Have you ever hit one of those rough patches where everything kinda sucks? I just crawled out of the most miserable 3 or 4 months. I tend to stay fairly positive, cynical, but positive. The last few months really were stressful. My kids were sick for what seemed like months. I seemed to be sick every other week for a couple months. I had a several-thousand-dollar car repair right before the car was totalled in an accident, and the new car that I bought had a bunch of repairs. It seemed as though I was just heading down a long tunnel and when I was finally seeing the light it just turned out to be the train’s headlight.

To add to the misery, this is Wisconsin. We have 6-8 months of winter. People who grow up here say I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. During the depths of winter the sun sets at 4:00. Ok, it is really 4:30 but still…

Suddenly, like the snap of fingers, it is summer. The only thing that keeps me sane is running. When I am this stressed I have to run. So the other night I just had to go for a run. I was feeling so miserable, my stomach was nothing but nerves. My mind was racing trying to figure out a way out of my mess. I was so consumed with dread that I didn’t even hear the music in my headphones. Suddenly it started to rain. There I was, a little over 2 miles from home and the sky opened up and it started to pour. I was drenched almost instantly. I just kept running. I like to build playlists for my run of old and new songs and then put it on random. LL Cool J’s “Mamma Said Knock You Out” came on. I don’t know how long that has been in my playlist but I can’t remember the last time I heard it. The line, “Don’t call it a comeback…” kept going through my head. The next song was Sublime’s “Summertime.” Something cathartic happened. The rain slowed and stopped, the clouds became a beautiful mixture of purples and oranges, and mist started to rise off the wet pavement. It also helped that my body started to release the chemical mix that is often referred to as a runner’s high.

By the time I was approaching home, the sun had disappeared and the streetlights were on. The illuminated the mist seemed to be traveling along almost like spirits into the woods near my house. I was immediately reminded of the movie Spirited Away and even thought about following them to see where they were going. It was beautiful. It was also just what I needed. That was a turning point.

So summer is here and I’m embracing it. I still have all those issues in the background but I have been trying to squeeze every ounce of joy out of this summer. Whether it is exploring those woods with my daughter searching for Totoro or just grilling brats and drinking beer, I love summer in Wisconsin.

Milwaukee Printer