The Summer Of Just Not Caring

by Laura Hanby Hudgens
Originally Published: 

There is something about summer. It’s more laid back, more relaxing and more fun than the rest of the year. At least it should be. But I began this summer, as I do every summer, with a long list of good habits to be developed and goals to be accomplished. Chief among them was to exercise, eat well and look better in my swimsuit.

Instead, summer being what it is, I ate cake and drank Arnold Palmers. Needless to say, I did not lose weight. In fact, to date (there are still a few days of summer left), I think I have gained five pounds. But I just do not care.

Instead of sporting an apologetic cover-up and staying in the shade with a book, I flitted around the pool in my bathing suit, drink in my hand, like I just don’t care. Because I don’t.

Instead of wearing a giant hat and SPF 80, I sat in the sun (drink in my hand) until I got pink. It felt amazing—relaxing, purifying, even healthy. I probably risked premature aging (whatever that means). But I just don’t care.

By mid-June, I quit wearing makeup (thanks to my lovely suntan). I spent all of five minutes getting ready and went to church, the grocery store and restaurants without mascara. I saw people I know, and I didn’t hide or pretend not to see them. I spoke to them face to unaltered face. It didn’t bother me a bit. Because I just don’t care.

Rather than pore over my “Healthy Recipes” board on Pinterest trying to find new and exotic ways to hide spinach in a smoothie or reduce the calories in a cheesecake, I cooked huge batches of tacos and spaghetti and fried chicken, and we at leftovers for days. Much to the delight of my children, I bought ice cream sandwiches and barbecue potato chips. My family ate way more junk food than usual. And I just don’t care.

I let the kids sleep whenever and wherever they happened to drop—the couch, the floor, the hammock in the yard. They stayed up too late watching television, and they slept in. I stayed up late too—reading books that lack literary merit or binge-watching The Office. And I slept in (or at least let myself hit the snooze button). Sometimes I ate cake for breakfast. Terrible habits I know, but I really don’t care.

I wasn’t a total slacker this summer. I exercised. But even that was laid back—long, moderately brisk walks with a friend. I exercised to feel good and to live longer, not to have a hottie beach body. Because I just do not care.

This has been the summer of not caring. And it has been glorious.

And the best part? Turns out no one else really cares either. For all the junk food and poor sleeping habits, my kids seem as happy and healthy as ever. No one has called the whole foods police or turned me in to CPS.

The new, more relaxed, more confident poolside me is undoubtedly more attractive. My husband hasn’t even noticed the five pounds. In fact, he loves hanging out in the pool with me and Arnold Palmer. He likes how I look in my swimsuit. And he thinks I’m just as pretty without makeup.

Of course, sadly, summer can’t last forever, especially a summer of not caring. The kids can’t continue to sleep in the yard and eat barbecue potato chips at will, and I certainly can’t continue to eat cake for breakfast and drink Arnold Palmers in the middle of the day. But I do hope to carry a little bit of this summer with me into the rest of the year. I hope the new, more relaxed, more confident me is still around to host an imperfect Thanksgiving and plan a laid-back Christmas.

Until then, here’s to summer 2015. The Summer of Just Not Caring!

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