brother Nature) and a number of other music hounds, we were never lacking for good vibes. Make a playlist of tunes you can't help but shake your butt to. Let them be indulgent and fun. Close the door and forget about how your look. Better yet, do it in front of a mirror and see how good you do look. Music in motion is beauty.
PHONE A FRIEND
Remembering the days of answering your family's one house phone? "Hello, this is the Quillins!" Or better yet, calling your crush's house phone and praying his mom/dad/sister/brother wouldn't pick up? It can seem intimidating or personal or even invasive to call someone these days, but it's really the easiest. They don't have to pick up if they don't want to or if it's a bad time. I have a friend who calls me a lot. The best thing about her frequent calls? She just wants a quick chat! No pressure! No wondering if I have a whole hour to catch up. I just pick it up! It gets easier every time.
The internet is full of millions of hours of videos. Why not use some to get inspired? I watch a combo of surfing movie trailers (whether you surf or not, it's the right frame of mind) and travel vids. Here's some of my current highlight reel:
GO OUTSIDE (ESPECIALLY: GO SWIMMING)
It seems like the easiest thing in the world to do once you've set foot out the door, but I know I have spent far too many hours finishing up this or that detail, arranging the house just perfectly and generally driving myself bananas from being indoors too long. That first breath of open air- even in a city- is far better for the brain than anything trapped inside your apartment/house/tent, etc. If you haven't been outside yet today, GO!
Some stores carry the spirit of summer all year long. In New York, there are plenty of stores a subway ride away (Off Season, Warm, Salt Surf, Pilgrim, Homecoming...). If you can't see them in person, their websites are often just as inspiring. I like to wander through these and think to myself, "These are my people!" **Warning: This Remedy can quickly turn into a Splurge. Hide your credit cards if attempting during a severe bought of Summer Fever.
MAKE A LIST OF HEROES
Since I was five, I have had girl crushes. Older cousins, lifeguards at the pool, Baby from Dirty Dancing, pretty much any woman who had a 6+ year edge on me. In middle school, I was forever recreating my hair and makeup to match the female character I had last seen in a movie. My heroes have thankfully changed from celebrities into friends and personal heroes. Making this list reminds me of values I want to cultivate in myself. Be honest, and don't hesitate to include yourself on the list!
HIDE YOUR COMPUTER
Physically. Few are the times I have fallen into an internet binge and come away from it feeling better than when I started.
TAKE A SHOWER
Take a long shower. Take your time. Put on all of the lotions and masks and creams you own afterwards. Make your body feel luscious and beautiful to be in.
All the hours that I spend beaching during the summer must go somewhere in the off season. Turn a couple of them into helping others. Check out these organizations to start you off:
Arts in Parts, Rockaway
The Big Swim at Asphalt Green