Do you remember that excited feeling you'd get around Memorial Day when you were a kid? With the school year wrapping up, a child's summer is an endless series of lazy days at the swimming pool and late nights goofing off. Too bad we all have to grow. But wait! I'm here to say it's time to take back summer - and these 5 tips can help.• Hop off the people mover. I don't know about you, but my life feels like I'm going the wrong way on one of those people movers at the airport. And as I'm trudging along, trying to make some headway, all of these gorgeous moments are passing me by. This summer I'm going to remember to hop off the people mover more often. Take long lunches to walk outside, go out for morning coffee and read a newspaper, take in life. Stop and smell the roses ... and the corn, and the freshly mown grass ...
• Be a night owl. When was the last time you were in a 24-hour diner at 3AM? I think the last time I stayed out all night, Clinton was in the White House! Hot summer nights are perfect for extended parties. It may require a nap, but let your day begin when the sun goes down. There's no better experience than watching the sun rise on a balmy June morning.
• Skate, skip and bike. As a child, my absolute favorite activity was roller skating. For one entire year in the early 1980s, I was the white, male Tootie. I recently bought a new pair of roller blades and you know what? Skating is STILL my favorite activity. And now I'm not a silly kid just trying to have fun — as a middle aged man, I can appreciate the health benefits of the fun too.
• Go to camp. Oh for the days of paddle boats and bonfires at summer camp. It may not be practical to ship off for a month of summer camp now that you're an adult, but you could still sign yourself up for a weekend camp. Many state parks offer camping facilities and some even offer cabins. Or book a room at the nicest hotel you can afford and go urban camping!
• Let yourself be bored. Kids have this amazing ability to always be bored. I remember many summer afternoons spent lazing about, complaining of boredom. As an adult, there's never any time to get bored – job, home projects, social obligations, not to mention having a smartphone always within reach. Stash away the phone for an afternoon, head out to the beach (or park) and let boredom settle in. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy boredom these days.
Image: Jason Loper