Saturday, September 12, 2009

Farewell, Summer

So, the first week of school happened while I was in Denver for a work-related conference. No biggie, right? Well, except for Daughter #1 getting side-swiped in the car on her way to school (and whomever hit her decided to leave the scene...), all was well.  I'm surprised at how quickly and effortlessly my family fell back into their school year routines- Fall already! It seems like just last week that I was still tapping my foot and checking my watch, wondering why Summer hadn't shown up yet.  And so, in the wake of Summer's end, I present to you another installment of my "From The Editor" article, originally published in my running club's newsletter, circa September-October 2008, and re-worked for this venue.  Enjoy!

The other night, I put a quilt on my bed. Why does this matter? Well, because it was August when I wrote this, it was August that other night when I put the quilt on my bed, and as we all know, August is the month of Summer that is hot, sticky, sweltering, and most definitely un-quilt-ish.  So why the quilt? And why the following story?

Some of you get it already, and some of you have clicked away from this page.  Here it is:  Summer is over.

My heart broke as I wrote those words.  I love Summer unapologetically; I cast all affection to the season, caring not how the other seasons feel.  Spring may tease with its sporadic 70-degree days, and Fall may try to trick us into thinking there's sunshine, what with its flame-hued leaves and such.  Winter doesn't even try anymore- the cool blue and grey tones of the days are only fleetingly interrupted with glaring sunshine, momentarily making us Northern-dwelling folks forgo toques and gloves for a day.  But it is Summer days- the entire length of them- that I enjoy.

This Summer (as in the Summers of the past two years) I thought for sure that I would be able to languish at the beach with a blanket and a good book.  Work had other ideas for me.  My (Never-Ending) kitchen renovation and new patio had other ideas for me.  My family had other ideas for me.

Work renovation shopping laundry sleep patio work family vacuuming driving bargain hunting kids marathon stop to eat something anything renovation concrete splatter those bunnies are still here?

And that was just the first week of June.  I've never been very good at allowing myself to relax and slow down, even when I know I'll crash hard.  I had every intention of carving out a few hours for myself for unscheduled, unstructured alone time.  Well, we all know that saying about the path and how it is paved...

So I settled into a routine at work, Mr. Fix settled into a routine with the renovation and new patio, and Daughters #1 and #2 kept up their Summer tradition of eating breakfast at noon.  It wasn't until the summer program I run at work was complete that I realized I hadn't used any vacation days.  Not.  Even.  One.

At this point, I know I need to get away and relax, focus on nothing but whatever I like.  I know that my reward for (finally) indulging in some "Me Time" will be a sense of renewal and eagerness that has somehow slipped away with the days of June, July and August.  Is this what most people know as "revitalization of the spirit?" Today I am ready to face the start of another school year, another Fall marathon, and another Winter of cold cold cold cold cold!

And, maybe more importantly, I'm ready to accept that my "blanket and good book" meant for the beach are going to be my "quilt and good book" in my bed.

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