long, lazy days of summer, reprieve, and what matters

You know it’s too hot when the air is shimmering with heat. Your car is like your own personal hell and the crayons your kids forgot outside have formed into one giant, super crayon. I don’t do well in heat. I like everything a nice 22 to 25 degrees. I can even tolerate a balmy 27, but anything higher is just too much for me. This is in Celsius, by the way. I don’t know what that would be in Fahrenheit, my American friends. We Canadians are crazy that way with our temperature in Celsius, metric system and our need to make bills into coins.

I find it difficult to commit to anything or even do my laundry while it’s this hot. So, I’m thinking. I can do that without working up a sweat.

Today, I’m thinking about things like, if I could do anything what would it be? Why do beer bellied men think its okay to roam free, shirtless? (It’s random, I know. I didn’t promise my thoughts would be coherent.) I have an ongoing fantasy of moving far, far away. The locations change. Today, I’m somewhere in Italy sipping red wine on the piazza overlooking the orchard that we bought with our savings once Scott hit it big.


I guess typing took its toll on me and I didn’t have the energy to finish up what I wrote two days ago. Lazy, it’s true. It has cooled off considerably today, but the temperature should be climbing steadily over the next few days. While there is some reprieve I thought I should finish up this post before I use the heat as an excuse again. Of course, I can’t remember what I was going to say. I’m going to pretend it was brilliant though.

I’ll say this in lieu of.

I met people last week that lived many lives. They traveled, worked, loved, chased after dreams, and made monumental decisions along the way. Not one of them was going to stop anytime soon. They were still asking questions of life. They were wondering what’s next. I marveled at their hopefulness, at their commitment to life. To do more than eek out an existence. Retirement meant open doors and new chapters to be written. They knew when to shrug off others’ expectations and when to stay true to who they were. They knew what mattered.

As I listened to them talking and to what was left unsaid, I thought, I want this. I’m an ordinary person who wants to live an extraordinary life. Extraordinary doesn’t mean I have to have it all together. It doesn’t mean fame or the perfect house or anyone else’s idea of what extraordinary is. It can be as simple as asking what do I want to do? It can be diving headlong into fears, not knowing where I’ll end up. Success can mean what I want it to mean.

It’s my version that matters.

Swept Up

the University of British Columbia
This is where I spent all of last week. Not too shabby.
This is an aerial view of UBC.
Photo by Russ Heinl

15 thoughts on “long, lazy days of summer, reprieve, and what matters

  1. Intense Guy

    Hmmm… umm.. you DO know that the pot belly shirtless men in Italy wear speedo's don't you?

    🙂 Just random…

  2. Brandi

    ohhhh, i'm also an ordinary person who wants more than the ordinary!
    my husband and i have been talking about moving to a different country…only for a year or two, but to do something different than 9-5 until retirement would be sweet!

  3. Cookie

    I think this is what they call a mid-life crisis. The yearning for something different, something free. hope you find a way!
    oh, and I'll try to remember to keep my beer-bellied husband with his shirt on. Just dont' tell him I said that 😉

  4. Judy Haley (CoffeeJitters.Net)

    you think very profound thoughts when it is hot out, I have difficulty even completing a sentence.

    But I love what you have to say 🙂

  5. you gotta wonder

    Amen, sister! Cheers to Pippi Longstocking, a girl who knew how to live it up. I'm buried in my current career dreaming of my next one.

  6. sugarlens

    When it's hot outside, I don't feel like cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, or using the computer. Basicially, when it's hot, I more or less useless. 🙂

    You and I share the same dream – once my husband hits it big, I want to move far, far away. The locations change with me too.

  7. Isabella Snow

    No, no, no… you're already extraordinary; and you're in the process of helping your life catch up with you.

  8. curious girl (lisa)

    oh heidi! this is just what I needed to read today. I too want that extraordinary life and I'm struggling this week with a panicky feeling of running out of time. your friends remind us to keep on looking to what's next. thank you for sharing that.

    and I also cringe at bare beer bellies! ew!

  9. Heidi

    intense guy, i am aware of this, but i choose to block it out.

    brandi, i hope you get to do that in your way in your time…how great would that be?!

    cookie, i don't think i'm in mid-life crisis…i hope not, anyway. i don't think i'm old enough for mid-life. but, i am figuring out what i want to do and how i want to be.

    judy, it is the only semi-deep thought i've had all week. it has been so hot the last couple of days!

    ygw, keep dreaming…i know you'll get there! i have a feeling you can do just about anything.

    sugarlens, ooohhh, where do you think you'll go? you guys are already such travelers!

    isabella, you're the sweetest! really. you always say just the right thing at just the right time.

    lisa, i think that's what hit me – how much time we have. there's so much of it and i really got that when i was with these people in that writing course. it was kinda profound for me.

    flutter, it is truly gorgeous there. like you can't get enough of that kind of gorgeous.

  10. bernthis

    diving into your fears is one of the bravest and most extraordinary things a person can do

  11. kendalee

    From where I sit you are already living an extraordinary life Heidi – you are living it consciously, and that's (sadly) remarkably unusual and admirable! I too want to live every moment, face fears and fulfill dreams, and the hardest thing I find sometimes is not giving in to other people's expectations of me when it would be much easier to. I try to resist taking the easy path though 🙂

  12. LMN

    I love that.


    And I relate to the sluggishness in the heat. I was just hopeless! I would just be happy when I got up and put clothes on. It was like, "okay, done for the day!"

    🙂 Hope the temperatures are happier now, whatever they are in celsius!

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