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A summer of joy is what we need...now

CNN logo CNN 6/25/2022 Lisa Respers France

Summer 2021 was supposed to be our time.

Vaccines were finally available and we were seeing a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Or so we thought.

The variants had other plans for us.

One year later, Covid is still here. But I am feeling more determined than ever to reconnect with community and feel some joy.

© Provided by CNN Teenagers attend a birthday party at a California beach this week. - Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty Images

Pop culture can be a source of happiness by giving us the creatives and their creations we so love.

From Beyoncé and Drake dropping new house music and drawing us back on the dance floor to blockbusters like “Top Gun: Maverick” drawing us back to the movies, this summer’s mood is – ever so slightly – up.

© Provided by CNN Theatergoers watch 'Top Gun: Maverick' in San Diego in May. - Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

Now, before you challenge that thought with gas prices, the climate crisis, out of control inflation, and human rights and democracy in peril, please hear me out.

All of that can be true and offer all the more motivation, for me, to lean into living.

To quote Queen Bey, “you won’t break my soul” as I pursue the positive during the 90 or so days of summer ahead.

© Provided by CNN Yogis take part in a summer solitice event in Times Square on Tuesday. - Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Later sunsets offer opportunity to spend more time with friends and family, enjoying patio meals, bonfires, beach time, camping or whatever else is your groove.

And while the temperatures may be soaring, summer music festivals and tours are also pretty hot, with artists like The Rolling Stones, Bad Bunny, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar and Luke Combs hitting stages around the world.

© Provided by CNN Women dance on the beach in Santa Monica, California earlier this week. - Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

These past few years have been…stressful isn’t even the word for it. More like depressing and downright dreadful on so many levels.

No, the pandemic isn’t completely over, but vaccines and boosters mean fewer people are experiencing severe illness.

If we learn nothing else from these challenging times, it’s that life is fleeting.

© Provided by CNN Lizzo, performing here in 2021, has kicked off summer with her hit 'About Damn Time.' - Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

So, for this short season, let’s keep our heads and lighters up and grab hold of some goodness.

As Lizzo has preached, “It’s about damn time.”

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