Wow! How about that sunshine! It has been glorious for days and it looks set to continue. I joked to my husband that only in Ireland would “it’s a sunny day” make the 9 o’clock news. As the heat wave stretches on, the temperature is the topic on everyone’s lips. As a nation, we love chatting about the weather, and the last few months have given us plenty to talk about. Between Hurricane Ophelia, The Beast from the East and now the highest temperatures for a generation, we have had one “extreme” weather event after the other. We Irish are more used to a moderate climate and we find it a struggle to cope with anything outside the usual range.
Nowhere is this struggle more obvious than in our clothing! Typically transitioning to a summer wardrobe requires nothing more than ditching the winter coat and putting the boots in storage. Not so this year. Most of us are finding ourselves rooting through the holiday clothes to find something half suitable for work. (What do you mean I can’t just wear a bikini and a sarong?) We Irish never expect to encounter 30 degree heat without a drink in hand and a pool in close proximity. We aren’t used to having to actually function in it. We “can’t cope!”
Despite this, it has been fantastic, especially after the snow in the early part of the year. It is just what the country needed to give us a lift, and help us to forget that Ireland are not appearing in the World Cup. People are smiling and having fun. Everything (apart from sitting in the car) is easier and more enjoyable. We are truly getting a taste of how the other half live!
One thing that I have noticed both in myself and in others is that we are letting go of our inhibitions. I am wearing things to work that I wouldn’t have dreamed of in the past. I live in dresses as I am too short to get trousers to fit, and before now tights would have been considered a must. This hot spell has allowed me to dispense with that rule and bare my pasty legs. Staying cool and comfortable, or at least trying to, is winning out over modesty! I don’t know if part of this is because as I get older, I seem to care less about these things, but the weather definitely has a role to play.
As our dress codes have relaxed, so too have our attitudes. The vast majority of people seem determined to make the most of the sunshine, even if that means leaving chores undone. Annual leave has been rescheduled and even the busiest and most conscientious among us are sneaking out of the office as early as possible. I find myself wondering if maybe it takes something extraordinary to help us appreciate the ordinary? Are we all so busy trying to make a living, that we need to be reminded to make a life?
I am also noticing that I am a lot less self conscious at the moment. We are all in the same boat and this sense of collective experience seems to have softened our approach to each other. People seem less judgmental of each other, at least where fashion is concerned. As well as this, I am a lot less regimental about everything, which has been a refreshing change. Even little things like stopping in for a 99 while out walking with Annie have made a huge difference. It has underlined to me the need to let go. I don’t need to hold on to the reins so tightly all the damn time. If and when I loosen my grip, nothing bad will happen.
Suffice is to say, getting back on track with my weight has been postponed for another while. It is just too heavenly to be adding unnecessary stress. I am not going completely crazy with my eating, but I am not in the right frame of mind for tracking and counting right now. I am teaching a couple of classes a week and I have found a cool yoga place around the corner from my new job. If offers one lunchtime yoga class and one Pilates class per week. I have been doing both classes pretty much since I started here. So, my activity level is high enough. I do want to get a little of this extra padding off, or my jeans won’t fit me when it gets cool enough to wear them. I know what needs to be done and how to do it. It will involve cutting down on alcohol and eating less! Easy! But the truth is, I want to enjoy this beautiful summer for as long as it lasts. There will be time enough for cutting when the rain is back.
My advice to anyone out there who might be in the same situation, is just relax, for now. There is a season for everything after all. Enjoy the good weather, be sun safe and stay hydrated. Get out for a walk in the cool of the evening. Absorb all the Vitamin D you can. But most importantly, be sure that in years to come when people talk about the “great summer of 2018” you will be able to honestly say you enjoyed it. Don’t waste a second feeling self-conscious or guilty.
I will be starting a 100 day MyFitnessPal challenge very soon, and I would love if you would join me in doing it. More on this to follow. Until then, be well xxx