One Last Taste of Summer: Your Guide to Winding Down in Chicago
A KlopasStratton blog by: Bridget Chambers, Life Coach, Writer
Summers in Chicago can feel like proof of the adage that says, “Time is what we want most, but use worst.” It is a common complaint among locals: We wait all year for summer, and then lament all the things we didn’t do once summer passes us by. Truth be told, even for the most determined of us, it is simply impossible to seize every second of the fleeting season. For every person who spent June, July, and August exercising, reading (for pleasure!) by a glistening pool, eating gloriously delicious pasta al fresco, or hiking outdoors… there is another person who perhaps worked too hard, parented too much, felt too tired. And so many of us might be spending mid-August asking the ever-unanswerable, “Where did the time go?”
The ending of summer can conjure a longing goodbye – proof that back-to-school season dictates a universal mood, no matter our age or stage of life. A so-called “returning” happens in the fall, one that begs reflection. What makes us reluctant to return to the non-summer months (outside of the fact that there are so many of them!)? How do we wind down from summer without feeling the pit in our stomachs that tell us it’s almost over?
Every ending begs for a beginning
As you settle into August’s end, you might quickly realize that you aren’t just missing the pool, or the sun, or the pasta, or the hiking trails. Those things are all scrumptious - but they are made more so by their infrequent presence in your life. They are sweeter because you don’t experience them every day.
Perhaps it will dawn on you that you are not actually yearning for the fun stuff you did (or didn’t do, as it may be) during summer, but that you are heartsick for the way you felt while having the fun. August doesn’t have to be a buffer month. It can be filled with heat, adventure, and yes, even a little relaxation.
Stop and smell the roses at Chicago Botanic Garden
Tucked away in serene Glencoe, the Chicago Botanic Garden boasts some of the best sights and smells in all of Chicagoland. Not yet preparing for fall harvest, weeping willow trees and colorful blooms set the backdrop for a family stroll, picnic on the pond, or rest on a park bench. Visiting from the city? Make a pit stop at Hometown Coffee and Juice (Glencoe) for a caffeine spike!
End summer with a bang at “Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits”
Indulge in the leisureliness of August by sampling sweet and savory treats at Bang Bang Pie – a local Logan Square staple. Patio dining is beautiful here on the weekends, but if you prefer your own backyard, they offer a full menu via takeout and delivery. (Switch it up with Key Lime Pie for an appetizer and Shrimp & Grits for dessert. Here, anything goes! J )
Spend the dog days of summer (with your canine bestie) at Wiggly Field Dog Park
This half-acre dog park is located in Noethling Park (named after Grace Noethling, founder of the Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association who helped to make this neighborhood as bustling as it is). Based on its unique features, even those who live a drive away might find the trek worth it. With its enclosed borders and ample safety measures, there is no better place in the city to expend your dog’s energy while saving your own! The dog-friendly water fountain is just a tail-wagging and happy plus.
Enjoy the view from your own POV
If you’re longing for a longer summer, your relaxation oasis may be closer than you think. What feels most peaceful in or around your own home? Do you have a deck perfect for wine on balmy August nights? Do you live near an outdoor dining establishment that never misses the mark? Making the most out of this month doesn’t have to mean extraordinary adventures or trips off the beaten path. Sometimes the best place to find a respite is the place you call home.
It’s still summer!
When fall comes around, it seems our natural instincts for Freedom, Joy, and Wellness, are quickly archived in favor of Stressed, Hurried, and Buried. Work hard, and the fun will follow. Maybe next weekend! Or next vacation! Or definitely next summer!
But the thing is, weekends aren’t often enough. Vacations aren’t often enough. Summers definitely aren’t often enough.
Treat yourself this August. Make the most of the days you have… by making today as good as it gets.
Catch us back here bi-weekly as we bring you curated and Chicago-based real estate content (with a life coach’s twist). Next up: Looking a new home that was made for you? Start here... The Perfect Match: 10 Questions to Reveal Your Real Estate Soulmate