August 31, 2006

The end of August and the unofficial end of Summer

Summer. Or, more appropriately put, the unofficial end of. I know you've all heard me wax poetic (or not) about the end of summer in years past (see posts from 2001, 2002 (scroll all the way down to August's entry)and 2005. But it's still true. We're now at the end of the cycle, which is exactly the end I don't like being at. See, I'm a guy that likes the anticipation of what will happen. I like the speculation, the planning, the dreaming of what might happen. Aahh, good times to be had ahead. Therefore, I like the very beginnings of vacations. The beginnings of holidays and holiday-related weeks like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

I do not like the end of any of those.

It's at the end that it's (naturally) over. And then there's no more expectation. It's done. It's not potential energy anymore, it's transformed into Kinetic, and even at that it's in the past because all that kinetic energy has already been spent. You've imagined it, you've executed on it, you've done it, lived it, finished it. It's over. The time for imagining is over, because the time-based window of opportunity is done.

So, with that in mind, I do not like August 31. It's one of my least favorite days of the year, actually. For that matter, I start to get uneasy after August 15 or so, because I know time grows short. It's amazing how quickly time can go from being the end of June, and there's graduation parties all over the place and friends are having other parties too and it's the start of summer and everything's fine and beautiful and oh we've waiting all winter to get to this spot and how great it's all going to be. And then you blink and it's the fourth of July. Okay, let's go to the parade and later we'll have a barbecue and then even later we'll spread out a blanket on the grass and watch the fireworks. Nice. However, before you know it, you're transformed pretty quickly to the end of July, almost as if someone was playing tricks with the calendar and you thought it was July 10 but no, they've put July 31 up there on the wall. However, it's not a trick and 3 weeks have magically sped by.

And then the next day comes. And it's August. No problem, you say. There's still one full month left until the dreaded Labor Day. Labor Day, which is the unofficial end of summer, because it's when the kids of all ages, from kindergarten age to college, all end their vacations and go back to school. Labor Day signals the end to the summer vacation, and thus it's been transformed into signaling the end of summer itself, even though summer itself doesn't end until about 18-20 days later, on September 21-22. So, you say there's one full month left. And you try and try to make the most of it, but before you know it someone says it's August 15 or something and how "oh it will all be over soon..where did the time go?" and you realize they're right. You've got mere days, maybe a week or two at most and then August itself will be over, just a memory. One more summer gone.

And then it's August 31. Damn I hate August 31.

I say this, having had one of the best summers I can remember in quite a while. I turned 40 in June, and that kick started the whole summer off quite nicely. I really enjoyed that. Good friends, good weather, and me entering into a whole new decade of my life. Now that's a good way to start the summer. The rest of the summer followed suit after that. There was plenty of reconnecting with friends, parties, activities such as tennis and bike riding, etc. All good stuff. All good memories, but now just that--memories.

I guess I'm just bitching because the season is on it's way out and that means some of the fun is over until next summer (expect another post like this on September 21 when the season officially changes). You've got to admit that although most of us try to enjoy ourselves all year long, it's hard to have the same kind of enjoyment in the middle of winter that you have in summer. It's just different, unless maybe you're lucky enough to live in Florida or Hawaii or some other moderate climate like that. Maybe you're exempt then.

Whatever you did this summer, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and had a good time. Leave me a comment and let me know how your summer was.

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