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​                       Ask Lindy . . . About Summer

By Lindy Earl

Dear Lindy,
   Summer is coming and I’m just sick about it. I hate hot weather! It makes me miserable. It’s even worse when friends invite me to a park or on a hike (ugh!) or even to the beach, although the beach isn’t so bad. How do I get out of outdoor experiences that are absolutely awful for me?
-Unhappy about Summer

Dear Cold-weather friend,
   While I cannot empathize, since I’m always cold and love warm, even hot, temperatures, I can offer sympathy. I have two ideas for you. One, you can just thank your friends kindly for including you but gently refuse their invitations with a simple, “Thank you but I’m busy.” You don’t need to expound beyond that. My second idea is to be the inviter rather than the recipient. Plan some indoor activities where you can crank the A/C and enjoy your friends’ company in comfort.

Dear Lindy,
   Summer is here! I’m so psyched! The pool. Beaches. Concerts. Picnics. Shorts and sandals. I love it all. My challenge is that I prefer to do summer activities with someone but am not dating anyone since my last break up. How do I manage to enjoy my favorite season without someone to enjoy it?
-Alone in Summer

Dear Summer Lover,
   It’s so great that you’re looking forward to the summer. There are lots of ways to enjoy the pool, beach, and more without a significant other. First, you might grab a book and enjoy some me-time, but at the pool rather than in your back yard. You may bring something to the pool with you if you go alone that might encourage conversation and you might meet some new people. Invite friends to any activity that you want to attend, just as friends. You can gather a group. 
      Maybe you can renew some friendships from the past. If your family is near, do not count them out. My last idea is to join an existing group, such as a canoeing meet up group, that is already active doing something you enjoy. Then you’re sure to be with others and will meet some new people, and from there you may find people for other activities.

Dear Lindy,
   I have gained a lot of weight since my girlfriend broke up with me last fall. I ate my way through the holidays and am not in shape, so with summer coming I’m just depressed. I can’t go to the beach looking like this or someone may try to push me back into the water, thinking I’m a beached whale.     What do I do?
-Overweight in Summer

Dear Friend,
   You are not the first person to gain weight. Look around, there are thousands of people who would like to weigh less. First, get over yourself. People are so busy being concerned about themselves that nobody is looking at you, although I do appreciate your self-deprecating humor about being a beached whale. Second, if you don’t like the way you look, then change it. It is never too late to eat healthy and exercise. Even a few pounds of success will make you feel better and should incentivize you to keep going. Third, do not allow a break up to affect you to the point where you make such poor decisions ever again. You used a break up as an excuse for poor choices. Take responsibility for your actions.

Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant and currently accepting new clients and speaking engagements. 
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From previous columns:

Dear Lindy,
     We never took vacations when I was growing up. Now I can’t figure out if vacations are important to me because I never got them, or they aren’t such a big deal because I’ve lived without them all my life. Or maybe they are important and I’m missing something.
-Not a traveler

Dear Traveler,
     The only way to know whether you enjoy vacations or not is to try them! It’s like saying you don’t like sweet tea when you’ve never tasted sweet tea. With that said, you do know your preferences – warm vs cold climate, mountains vs beach. I encourage you to try a short, domestic vacation. Don’t spent too much time or money, but get away for a weekend. That way, whether or not you enjoy your time away, your decision will be based on your opinion, not what others tell you. Now go!

Dear Lindy,
     I work six days a week. I have vacation time, but because I own my own business, I do not feel that I can take it. While I know the business will not crumble if I’m gone for a few days, I also know I would never relax if I was away for more than a day. In my relationships, I’ve never found an SO who truly understand this. I’m afraid to get into another relationship and have to explain that I never take vacations. Thoughts?
-Not a traveler

Dear Day Tripper,
     Yep, that’s my advice, take a lot of day trips. I completely understand your unwillingness to be away from your business. That’s how entrepreneurs are. Taking one day mini-vacations will be good for you. In your next relationship, disclose this information early in case vacations are high on their wish list so you can discuss up front the ramifications of only taking day trips.
     With travel being what it is you might be able to head to NYC or LA late one night and spend the entire next day enjoying the city, to return late that night. So don’t limit yourself to driveable destinations, although local sites are often great! I hope you enjoy your breaks.  

Dear Lindy,
     When it comes to travel and vacations, I have champagne tastes but a beer budget. I don’t want to take advantage of others and let them foot the bill, but I do enjoy the finer things in life. How can I have both?
-Avid traveler

Dear Traveler,
     You can certainly take great excursions without going into debt or relying on others to pay your way. It just takes the discipline to make plans and save before going. Set an amount you can save every week, maybe even every day. You can give up small enjoyments, like lattes, if you want to put that money toward your next trip. Then, use the time until you can go to research great deals. Once you have a better handle on where you can afford to go, and when, maybe you’ll be able to invite others to join you, thus possibly sharing some costs. 
     By the way, the idea of saving first for a large purchase extends to a myriad of ideas, like a new car or house projects. Save first. Research well. Enjoy how much you can get for your money.

Dear Lindy,
     I love to sleep in, but my husband is up at the crack of dawn every day! What do you do when one person enjoys the warmth and comfort of bed and the other is up and running around so early?
-Wants to Sleep

Dear Sleeper,
     While I understand your dilemma, I’m confused. Why can’t you just agree that he can get up and let you sleep in? I’m sure he can keep himself busy for a few hours while you enjoy sleeping in, especially on the weekend. It’s a question of agreeing on what time you’ll rise. Agree on your wake up time and ask him to leave you alone until then. 

Dear Lindy,
     Weekend mornings were designed for luxurious mornings in bed – sleeping late, snuggling, and reading the paper (on my phone). I love these mornings! My challenge is that I haven’t found someone for the second part. I have the sleeping late and reading the paper down, but how do I find someone to snuggle in the morning?
-Waiting to snuggle

Dear Snuggler,
     There are a plethora of great people out there looking for exactly the same thing you are. What you are seeking is a significant other (SO). You find them by introducing yourself to people you meet in life – maybe in line at the store, or in a waiting room. Don’t limit the waiting room to doctors’ offices. You wait to get your oil changed, right? You could read at the library and meet another avid reader. Attend some meet up groups of something that you would enjoy, such as canoeing or baseball games. You will enjoy your time and meet some nice people, even if you don’t immediately find someone you want to date, and could become your SO. Do not push your need for snuggling to rush any relationship. Let it happen naturally.

Dear Lindy,
     What is with people sleeping all day long? Some people sleep as late as 7am, and even later on weekends! These people are missing life! They need to get out of bed and enjoy their days. What is wrong with these people? If I could find someone who would get up early and stay up late and not just want to sleep all the time I would date them!
-Disgusted with sleepers

Dear Disgusted,
     People are different. Some enjoy running, some enjoy baking, some enjoy sleeping. Judging others for enjoying their rest says far more about you than others. Maybe it’s good that you haven’t found anyone to date. You may want to focus on you and your maturity before you add someone to your wide awake life.

Dear Lindy,
     I think I’m a good listener. I look at the person while they talk and try to really engage them. I practice the active listening skills I was taught over and over growing up. But it seems that others do not share my enthusiasm for listening. Some people think I’m rude for listening so intently or get upset when I ask a question to better understand what is being said. Am I the bad guy here?
-Good listener

Dear Listener,
     You are not the bad guy, but you are probably unique. Many people talk more to hear themselves speak than to convey information. It’s almost like they are using the listener as a sounding board more than a participant in a conversation. Maybe your friends are doing this, using you to sound out their own thoughts. If that’s the case then I would count it as a compliment. They obviously find you safe.
Please do not stop being a good listener! You have a real talent and people have a need to be heard. Keep doing what you’re doing, even if everyone doesn’t appreciate your efforts.

Dear Lindy,
     I must be too good of a listener. Everyone, from people I barely know to long time friends, uses me as their confidant. I know more secrets than I would like! Sometimes they want advice, but sometimes they just need to talk. I’m tired of being everyone’s therapist. How do I get people to stop confiding in me?
-Tired of listening

Dear Listener,
     First, please take people confiding in you as the compliment it is. They know you won’t tell their secrets. You must be a very welcoming person if so many people, even strangers, want to talk to you.
Second, if you really don’t want to hear something, then you need to gently but firmly say so: “Thank you for wanting to share, but I’m really not comfortable having this information.” That might do it. A sure way to get people to not confide in you is to share their secrets, but I definitely don’t recommend that!

Dear Lindy,
     I’m writing to you because I have nobody in my life I can talk to. It’s so sad. When I was married we talked all the time, about everything and nothing. Now, it’s just me, and I miss having someone to talk to, about both the every day nothing things, as well as the big stuff, both good and bad. I miss being there and hearing about someone else’s day just as much. Where do you go to find someone to talk to?
-Lonely listener

Dear Listener,
     What a sad story, but I completely understand. When you were half of a couple there was always someone there for you. Now, it’s just you. The good news is that you don’t have to be a Significant Other or be in a relationship to have good friends to share stories. Develop some good friendships. Ask friends, of both genders, to meet for lunch; text old friends; get into the habit of calling people. These will all increase level of the friendships, then you’ll have people who are interested in your life and will want to hear your stories, as well as share their stories with you. It’s lovely having several friends with whom you can talk, beyond one special person.

Dear Lindy,
     Why don’t some people understand the joy of dressing up? I have a great SO, and I rarely complain, but their idea of dressing up is new jeans. Once in a while it would be nice to get all dressed up and go out to dinner. Why is this so hard for some people?
-Dressier on the Inside

Dear Dressier,
     I think there are two kind of people in this world – those who enjoy pomp and dressing up, and those who don’t. You have a few choices. One, find someone who enjoys the exact amount of dressing up as you do ( at least once in a while). Two, agree to meet your partner’s needs, and they can dress up on occasion as well as you agreeing to not ask too often. A third option would be to have this need met with friends besides your SO. Gather a group and enjoy a dressed up night out, being careful to communicate well that nothing inappropriate is happening, just a chance for a fancy night out. 

Dear Lindy,
     Okay, I am not the best dresser in the world, but, have you ever met someone who people want to point at and say, “Your mama dresses you funny.” That’s the guy I’m interested in! He’s smart and funny and wonderful, but seriously, he dresses funny. If he had any sense of style I would probably throw myself at him, but I just haven’t been able to get past the clothes he wears. I would be embarrassed to be seen on a date with him. What do I do?
-A little better dressed, please

Dear Dresser,
     How you feel is how you feel and is perfectly okay. If you aren’t interested in someone because of how they dress, that’s your choice. You also seem to realize that you are the one who is losing a smart and funny guy here, but that’s your choice.
     Another option might be talking to him. It’s possible that he has no idea that his clothes aren’t the best choices. If you’re very gentle and very careful, you might suggest a time that you could help him shop, and there’s your first date. Take along a small pair of scissors so he can wear whatever you find right out of the store. You seriously have to be wary in making such a kind offer so you don’t hurt his feelings.  
     A third option is to decide that you don’t care and enjoy time with him, no matter what he wears. Best of luck.

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