A Good Way to Start the Summer… Be Yourself

Winter sort of slips into spring, but summer has a clear beginning. This weekend is it. Let it be an occasion to let go what’s not you and celebrate what is.

Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken. Oscar Wilde

In practical terms authenticity can be about how you freshen up the decor of a summer house or spruce up your weekend wardrobe. (I should probably pass along those Pucci hot pants to someone a little younger… by like 30 years…) Spiritually it can be about encouraging your children or emboldening yourself.

Of course sometimes being yourself doesn’t feel up to snuff. Just yesterday I was rejected by an agent who “didn’t fall in love with my writing.” Well dang. I just write as myself. I can’t remember who said it, but what other people think of me is none of my business.

Sometimes it’s an outright challenge. Think women in Afghanistan. Scholars in China. Entrepreneurs in Russia. This is not meant as a political statement, but in the days of Victorian England poor Oscar Wilde spent two years in jail arguably for “being himself.”  Although history and his own writings say he wouldn’t have had it any other way, it wasn’t always easy. Wilde also famously said of his incarceration, “If the queen can’t treat her prisoners any better than this she ought not to have any!” or words to that effect. Thank heaven we live in a time and place that respects our personal liberties; and on this Memorial Day, thanks to our armed services for protecting them.

Just something to think about as you arrange those hydrangeas, send your children off to camp, don your straw hat, and saunter off to a summer lunch. Be yourself, and love it.


  1. Frances
    Just what I needed to hear on this warm morning in South Georgia! Yes…hot pants one of those things you did and have lived to tell it !!
    Happy Weekend

  2. Such a wonderful quote! I love your writing style and it makes me smile every time I read one of your delightful, charming and witty posts. It is their loss! Have a wonderful Memorial Day!!!

    1. Cathy, Magret, Becky, thank you! Y’all have a great weekend, too, being your darlin’, smart selves!

  3. Sorry but in the fairest Cape winter is upon us! At least your blog is global Frannie. Big log fire, lamb curry and red wine for us this evening. But we’ll be ourselves……!

    1. Well you’ve got me here! I am so happy to have dear friends and readers in the southern hemisphere and especially in one of my favorite places on earth – South Africa and the Cape. How provincial of me to overlook the fact that it is winter there! And I bet it makes some of our already sweltering southern U.S. readers jealous. Thank you dear Paul – Enjoy your curry by the fire – and being yourselves!

  4. Frances, this may be my favorite post to date! Well said and a much needed reminder as I prepare for weekend guests whom I hope will not notice that my dog has chewed every bit of furniture in the house!

    1. Thank you Carol Ann! And listen honey, your company is just happy to be there. Who cares if they notice? PS: if you pass by a hardware store there are great little kits of furniture “crayons” that hide a world of puppy sins. Barring that, a brown magic marker works, too.

  5. “I can’t remember who said it, but what other people think of me is none of my business.” I just saw Oprah’s interview of Deepak Chopra, filmed in India, absolutely beautiful scenery, and that is one of the things he said. What others think about you is none of your business. It’s their issue. Not yours. Gotta love that! Wishing you a lovely, joyous, juicy summer!

  6. Frances,
    Enjoying each writing and love your thoughts and ideas….don’t change a thing and keep them coming.
    On ice tea and other summer extravagancies..Frank Stitt’s cookbook SOUTHERN TABLE has a technique on tea that is addicting. Recipe page 33 and mint infused simple syrup page 343 is hard to beat..going out looking for your brand of tea leaves.
    most cheerfully,
    Lynn Ziglar

    1. Thank you so much Lynn! Can’t wait to check Frank Stitt’s recipe… He is a good ‘un!… and if you can’t find the Kusmi in stores you can order on line frm their website. Cheers to you too, F

  7. Frances,
    How any agent could not fall in love with your writing completely baffles me. You have one of the most charming, life affirming, authentic styles I have ever read– I just love it and am proud to tell people we were sorority sisters! You just keep right on writing the way you do–you make my day every day! Love, Jackie

  8. Your writing is fabulous and always lifts my spirits…I read this as I am going out to purchase a chair and go and sit in the waters of Bogue Sound with a couple of my friends and watch the boat crazies…a great way to start the summer!

  9. I’m no agent, but I fell in love with your writing years ago! Have a great summer and hope to see you again soon. xxxooo

  10. If I remember correctly from HB this post follows the trail of the naming of Bee Cottage; Just Bee.

  11. I love the spirit and essence of how you received the message. You embody “To thine ownself be true”. Another quote I love that is roughly in the same vein (and I hope I’m not misquoting too grossly): “Know who you are and be such”(Pindar, I think).

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