I think the hardest thing about being an adult is the missing calendar of Summer, School, Christmas, School, Summer and on and on and on. (With some Birthdays and other holidays thrown in there as well. Not to mention family vacation.) I miss being young enough to live by this syncopated rhythm. Nothing seemed too overwhelming because I could tackle it in chunks of time, most of which were made for me.
Many days in college I would think: “Ok, it’s just one semester, that’s three and a half months until I have a month off for break and then I’ll go back for another three and a half months and then Summer. I can do it.”
I would break my desires and my goals up by three month segments with four weeks of rest in between. That is brilliant. Why did I let that go simply because someone handed me a diploma?
When you “grow up” this goes away immediately. Life is just one continuous movement. A routine broken only by a vacation once a year if you are lucky and friends you like enough to see on the weekend, which by the way, is precious time you could be spending laying supine and starfish-ed in PJs from morning to night. I would need to like you a lot to give that up.
I’m saying all this because I was in Michaels this morning and they are already stocked for Fall. Not just Fall but Fall AND Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, folks, I love Autumn too. But here on the East Coast we have all of August and most likely September before it even begins to feel like the seasons are changing. So why are we rushing into the next thing as though what is happening right now isn’t wonderful?
Last year I thought I would beat the heat of New York City and head to Glen Falls, NY, a cute little town upstate to see the Hot Air Balloon Festival with Peter. I brought a pair of booties and a sweater and saw the city disappear behind me as we headed north. I felt smug. It was the middle of September and I was foreseeing a cozy stroll through an orchard, cider in hand. Peter, who was never affected by the heat, didn’t mind that it was 90 degrees when we arrived but I did. My instagram posts would be ruined because I would be sweating and my outfit would look completely out of place. I was boiling mad, almost as boiling as the sun on the blacktop. I sat in the shade of a pick up truck as the Hot Air Balloons got ready to take off, pouting and uncomfortable, I could barely relax I was so thirsty. It was a beautiful sight to behold, watching these giants lift soundlessly into they sky…though I was wiping rivers of sweat off of my brow the whole time.
So much for beating the heat.
In opposition, when I was living in Cleveland Mackenzie and Rickie invited me on an outing to a pumpkin farm/apple orchard on a lovely fall day in October. I will tell you it was the perfect fall day and I’m not sure I’ve had one quite as lovely since. The sun was bright and there was a nip in the air. (A phrase I truly love ‘nip in the air’ as though Jack Frost were pinching you but in a playful way.) The leaves were radically alive and we had cider, warm donuts, and we picked out pumpkins, laughing at their shapes and colors. The scent of kettle corn and wood stove blew through my hair. When I got home that evening, happy and tired, I lit a candle and took a bath and thought ‘That was a good day. I love Fall.’
Those type of days are hard to come by when you are rushing around, and mostly it has to do with an array of things lining up perfectly. But when they do, oh boy, what a treat.
But back to my original point, which is that we should still be enjoying Summer even if we are about to be in August. Watermelons and pool parties, long evenings with friends and the sounds of crickets and cicadas. Fireflies and fireworks and maybe holding hands with someone new, or something who feels new but has been yours for a long time. Corn on the cob and Ice cream, flip-flops and salt water taffy. Why give this up so fast? Why are we always looking for whats next and never truly enjoying now?
I’m guilty of it too.
But, now that I’m thinking of it, I realize how much more present I am when I don’t see things stretching before me as one long march into forever but instead little checkpoints to meet. The seasons help us change from one thing to another, and so does school. But how can I make this happen for myself without the scheduling of a university or the turn of a leaf?