Monday, August 1, 2016

There's Something About August

I’m not sure if the words haven’t been invented yet or if I’m in desperate need of a vocabulary refurbishing (I’m thinking it’s the latter), but I can never seem to find the words to explain how little miss August makes me feel. Yes, she is definitively considered just as much of a summer month as June and July, but for some reason whenever I wake up on August 1st, I feel... different. On July 31st, I naively believe that summer will last forever and I’ve got all the time in the world to hit every roof top bar and ice cream shop in NYC before the season’s end. Year after year, however, when the clock strikes twelve, August wraps me in a blanket of uneasiness and I think to myself “I have thirty-one days left to live. I must make the most of my time here.”

The irony of someone demanding that you relax and enjoy the present moment is that it’s pretty difficult to relax and enjoy yourself when someone is demanding something of you. Most of the time when somebody tells me to “relax” or “chill”, I’m like the little aliens from space jam that steal the NBA’s talent and become huge, obnoxious monsters. Furthermore, when I tell myself I need to be present and cherish the moment, my mind goes into overdrive and I start worrying about whether the cashier at Whole Foods gave me the correct amount of change for the water I bought three weeks ago.

As much as August gently screams “live in the moment”, my boisterous mind screams “You need to relax. Are you relaxing? How do you really know if you’re relaxing? You need to enjoy yourself without worrying about what’s next. Or money. Or how you look in your bikini. Stop thinking. Are you seriously still thinking?” a smidge louder. Being present and mindful is something society talks about so haughtily, but can never actually execute, and without sounding too much like a bohemian-vegan-yoga instructor, it is essential to one’s peace and happiness. That is why, for the remainder of August, I’m making it my number one priority to be more mindful.

Why am I bothering you with this? Well, for one, because you guys are the only thing I can think of to keep me (actually) accountable, and two, because chances are, if you’ve been reading my blog and can relate to the absurd things that go torpedoing out of my mouth, you need to work on your mindfulness too. It seems fairly obvious that you accomplish a task most efficiently when you’re giving your 100% concentration and effort, and yet here we are eating dinner while simultaneously scrolling through Instagram, watching the latest Real Housewives, and trying to have a conversation with your roommate. What is the secret to doing it all? It’s not doing it all at once.

For the month of August, when I’m doing something, that’s all I’ll be doing. When I’m out to dinner with a friend, I won’t bring my phone and I’ll savor every last bite of my gluttonous meal. When I’m working out, I won’t think about what my post-workout snack is going to be or what other tasks I should be accomplishing by day’s end. When I’m dipping my toes in the ocean, I’m not going to think about whether or not my baby abs are poking through my pouch that day.

I implore (and sort of beg) you guys to undertake this challenge along with me; if not for the betterment of your entire wellbeing, do it for the sheer, disturbing fact that it is August...and her days are numbered.

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