Summer FallsWell, folks- summer is over.
Not because school started. (I don't keep track of those dates anymore.) Not because it's September. ("Autumn" usually starts in early October in Portland- or at least there are a few fairly warm days into October.) But because I had to close all of my windows to keep the heat in last night and because my windshield had condensation on it this morning and because it is a crisp 49 degrees outside right now!!
See, I'm not talking about the calendar summer which ends on Saturday.
Man, where do my summers go these days? I remember spending hours outside daily during the summer, being really tan and fit and doing lots of FUN stuff with friends all summer long. I guess those were the days when I was a slave to education, lucky to get 3 months "off," only to work my ass of at Subway or whatever crap job I had back then. (I have come a long way.) Now almost all my friends are married (some with kids) which, to most of them, means they stay home considerably more than they used to. (We single people look down on this homebody status like they sold out, by the way, while they "feel sorry" for us singles and try to set us up with the other dwindling single friends THEY have.) Instead of going "out on the town" or hiking or whatever, they sit in their backyard; maybe invite another couple or two over for a BBQ. Hey- they don't have to "get out there," they don't have to look good anymore or get exercise- they're married! (I don't hold this same belief by the way. I think you should always take care of yourself, and not just for your wife or husband- FOR YOURSELF.)
What did I do that was fun THIS summer? I had some fabulous visitors (Dave, Kristi, Grandma & Grandpa, Uncle Mike, a couple of Australians.) I played some drunk softball. (Jell-O shots are awesome.) I went to some amazing weddings. (Probably some of the most perfect and fun weddings I have ever been to.) I turned 30. (It was one of the BEST birthdays I have ever had thanks to some dear friends... even though I chickened out bungee jumping.)
Ok, so I can't complain. It is just that life changes and I always yearn for those more carefree days when I didn't have to worry about a bills and my mortgage, counting calories and carbs, what I want to DO with my life, the war or the economy. I could just call Grandma up and invite myself over for the night (my paternal grandmother always fluffed the sheets in the dryer RIGHT before I go to bed so they're warm when I get tucked in.... she still does it. I LOVE it.) When I would walk down the street to my best friend's house and we would wander downtown or create our own fun while our parents were at work. When I would find an unsuspecting hotel and act like I was a guest (which really just means I acted like I owned the place- an overly-confident attitude) and used the pool all day. Soccer practice, swimming lessons, endless vacations, going mountain biking on the trail across the street, floating the Madison River with a six-pack of beer, camping all the time... THAT is what summer used to be.
Now that I have a "real job", the seasons blend into each other and my only "free" days are limited to Saturday and Sunday and my two-week vacation or the occasional 3-day weekend. The daily grind is a monotonous, deadening routine that usually lacks any excitement. Like many, I dread Mondays and I am always planning my next vacation. Even the DAYS blend into each other.... the WORST is when I wake up and I think it's Friday, but it's really Thursday. Ugh. Time is one big season now, with a few subtle and random changes in temperature and precipitation.
I feel sometimes as if I need another "obstacle" to conquer, like high school or college. And then I remember how burnt out I STILL am from architecture school. (The thought of going back to school makes me want to curl up in bed. Forever.) Going to school was always inevitable... I don't see my endless possibilities as I did when I was younger, even though they are even greater now. Usually, I feel restrained by budget and practicality. Sometimes I feel stuck, like I have run out of creativity or motivation to make something happen for myself. Is it that my opportunities aren't put on a plate and served up anymore? Or is it that I just don't know how to discover them now? Am I weighted down by too many worries or responsibilities? Probably it is all those things... and more.