Years ago, I received a voicemail from the neighborhood cobbler telling me my shoes were ready to pick up. The message was perfunctory, left by the shop owner, a usually grumpy guy who sounded like his usually grumpy self. But instead of ending with “OK, bye” or “have a good day” or some other cliché, he signed off with “Enjoy your time.”
I found this strange, delightful, a little bit menacing. (Was he implying I didn’t have a lot of time left?) It was probably just a quirky way of saying goodbye. But since then, I’ve repeated this phrase to myself as a sort of mantra. It’s true, we never know how much time we have, so why not enjoy it? “Enjoy your day” is a finite wish. “Enjoy your life” seems akin to “goodbye forever.” But “enjoy your time” is more expansive. I’ve come to interpret it as, “Whatever amount of time is before you, enjoy it, and don’t take it for granted.”
So I’m planning an “Enjoy Your Time” summer. I asked you recently what sort of personal summer “brand” you might declare, what this will be “the summer of” for you. The responses I received offer glimpses into your current realities and dreams for the future. Many of you wrote of welcoming new babies, celebrating milestone birthdays, focusing on health and self-improvement, and truly, finally getting “back to normal life.” Here is a sampling of the responses I received. I hope they make you think a little more creatively about the possibilities for your own summer:
Your summer plans
It’s the summer of Frosty Fridays, where I take my three kids out to a new ice cream shop each Friday. — Pete Horvath, Chicago
This is #granolagrandma summer. Gardening, reading books, crossword puzzles, sitting on my patio enjoying the sounds of the birds and the bugs. — Katherine Knight, Knoxville, Tenn.
Vasectomy summer! A handful of my male friends and family members in their 30s and 40s got vasectomies over this past year, but none of them are really talking about it. This summer, let’s normalize the conversation while enjoying sex without the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. — Annabeth Rodgers Faucher, Providence, R.I.
Mine will be the Summer of Proust, as I work my way through “In Search of Lost Time.” — Jason Lloyd, Louisville, Ky.
It’s summer of dodging Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Instagram content so the concert can remain a surprise! — Havi Carrillo-Klein, Cleveland
I declare this will be the summer of growing our groceries! Getting my hands dirty to eat clean. — Melinda Deas, Stonewall, La.
I deleted all social media apps and declared a no-social summer. I want to live for the actual moments, not worry about how I will portray them. — Morgan Gelfand, Portland, Maine
We’re having a summer of ice cream. I set up a five-cubic-foot freezer on the front porch filled with ice cream bars and Popsicles. My 9-year-old and his friends? HAVE SOME ICE CREAM! The neighbors? HAVE SOME ICE CREAM! The postal delivery person? HAVE SOME ICE CREAM! It’s 2 a.m.? HAVE AN ICE CREAM! — Janet Wallace, Atascadero, Calif.
I would like for this to be the summer of taking charge. I feel as if I’ve been letting life just happen to me for too long, and I would like to step forward and participate more actively in my own existence. — Charles Surette, New York City
I’m currently riding my motorcycle through the African continent. Present location is Turkana, Kenya. So I’m proclaiming this my summer of motorcycling on rice and beans. The rice and beans play the part of keeping my finances healthy. — Sally Anne Greenwood
2023 will be the summer of making more gazpacho than enemies. — Lauren Oster, New York City
It’s the summer of Barbiecore. (Hot pink, and lots of it!) I’ve been waiting 30 years for this much hot pink to be considered high fashion! — Kelly Hoffman, Boston
This will be my summer of reading six to seven books a month. I turned 73 in May, and my goal this year is 73 books. — Alice Benson, Gaithersburg, Md.
This is going to be the summer of hiking the Appalachian Trail for me. I quit my job and started the 2,198-mile trail on April 5. — Sam McClintic, Mile 1,026, Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
This will be my fat Elvis summer. — Joe Toris, Akron, Ohio
I want this summer to feel like a Pitbull song — ridiculous and lighthearted and fun. — Camila Manjarres, New York City
THE WEEK IN CULTURE
The Minneapolis police routinely discriminated against Black people and used deadly force without justification, according to a Justice Department investigation opened after George Floyd’s murder.
The gunman who killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018 was found guilty of dozens of charges. The jury will decide whether he gets the death penalty.
Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst who leaked to The Times a secret history of the Vietnam War that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers, died at 92.
The N.B.A. suspended Ja Morant for 25 games starting next season after he waved a handgun on Instagram for the second time in just over two months.
The Greek authorities blamed smugglers for a shipwreck that may have been one of the worst in years.
Since former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie left office, he has capitalized on the connections he made as one of country’s best-known governors.
🎬 “Past Lives” (Friday): After a successful limited run, one of the year’s critically acclaimed films opens in wide release. A boy and a girl become friends in Seoul, lose touch, grow older, reconnect, lose touch and reconnect once again. As Manohla Dargis writes in her review, “Past Lives” is “a tale of friendship, love, regret and what it means to truly live here and now. In a sense it is a time-travel movie, because even as the two characters keeping moving forward, they remain inexorably tethered to the past.”
📺 “Outlander” (out now): Speaking of time travel, this Starz series about a woman from the World War II era who gets sent back to the past and falls in love with a man in 18th-century Scotland has returned for its seventh season. The characters are now in colonial America and it’s Revolutionary War time!
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
It’s Father’s Day tomorrow, so why not make some crisp-edged lemon ricotta pancakes to honor the dad in your life (or just because everyone loves pancakes)? Genevieve Ko’s recipe, made with tangy buttermilk and ricotta, yields tender pancakes that are especially light and fluffy in the center, thanks to well-beaten eggs. Serve them with a quick homemade blueberry syrup, regular maple syrup or loads of melted butter and confectioners’ sugar so their lightly sweet citrus flavor can really shine.
Black leather jacket: It’s Silicon Valley’s new look.
Itinerary: A writer asked a travel agent and an A.I. bot to plan her stay in Milan. She preferred the human.
Leveling up: Turn your walk into a workout.
ADVICE FROM WIRECUTTER
Try a sunshade
The best beach umbrella, it turns out, is not an umbrella at all. That’s because unless your favorite stretch of shoreline remains wind-free at all times, the archetypal beach umbrella can uproot itself and blow away. Enter Wirecutter’s recommendation: the less conventional, but far more functional, sunshade. A good sunshade will shelter a family of four from gusty winds. It’s also easy to carry and intuitive to set up, so you can focus on what’s most important: lazing and lounging. — Christine Ryan
GAME OF THE WEEKEND
The U.S. Open: The golf major is in Los Angeles for the first time since the 1940s, and much about the course, at the Los Angeles Country Club, is distinctive. A steep gully known as a barranca snakes through the course. There are five par-3 holes — the most at a U.S. Open in decades. And then there’s the novelty: Only a handful of the golfers competing this weekend have played the course. The group includes Max Homa, who grew up in the area and is seeking his first major. “I’m getting to do something I would have lost my mind about as a kid,” Homa said. 1 p.m. Eastern today and tomorrow on NBC.