Bad Girl, Good Business

The 100 Years Club Installment #75: The Summer of 1974

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I graduated high school right before the Summer of 1974. (The picture is proof!)

Rather than attending my last semester in a classroom, I enrolled in an experimental program where I worked for a Congressman. I just had to take the Regents exams and show up on occasional Fridays.  And BOOM! I got a diploma, graduating lucky 13 out of a class of 1,300.

Although I was basically a rule follower back then, I always found creative ways to mix life experience with academics.

But ahhhh…summer!

I can’t clearly remember the summer of 1974. Perhaps I just hung out at the beach post-graduation, awaiting my journey to the University of Michigan. I remember organizing a “craft circle,” where we knitted/crocheted throws for our dorms. (I still have mine!)

Most steps up to that moment and the “Summer plans” that followed were influenced by family, social norms, life circumstances, and my high internal standards. Fun and freedom were usually not part of that plan.

Until graduation from college, I worked Summer jobs as a salesperson at Macy’s, a D.C. internship (for the same Congressman),  and a civil service gig for the Treasury Department. (Can you spell SNOOZE?!)

Once I started working full-time, Summers changed forever. Of course, I escaped for the occasional weekend at a friend’s Hamptons share house in my 20s. Then, we had our own house, which was an escape from city life and suburban chatter.

Among the fun Summer memories from the past 50 years:

  • Family times at the beach
  • Vacations to new places (including U.S. destinations, the Caribbean, and Europe)
  • Hiking trips with glorious vistas
  • Food and music festivals
  • Summer romances (before and after my marriage)

When my daughters were older (8 and 12), they went to overnight camp for four weeks, which enabled me to spend some “adulting” time.

And then, Labor Day would roll around, along with the back-to-school frenzy and the back-to-work panic, as management realized they had only four months to hit their financial goals. All good things came to an end. But…

In the Summer of 2024, I’m committing to an endless summer (another 50 years, perhaps!) I look forward to a lifetime of surprises, opportunities, and possibilities.

I have a job, but I manage my hours.  (I can even work from the beach or pool.) Continuing education is optional! I’m inspired by my “Class of 1974” contemporaries, many of whom are creating new lives for themselves and discovering new passions.

If you structure your life well, Summer is a state of mind. 

And every day is a mini-graduation. 

Listen to my podcast. In episode 33, I talk about things YOU can do this Summer to live your best life.

Pull out your own Summer photos of years past. Instead of thinking, “Damn, I was skinny!” Reflect on “How can I create the same level of mindless fun at 68 (or 78 or 88) as I enjoyed at 18 or 28?

Pre-prom circa 1974. I wish I still had that green dress!

A rare historic Summer photo. I am playing volleyball in my pleather bikini. Summer fun, indeed!




  1. Gosh, you brought me back in time for a bit! Loved the nostalgia.

  2. Summers can be the best pattern interrupt… Even though my routine doesn’t HAVE to change anymore, I enjoy making a change.

    1. Love that! We all need to interrupt patterns to remain sharp and engaged! xo


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