The Summer of Kathy

June 09, 2023

In one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes, after George Costanza gets fired from the Yankees, he receives a severance package equal to three months’ pay. He decides he won’t work for three months, instead indulging in “The Summer of George,” which for him means wallowing in idleness, trying never to leave his apartment. Hmm… 

Let it be known I’m indulging in “The Summer of Kathy.”

My well is dry. I’m exhausted mentally and emotionally from digging deep to deal with such hard issues as terminal illness of loved ones, losing a parent, and trying to decide what to do with all of my mom’s belongings (including her cats) during two extended stays in California. I’m still not done with all of that, but the most urgent matters are being handled. After the horrifying whirlwind of the past four months, I’m definitely taking my activity level down a notch this summer.

Actually, that’s not quite true. What I’m planning to do, along with getting extra rest and taking time to contemplate what’s next now that my caregiving duties have ended, is catch up on the simple pleasures and everyday adventures I had to put aside temporarily. Therefore, I have a more ambitious than usual Summer Fun List this year. I’ve already checked off a couple of these (noted in red), so I think I’m off to a good start!

  • Paint my toenails a color other than pink. (With dubious results, but at least I did it. The jury is still out on whether or not I like teal toenails.)
  • Have a bubble tea.
  • Try a new obedience training program with Luna (started).
  • Make key lime pie ice cream.
  • Plant a small, potted herb garden.
  • Read a lot.
  • Take a horseback riding lesson. Tank is semi-retired and off for the summer, but there’s a new horse at the barn available for lessons. I haven’t taken a lesson in more than five years, so I need a tune up. 
  • Work at least one jigsaw puzzle.
  • Have a massage. I’ve been trying to do this since the beginning of the year, but I’ve had to cancel two appointments because of my moms’ failing health.
  • Go to a movie with my husband.
  • Bake something from my grandma’s baking book (inherited from my mom).
  • Get together with friends—I’ve been mostly unavailable in 2023, so we have some catching up to do.·  

Mainly what I want to do is rest and regroup and slow down. I’ve been rushing for so long. This list gives me some things to look forward to during my least favorite season, and who knows? Maybe by the end of The Summer of Kathy, new and exciting opportunities will show themselves—and maybe I’ll have the energy to take advantage of them. My goal is to combine emotional healing with gentle adventure. We shall see how it goes.

What are your summer fun plans?

More summer fun lists:

Laura Vanderkam’s 2023 Summer Fun List (I originally heard of the summer fun list from Laura)

Cup of Jo’s Low-Key Summer Check List

My Summer Fun List from 2022


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  1. Oh, I love this. I hope you can have some fun and get some rest in too. We've had a hard year, too, with a new grandson who is medically complex. So our summer fun list is rather mild -- trying a new cookie shop, going to the art supply store, finding construction sites and taking pictures (ahh...all those pandemic art classes have made me look at the world differently).

    1. Ann, I love your ideas for summer fun! They all sound doable as well as enjoyable. I didn't mention art-related fun in my post, but I hope that I'll add some of that in, too. (And I hope the new grandson thrives--that would be the best thing of all.)

  2. I am thinking you should enjoy every summer pleasure available dear friend. Taking time to do things you love and regroup is a wonderful way to find restoration. Take care and enjoy the rest of your summer. Hugs!