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Summer rituals for a vampire

Summer used to be my favorite season. I loved the carefree days spent lounging by the pool, feeling the sun warm my skin, and soaking in the long, golden evenings. But things changed when I developed heat sensitivity a few years ago. Suddenly, the season I once looked forward to became a challenge, a time of year that required meticulous planning and constant vigilance.

I remember the first summer I had to navigate with this new reality. I felt a mix of frustration and sadness, mourning the loss of my sun-soaked rituals. Every outing required layers of UV-protective clothing, hats, ice vests, and sunglasses. Mist sprays became my constant companion, and finding shade was a priority wherever I went. It was a stark contrast to the easy, breezy summers of my past.

Over time, though, I realized that resisting these changes only made things harder. I needed to find a way to embrace my new summer reality. This shift in perspective didn't happen overnight, but gradually, I learned to adapt and even find new rituals that brought joy and comfort during the hotter months.

Now, my summer days look different, but they are no less fulfilling. Instead of spending extended time in the sun, I savor the late evenings when the temperature is more forgiving. I’ve discovered the beauty of summer nights, with their cool breezes and star-filled skies. Indoor activities have also become a staple of my summer routine. I’ve learned to appreciate the hobbies that I can enjoy in the comfort of my air-conditioned home, like reading, writing, cooking, and obsessing over my plants. I sometimes listen to the sounds of the ocean through my Air Pods, creating a mental escape when I can't be outside.

One of the biggest changes has been my approach to outdoor time. I no longer push myself to endure the midday heat. Instead, I plan short excursions during the cooler parts of the day. A morning walk in the shaded parts of our neighborhood or a sunset stroll allows me to enjoy the outdoors without overwhelming my body.

Acceptance has been a key part of this journey. I’ve had to let go of my previous expectations and embrace a new way of experiencing summer. This mindset shift has made all the difference. Rather than feeling deprived, I focus on what I can enjoy. I’ve learned to listen to my body and honor its needs, which has brought a sense of peace and balance.

So, while my summer rituals may not include "laying out" and "basking" anymore, they are filled with moments of comfort, creativity, and contentment. I’ve found a new rhythm that suits my current reality, and in doing so, I’ve rediscovered the magic of summer in a whole new light knowing that my Christmas tree will be up in 4 months. :)

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