By Jamie Etheridge

The prospect of spending the entire summer hiding from Kuwait’s 55C+ heat fills me with anxiety. I have two children who recently completed the school year and all they want is to have some fun, travel and get a break from the last year and half of pandemic isolating.

I hated to tell them that we would not be traveling and that we would stay in Kuwait the entire summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kuwait and have lived here for a long time and know many ways to keep myself and my kids busy during the weekends and slower summer period. But facing another summer of no travel and unbearable heat feels impossible.

Still I firmly believe that if you cannot change the circumstances, it is empowering to change the way you think about the circumstances. So I’m going to do my best to think positively (while acknowledging how much the situation sucks) and also share those positive vibes in case it might help others. Here are some ways I’m changing my mindset, my mantra for all those staying in Kuwait this summer:

Summer in Kuwait can be fun because it will give me time to reconnect with my family, my friends and my children after 15+ months of pandemic isolation and social distancing. Summer is a great time to read. I will make a list of books or start on my TBR (to be read) with a goal of reading at least one book a week.

Summer is a great time to learn a new hobby or take a class. Summer camps are returning. There are art classes and sewing classes and even karate classes for adults. Gyms are opening back up. Time to work on that beach body. Summer is only three months. That’s twelve weeks. Count them down. Set a goal for each week. Learn a new recipe. Sketch. Knit a hat. Play chess.

Summer is a great time to help someone else. Find a way to volunteer, in person or online, or help someone else who is struggling at this time. One of the hardest parts of summer is seeing my friends posting their travel and vacation photos on social media. Since we are still in the middle of a pandemic, not as many people are traveling but it still feels hard when you see someone else enjoying a mountain hike in cool woods or swimming off a beautiful Mediterranean beach.

So I’m limiting my social media exposure over these twelve weeks and also reminding myself that everyone deserves a break. It’s perfectly human to feel a bit of envy but also to remind myself that everyone’s circumstances are different. Summer isn’t forever and hopefully by the time it’s over, Kuwait and the world will be closer to a new normal that allows for travel for everyone. In the meantime, God keep everyone safe and healthy.

local@kuwaittimes.com