July is just one of those months where time seems to drag. You kick it off with a glorious four day 4th of July weekend packed with picnics, fireworks, friends and family, only to come crashing back down to the reality of a hot, long month.
Maybe you’ve already taken your summer vacation. Maybe you were like me and packed June with all the fun you could come up with. July is now just another month of summer break during which you’ve got to come up with something for those kids to do.
Maybe you’re ticking off the days of a deployment. Oh, July. How you drag out for the ones who are missing a servicemember.
Unless you’re somewhere glorious like Washington State or Monterrey, Calif. July is hot. The things you normally do to distract yourself from the doldrums of a month like this just won’t cut it. Soak in a hot bath? No thank you. Take a long walk? Spare me, please.
So just how are you going to power through this sticky, blazing hot 31 days? Here are a few ideas that I’ll be trying this week:
1. Find a pool, STAT. And then find another pool. And then another. If you’ve made it to July you probably already have visited the pool at least a few times if not every single day. If you haven’t, take this as your cue. There’s something about splashy kids, direct UV rays (while coated in sunscreen, of course), and sitting with your feet in the water while reading a great book that is just good for the soul. I can actually feel my blood pressure and overall temperature go down while I sit there legs dangling.
If you already hit the pool daily shake it up a little. Most bases have several options, so take a chance and drive a few miles to try a new one. If you live off post skip the neighborhood pool and try a community pool somewhere else in town. A little change in scenery may be the kick you need to get out of the July funk.
2. Declare July “Adventure Month.” While sitting on your couch in the AC watching reruns of Hoarders may sound like the most comfortable idea, it will not help you feel better about this month. You need a plan to get you up, away from technology and making the most of these long summer nights. So declare July “adventure month,” and get out and start exploring.
“But I don’t know where to go.” Of course you don’t. That’s why you’re going to buy one of these guide books for your state, pick a place within day trip distance (two or three hour’s drive) and do what it says.
Don’t have a lot of extra spending money? Do things that are free. Ask about military discounts at attractions. And pack your own food.
The hardest part about this is getting yourself out there — but once you’re doing it you’ll be glad you went. Give it a try. Enough adventures and July will be gone in no time.
3. Clean out your junk. Remember those episodes of Hoarders you were watching before you set out on your Adventure Month day trips? Use them as inspiration. July is a great time to take on some of those home organization and cleaning projects you’ve been putting off. Plan to tackle one problem area in your home each week. Go through those boxes of books you’ve been hauling around the country over the last 4 PCSes and ask yourself how many of them you really even want. Donate the rest to your local thrift store or library book sale. Sort through your kid’s craft supplies and toss dried-out markers. When you’re done you’ll feel like you actually accomplished something – all without leaving the AC.
How are you spending your July? Give us some ideas for plowing through this long, hot month.