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Make 2015 the Summer of Something

I have this amazing friend named Anne. She’s one of those women who everyone aspires to be. She’s a great mom, she’s well-read, she’s adventurous, she’s a beast in the kitchen, and she’s well-versed in all things grammatical.

One of my favorite questions to ask her is, “Hey Anne, what is this the summer of?”

Every spring Anne makes a goal for the summer and declares it “The Summer of Something.”One year was “The Summer of Pies,” where she spent the whole summer baking homemade pies.

Other years she’s done “The Summer of Cookies,” “The Summer of Tarts,” “The Summer of Homemade Ice Cream,” “The Summer of Smoke” (where she smoked different meats, of course,) and “The Summer of Pies — Part 2” as requested by her oldest son before starting his freshman year of college.

What I like most about Anne Hinze’s summer whimsy is she never picks themes that are obsessively productive like “The Summer of De-cluttering Closets,” “The Summer of Weight Loss,” “The Summer of Manners” or “The Summer of Potty Training.” Anne always picks a summer theme involving trial, error, fun and discovery.

I resonate with the idea of making room in my life every summer to learn, create and fail. Learning is a process. Not every attempt is successful. Not every summer is a hit, but every summer is marked by a memory.

What if we joined in on the fun this summer? Not every summer theme has to be about food. Some possible ideas for this summer could be:

The Summer of Dance
The Summer of Paint and Canvas
The Summer of Food on a Stick
The Summer of Yarn
The Summer of Gardening
The Summer of Music
The Summer of Date Night
The Summer of Poetry
The Summer of Yoga
The Summer of Cake
The Summer of Friendship
The Summer of Dinner Parties
The Summer of Grandma’s Recipes

Finding your summer theme begins with the question, “What have I always wanted to learn how to do but have never found the courage or time to try?” You’ll miss out on all the fun if you begin your summer with, “What on my to-do list needs to get completed?”

Give yourself permission to try something new. There is something pure and childlike about learning. Mastery is not the goal — getting out of our norms, becoming life learners and finding joy in something that isn’t about perfection or performance is the goal.

For me, I am declaring the summer of 2015 “The Summer of Photography.” Taking great pictures is something I’ve always wanted to learn how to do. This will be the summer when I stop using my camera as a point-and-shoot, read my instruction manual, stop pinning other people’s photos on my Pinterest board, be brave and take some pictures of my own.

I know going in there will be more error than art, but I also know it’s time to stop letting the threat of failure prevent me from living life well.

Tasha Levert, Ph.D., is a licensed professional counselor in New Orleans who provides face-to-face and online care. She is a conference speaker, worship leader and the author of Stories of Hope for the Sleep Deprived. Tasha and her husband Tim (Pastor with Students at the Vineyard Church of New Orleans) have three beautiful daughters and a lazy schnauzer named Gumbo. To find out more about Tasha or her practice go to

So, what about you? What is this the summer of?