Not quite my Summer of ’69, but the Summer of ’14 was pretty damn good

So today in current events news, the Ebola virus continues to cause a scare in many…

Actually, who gives a crap. This is my blog, so I am going to use today to reflect on this past summer.

There are a few perks that come with remaining at the same company for an extended period of time. One of the obvious, tangible perks is the occasional pay raise and more paid time off. But the other perks are more abstract — less supervision, greater trust and increased flexibility.

Also with experience comes a certain attainment level of what I like to call “professional autopilot.”

It means that you’ve mastered your craft so efficiently that you basically can do your job without putting too much thought into it. And don’t get me wrong — that does not mean a lack of effort. It just means that you’ve learned exactly how much time to allot to each task, and therefore it gives your more flexibility.

Me, at far left, with two friends at the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware in June.

Me, at far left, with two friends at the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware.

One can say that’s not necessarily a good thing. It means that you’ve become extra comfortable, and that you are no longer challenging yourself. It’s a valid argument, but it’s counteracted by the fact that you could also take advantage of that flexibility to devote more time to things outside of work.

And not year-round. You can’t distract yourself for that long. But somewhere around March or April, I made the decision that I am going to have an awesome summer. I just woke up one day and decided it. Because it dawned on me that I had the ability to make it an awesome summer.

And I did.

The year started out the right way, when, in February I traveled to Israel for ten days. This was before all of the violence there began happening, and I had an amazing, life-changing experience with a group of 40 random Jews.

Two months later, I went to Los Angeles for the first time, and pretty much decided that it’s one of the most enjoyable places in the country. Bear in mind I say that even though I’ve yet to visit about 95 percent of the country.

And then, shit got real. From early June to early August, I went to four music festivals in four different states — New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Delaware. Over Labor Day weekend, I went to Buffalo. Two weeks ago, I returned to Los Angeles for another visit. I know the last two were actually in the fall, but … I … shut up.

Bumped into Jenny Lewis at the Govenors Ball Music Festival on Randall's Island. #NBD

Bumped into Jenny Lewis at the Govenors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island. #NBD

I’m not posting this to show off. Or to encourage people to slack off at their job so that they could get drunk at music festivals. (Actually, I am doing the second one.)

What this summer has taught me is that having fun is something that you really need to make the effort to fit in your schedule. I understand there’s things in life that are worth committing to, like work and extracurricular activities, but I am tired of hearing people talk about how they don’t have the time to have fun. To go to events and concerts. To travel. Or simply just get away for the weekend.

The worst is when people actually lament about it, and complain that they don’t have the time for fun activities.

My response? Make the time.

For once, arrange your schedule around a fun activity. Worry about everything else later.

Is there such a thing as too much fun? Maybe. There could be a point when you need to slow down, rethink your priorities and focus more on your career.

But you know what’s even worse?

Never having fun at all.

Make the time, my friends. Make the time.

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