Patty Chang Anker

Some Nerve

3 Ideas for a Summer to Remember

"Any plans for the summer?" Here are 3 ways to make this one unforgettable.

Posted Jun 28, 2014

Blue Sky

Sky's the Limit - credit: Patty Chang Anker

"Any plans for the summer?" For kids, the answer is often easy: camp, visiting relatives, jobs, no homework! For grown ups, it can be a bit more vague: making plans for the kids, a trip to the beach, catching up on work, maybe finally cleaning out the basement (yeah, right). For those of us with anxiety, the goal may be to take it easy, to finally relax a little. But before we know it, these long hazy days will be over, and the question will become "How was your summer?" Wouldn't you like to have a few excellent stories to tell?

Here are three ideas for a summer to remember:

1) Do something that scares you. A reader told me she's putting her foot in the ocean today. She hopes someone at the beach will take her picture because the friend who's going with her will be too busy holding her hand. Her terror and excitement are palpable - this is going to be a moment she remembers and a story she will tell for the rest of her life. Don't do anything crazy, though - you want to live to tell the tale!

2) Do something you haven't done in a long time. A radio host I know is working on doing a cartwheel - she giggles whenever she talks about it. How long has it been since you played frisbee? Caught fireflies? Wrote handwritten postcards to people you miss?

3) Commit to a goal that is difficult to accomplish. Summer gives us weeks of extra daylight and clear roads - if you don't drive, this is a great time to learn. If you're afraid to swim, now is the time to book a series of lessons. If you're not a confident cook, all the fresh vegetables and fruits can work in your favor - if you need guidance, go to a cooking demo at a local kitchenware store, take home the recipe and try it. Take pictures of the results!

By the end of the summer, you'll have (at least) 3 funny or impressive stories to tell that light you up and make you feel proud of yourself. This is the heart of the #SomeNerve Challenge - excitement that lets you know you're alive. What will your #SomeNerve Summer Challenge be? Tweet it, Pin it, post it on Facebook or Instagram, and tag me (@PattyChangAnker) or leave a comment here so I can follow your progress.

And because I write this to motivate myself as much as anyone else, here are mine:

1) I will kayak across the Hudson River (anyone who has read the book Some Nerve knows about my fear of rivers from almost drowning on one as a teen). 

2) I will play frisbee - if you frequent my local park, look out!

3) I will work toward swimming 20 laps at the town pool. I swam 5 yesterday.

Remember to ask me how my summer was in September. I will look forward to hearing about yours!