Summer Things

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I thought I’d do a random list of things I like about summer and I’ll get to that in a minute. Every Sunday morning, I like to do the Sudoku in our paper. Go ahead and call me a nerd, I can take it. The section of paper around it is the job section and today they had an article on how to answer those pesky behavioral questions that come up in interviews.

Reading it showed me again why I hate the whole job search process. It was all about (1) giving generic sounding answers or (2) doing research to tailor your response to the company culture. And this is probably very good advice if you want to find a job but probably very bad advice is you want to find the RIGHT job.

I know this is why I’d never make a good career coach but I’d say just answer the questions honestly. If they don’t want the real you, then you probably would have been unhappy in the job. One of the questions was about what type of manager you best respond to. If you are someone who hates micromanaging but give some kind of generic answer just to get the job, then what happens if you get assigned to a micromanager. Now, I know there are supposed to be other ways to figure that out but what does it gain you to give them the answer they want to hear if that isn’t truly you.

OK, but enough about that. Not wanting to go off a rant about that. In no particular order, here are some things I love about summer.

Hummingbirds – the day we spot the first hummingbird at our feeder is a good day. When they stop coming in the fall, it is a sad day. Funny thing about these little birds is that they can be pretty vicious with each other. They look like little jewels but they’ve got a lot of fight in them. But they are pretty and fun to watch as they buzz from flower to flower.

Butterflies – Hummingbirds and bees are precision fliers. Butterflies just seem to take their time getting anywhere. And, if you still like to believe in magic, butterflies are kind of an example. They start off as ugly caterpillars eating everything in site and they magically transform into delicate, colorful little creatures. I know you can get all into the science and the like but I’ll stick with my magic.

Cicadas – This one may sound a bit weird but I love the noises of summer. The only problem with cicadas is that when they appear, it does mean you are closer to the end of summer than the beginning. Plus, you can find their shells when they molt into the final version and, as a kid, that was always cool. I put them in the ugly cute category. Big bug eyes but I like them. We go to outdoor concerts in the summer and there would be times when they’d join in and almost drown out the orchestra.

Katydids – There’s a noisy insect them forming here but, like I said, I love the sounds of summer. I love standing outside on a hot, humid night after the sun has gone down and just listening to them. Every now and then, one lands on a window and you see this huge green insect but, mostly, you just hear them. I guess it does bring back summer memories of playing outside after dark.

Fireflies – I guess we are heavily on the insect theme. But nothing says summer like seeing the fireflies start to light up as the sun goes down. The best is if you’ve got a large field and you just see all the little points of light coming on. Of course it brings back memories of trying to catch them as a kid. This is another one where I can read all about the science of how they light up but I just like to think they are a gift because what else lights up the night.

Shade/Breeze – Yes, I like the hot weather but I’m not the person who is going to stand out in the sun and sweat. I’m all about finding a nice shady spot to sit and watch the world go by. Last night, we took Rocco for a walk and the sun had gone low enough that the area was shaded and their was a hot breeze blowing but it made it feel more comfortable. Even though it was still freaking hot.

Ice Cream – This is partially a throwback to the ice cream truck but what goes better with hot weather than ice cream? See, I’m not just about the insects.

I suppose a lot of this is just my romanticized view of the world. The heat of summer should force us into taking life at a slower pace which is probably what I’d prefer. Sitting on the front porch in the shade, with a cool drink, watching the sun go down, listening to the cicadas and katydids and watching the fireflies come to life. Of course, like most people, I’m too addicted to the whole electronic life to do that too often.

I think we are learning and we will continue to learn that the explosion of electronic media is a net negative for a lot of people. Yes, social media is nice for keeping nominally in contact with the people in your life and it is nice to be able to instantly reach out and text someone. But, for some, I think it leads to this need to be plugged in all the time. If your phone buzzes, you have to answer right away – even if you are driving. And the bad side of Facebook, Instagram, even here is that need for validation – likes and such. Plus, it is so easy to look at everyone’s else pages and think they are all living much better lives even though we know people don’t put the bad stuff on social media.

And I also know that before all the electronic bombardment, there probably wasn’t a lot of sitting on the front porch either. A lot of my ancestors were farmers and that meant they were likely working from sun up to sun down even on the hottest days of the year. So my vision of a slower pace of life has probably never been true. But it is sometimes fun to think about it.

Well I wrapped some mini rants around my list. Didn’t quite mean to do that but you never know what is going to happen when I sit behind the keyboard. Now it is time to turn off the electronics for a bit and go enjoy the summer since it will not last forever.

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