So it’s supposed to be the big day. The day that everybody goes outside and watches fireworks blazing across The City. It’s also supposed to be the day of the barbecue. From what you’ve seen and heard, the way it’s supposed to be is that your family is supposed to get together, and you’re all supposed to have lots of food over the grill and charcoal, some water balloons, maybe even a water gun or two, and the loudest, most rambunctious explosives ready to light up the night.
But what if you don’t have any of that? Or what if you’re actually totally ‘over’ the 4th of July before the first grill is even lit?
When I was a young in Los Angeles, 4th of July was more often than not a day when it seemed like everyone except my family and I could enjoy the time. There was never much money for fireworks, and ever since my brother and I were toddlers, mom had completely banned any water guns for us to play with. This left just water balloons, but then, on the 4th, there were only so many kids who still wanted to chuck water balloons at each other as teens; everyone was more interested in the crackle and spark of fireworks. This left my brother and I to mostly just watch as other kids ignited their pyrotechnics.
But now, maybe you’re luckier, since yours truly has 5 tips for you to get through the 4th of July when it’s dragging!
1. Don’t just stay in while the grills get prepped. Go outside because it’s fresher. Even if it’s just to go to the store to get some milk and cookies, that still counts as getting ‘outta the house. You’ll notice the slower pace of the city during a holiday like the 4th. In L.A., most of the roads tend to quiet down some, which relaxes the vibe of the whole place. And if you and your folks can hop on a bus or rail line to get out somewhere farther like the Santa Monica Pier or even Cabrillo Beach, the city will feel even more fresh for you to sift through. Ah, freshness. You need this!
2. Don’t just order a cheeseburger or pizza. Make your own cheeseburger or pizza. For the former, I’ve got a secret for you: with just a little over five dollars, you can purchase ONE POUND of ground beef + a bag of burger buns. With or without some parental support, you can throw some salt and seasoning on the beef, grill it–EASY on the oil–warm the buns, and then add diced onions, lettuce, and a slice of tomato, avocado or whatever other ingredients the times call for. Then, WALAAH. Your burgers won’t taste like the kind you’re used to buying places, but they’ll be better because they’ll be made by YOU, COOK. Your own personal barbecue!
3. Do not simply lounge around home being bored. Take a nap. If you’re able to, try to lie on your back and rest your mind with a good book, preferably during daytime since the evening will be locked in explosive sounds at least until midnight. A nap also works well with Item 2 on our list, since both the beach and the park can serve as key locations to catch a few Zzzzs. You also need this!
4. If you can’t sleep, fine. Get started on your own podcast for the Jimbo Times Hoodie Challenge. I mean, can you blame me for trying to spur you into some action? Now’s as good a time as ever! At least to get started on the outline, for crying out loud. You do realize you’re going to need a new hoodie after summer, right?! Yes, yes you will.
5. Don’t be a grump. Tell the people in front of you that you appreciate them, then run from them like they’re zombies. Continue running. What I mean is, you need to take a jog! Why doesn’t anyone seem to believe me on this? A light jog is good for your mind and body! It helps expel the pressure points, or the places where your body accumulates stress. It’s too easy, if you don’t over-think it; and your phone will still be there when you get back. Trust!
And that’s it, folks. That’s five tips for you this 4th. Now, is the short set of tips a bulletproof list of stuff to help you get through the day? Nope. It’s just a start.
Most importantly, what you have to know is this: if the day ends up dragging for you no matter what you do, you’re not alone. It happens; and quite frequently too as you come to terms with reality. But in this case, you might as well give at least one of the items here a shot just to see what if. At day’s end, it’s still never too late to make the day count in your own way, and of course you can do it. Jimbo Times believes in you.