This is the time of year when plenty of us are looking for tips to beat the heat.
But maybe you don't feel up to that challenge. Maybe the heat is more likely to beat you.
What if, rather than the lazy, crazy, hazy days of the old song, summer is kind of a bummer?
I got to thinking about the downside of summer the other day as I watched Tropical Storm Debby transform our basic backyard pool into one of those fancy infinity pools that look like they have no edge. Only, in our case, this was no design statement. The water was a few inches from the sliding doors, and even the dog was looking fretful.
It brought me back to that nerve-wracking summer of 2004 when every weekend seemed to bring the fresh threat of impending doom. To this day, I cannot listen to that frenetic music Bay News 9 plays before the storm forecast without my stomach doing a little flip.
For a tiny fraction of the population — less than one percent or so — summer can actually trigger bona fide depression. Think of it as Seasonal Affective Disorder in reverse. If this sounds like you, see your doctor or a licensed therapist. You don't want to mess around with depression.
I suspect most of us who are dubious about summer get hung up on less clinical issues. You hate how you look in a bathing suit. The kids are bored and whiny. You can't afford to go on vacation. You don't have a job to take a vacation from.
Summertime and the living is easy? Ha!
You could try barricading yourself in a cold dark room with a stack of movies and your favorite ice cream. This is fun at first, but eventually backfires, especially for those of us with that bathing suit problem.
Or you might go to the opposite extreme, vowing to transform your bummed-out self into an icon of radiant fitness.
Admirable, but I'd be careful of such ambition in this climate.
A triathlete friend of mine with not an ounce of excess body fat recently confessed on Facebook that he was having a terrible time even getting through a 3-mile run on a recent steamy day.
You know what his runner friends told him to do?
Take it easy. Don't beat yourself up. Do what you can and no more.
Works for me. Maybe it'll work for you too.