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TLO Recommends: Moments That Feel Like Summer    

TLO Recommends: Moments That Feel Like Summer

Joy, our Word of the Month, is a highly personal emotion: what sparks it for one person will be totally different from what sparks it for someone else. Maybe you feel the most joy when you wake up in the morning to the sound of birds chirping and start the day with a fresh cup of coffee. Or maybe you feel it most in social settings when you’re surrounded by good people who you can be totally yourself with. 

In chatting with our team, though, we were all in agreement that there’s nothing more joyful than summertime.  The longer days, the vibrant sun, and the seemingly endless potential for adventure heightens our day-to-day lives in a way that’s not always found in colder months.  But what’s most joyful about the summer is still a little different for all of us.

To inspire you to look a little closer at your own summer plans, no matter how big or small, and spot the moments that energize you and make you feel most alive, we asked our Local Optimist team to share the summertime moments that bring them the most joy.

Mason Spector, Co-Founder 

Longer days. Longer nights. A shining sun. Seeing people I love. Laughing. Eating chicken tenders. Soft serve. Getting sunburnt and realizing I should have listened to Sophia and applied sunscreen. All the windows down in the car. Not wearing socks. Making a fire. Being in nature. Escaping from reality. Forgetting my phone. Traveling and experiencing new things. Learning about myself. Not caring what others think about me. Ice cold water. Playing tennis. Eating hot dogs. Making playlists. Watching movies. Sleeping in. Feeling grateful. 

Meadowlark Monaghan, Mental Health Lead

Strawberry-stained fingertips give me visceral summertime childhood memories. There is a strawberry field in Carlsbad that my family used to go to each summer. The strawberries are sweet and juicy, and the experience is always fun (as well as educational)! We would eat them in the morning while watching cartoons in our pajamas or at the end of the warm night with angel food cake and homemade whipped cream. 

Ravi Shah, Brand Marketing Manager

My favorite parts of Summer are the excuses that come along with the season. Excuses to gather with friends and family for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day. Excuses to stay up late hanging out around a beach bonfire. Excuses to spend all day at the pool. Excuses to eat ice cream twice on a hot day. I always find myself thinking, “c’mon, it’s Summer” when contemplating how to spend my free time throughout these months. With everything going on in the world, and with all of the constant noise of the internet, I think we could all use an excuse to relax, unwind, and prioritize ourselves just because. Summer can mean whatever you want it to mean, and to me, that’s what makes it so special.

Jessica Schiffer, Managing Editor

Long, sweaty hikes with friends and family sum up summer for me: you’re a little gross but you don’t care because you’re more focused on the outside world and how nice it feels to move your body than anything superficial. It’s exhilarating to push yourself through the woods and over craggy rocks and up and down steep trails with no other goal than to keep going, surrounded by the people you love and the occasional streak of hot sun on your skin. It feels much easier to tune out any stress on these hikes, as if they’re one long sigh of relief, combining everything that I always hope to get out of summer: relaxed adventure, a break from the mundane, and a willingness to go with the flow and see where it takes you.

Hallie Belle Sheinbaum, Project Manager

One of my most favorite parts about summer is when I look down at my phone at 8:00 pm and it is still light outside. More hours of daylight truly brings me joy. Anyone else not understand why we ever turn the clocks back?!? Hello, seasonal affective disorder! Anyway, when the sun is still out during the later hours of the evening, I swear my serotonin levels go way up, and there is a permanent smile on my face. Add some family, friends, yummy food, and good tunes to that mix, and the vibes are truly exquisite. 

Erica Gould, Head of Social Media 

Summer is my favorite season. I feel joy when I start noticing the freckles on my cheeks and the blonde streaks in my hair. I feel joy spending the entire day at the beach and the dazed feeling from all the hours spent in the sun. Summer means my skin smells like sunscreen and feels soft from exfoliating in the sand. It means beautiful cotton candy sunsets. It means cold and juicy watermelon. When I think of summer, I think of driving through Malibu Canyon with the windows down.