One sure sign that we are in the waning days of summer is the new crop of TV commercials that are now beginning to air. They try to get us into the fall spirit by enticing us to buy back to school supplies, new cars, spiffy clothes, computers, and even more back to school supplies. This is barely mid-August. No wonder my summer vacation seems so short. And it doesn’t help that the mailman, whose smile today seems a little like a gloat, just delivered my ‘welcome back’ letter from the principal of the high school I call home between September and June.
What is it about August that inevitably invokes a sense of impending doom in me? And it’s not as obvious as you might think, because, seriously, I’m not opposed to work. I’m just opposed to working in the summer. Between September and June, I am very grateful for my job.
As a self-proclaimed expert on summer, a title I have given myself by virtue of the simple fact that I am off from work, I have given serious thought as to why, during August, I begin to feel like I am going into an airplane death spiral. Things suddenly seem to be moving way too quickly now as I realize that September is in summer’s shadow. All over the place there are reminders of things put off, left undone or scratched off the to-do list. Yes, yes, I know this is all the same thing. But that is how the pressure of getting everything done feels to me. I realize that I am struggling to prioritize my priorities because everything seems to be such a priority these days.
Let’s take my mom’s never ending rounds of doctor appointments. She is still pretty good for a young eighty-six. Believe me. I wouldn’t want to meet up with her in a dark alley. But it is a balancing act for me to work full time and still make sure that she gets to all the places she needs to get to. Thank God, she does. But it takes work and scheduling brilliance on my part once the leaves begin to turn red and gold.
On the other hand, my daughter, an only but not lonely child, is again getting ready to leave home and return to school. I should be so used to this but I’m not. She graduated from college in Atlanta over a year ago and is now in her second year of medical school. That’s a lot of coming and going over the years. Of course all her back to school shopping is done in August. Somewhere I got the impression she would be wearing scrubs all the time, but nooo. Did I mention her classes begin on August 16? In Kentucky?
And don’t get me started on my dogs and their salon appointments. They are ‘my boys’ and I love them to death. But getting an August appointment with their groomer is like trying to schedule a Hollywood plastic surgeon for next Saturday. “Nope, don’t have that date open”, I’m told. “Totally booked with three Yorkies, all brothers, a Maltese and an overdue Labradoodle. How does the third Wednesday in September at 9:00 in the morning work for you?”
Work for me? Nothing is working for me because I will be back in school long before the third Wednesday in September.
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