You have to love the alliteration of it all!
True enough, it’s the summer solstice today in the Northern Hemisphere – the longest day, the first day of summer. It’s also National Seashell Day, World Music Day, and International Yoga Day (along with – strangely enough – National Day of the Gong, which is making me want to seek out old Gong Show clips on YouTube). At any rate, there’s certainly something to celebrate, hopefully in the glorious sunshine. Allow me to make a few suggestions, since I’ve been doing some self-care fieldwork lately:
- Buy a bottle of soap bubbles at the dollar store – you know, the kind that come with the wand in the bottle. Relive the simple joy of blowing bubbles in the sunshine.
- Put on Ella Fitzgerald and write a thank-you note to someone who’s done you a good turn.
- Go to the local swimming pool and bask (with sunscreen, of course!). My local pool (“Splendor in the STICKS,” remember?) charges a maximum of $4 a visit, and passes are available if frequent basking is your thing.
- If you find a playground with swings at the right height, use them!
- After it gets (mostly) dark, step outside and try to catch a few fireflies. It’s a great way to force yourself to slow down a little and really be where you are, especially if you kick off your shoes and try this barefooted.
- When someone offers you a delightful treat, say yes. (In my case, this was a ticket to a joyfully fancy and fancily joyful charity event centered around the final day of the Royal Ascot races. My entire outfit was thrifted (fitting with the Ascot’s “sustainability” theme this year) and I sewed a faux parakeet to my hat and built memories that may well last a lifetime.
In other news, we are now officially homeowners, having closed on the new Casa di Diva and are doing the necessary tasks that are best done before moving in (some demolition and construction work, some much more minor repairs, and a little painting). It turns out that the cleaners didn’t touch the very super hot attic, so that’s been a bit of a treasure trove, as has digging through the drawers of the china cabinet we purchased at the estate auction – we found an entire BOX of recipes! Most are time capsules from 1970s Betty Crocker, but some are handwritten and just seem precious. (I have some of my mom’s handwritten recipes and I wouldn’t trade them for a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary.) I am also daydreaming with flower bulb catalogs – so many versions of tulips, narcissi, hyacinths, irises . . .
Speaking of daydreaming, let me leave you with this – I had promised myself that when we had this house (officially and no backing out), I would treat myself to a grown-up pleasure. In my case, this was to be Chanel No. 5 perfume. Since I’ve been walking the Diva Road, I’ve gotten much better about perfumes (discovering Cinema and L’Heure Bleue were especial delights!), but I’d never worked my way up to Chanel No. 5. Somehow, it felt so “grown up” and I’ve so often felt like such a disorganized mess that I figured I didn’t “deserve” such a special scent. So there I was, finally ready to try it – I was then unable to find it! I live in the sticks, after all! And yes, while you can buy everything from Amazon, I wanted a more special experience than that. Now, truly luxe perfumes don’t vary in price from store to store, so the solution was simple.
I now have a Chanel account.
Honestly, buying the perfume from Chanel online cost me no more than buying it at Ulta and buying directly from Chanel comes with a few extra fillips, like free two-day shipping and two sample sizes at check-out. It’s a splurge, to be sure. So was the art table I bought for the room that will become my studio and occasional office (rather than the other way around).
And you know what?
I feel great about it all. Pretty good for a woman who’s been so overwhelmed lately that she left her suitcase in the driveway when she went to visit her dad for a few days! (Yes, that was me. What a way to be reminded of the need to slow down and be mindful.)
May you feel the same way about indulging yourself this next week. Blow bubbles, catch fireflies, dance in a fountain – whatever it is, be bold and live loud.
Spread joy, Divas!