When growing up, the summers felt long and drawn out. Those warm, sticky months of school vacation felt like they would never end. You spent long, lazy days being outdoors from morning until night, often only coming home for meals and then rushing back outside again to meet back up with your pals. You spent your days peddling your bikes up to the near-by strip malls to wander through the five and dimes with your friends. Or, swimming at the neighborhood public pools. Usually riding your Schwinn bike with the banana seat there or walking barefoot on the heated sidewalks. Your pool towel draped over your shoulders and your swimming cap, pool pass and flip-flops in hand. Time felt as though it stood still.
As an adult, you see the summer months differently. They’re hectic and busy. The laundry loads seem to quadruple. The fridge is always bare. There’s more activity and traffic throughout your home. But, you love everyone being around and the true gift of having no routine or busy schedules. One day you head to the grocery store at what you consider to be the beginning of summer. You’re doing your weekly shopping and you suddenly notice the signs on the seasonal aisle have changed from “welcome summer” to “back to school.” And, It’s only the second week of July! The 4th of July has barely become a memory and all of a sudden you are bombarded with back to school specials. Good grief! Talk about rushing the season.
You walk through a department store in June and the fall clothes are out. You walk through that same store in September and the Christmas trees are up. If you want to purchase a new outfit that is seasonal, good luck! You have to think ahead 3-6 months to be prepared for the season that’s around the corner. I was walking through one of my favorite stores in July looking for something summery to wear and the winter coats and sweaters were on display. It was the heat of the day. It felt like an oven outside. Between those unbearable temperatures and being in menopause, I immediately started to sweat just looking at all that wool. It was summer for goodness sake. Where were the shorts and t-shirts!
When did rushing the season become so trendy? Has it always been that way? As a kid in the 70’s, did we just not notice it because we were outside from morning until night? Material goods didn’t seem to matter as much back then. Retailers didn’t seem to push their goods on us so hard. The pressure on the consumer to buy, buy, buy seemed to be non-existent.
Or, was it? Interpretation of the seasons through the eyes of children are much different than adults. As kids, we savored each moment and lived in the present. We didn’t think ahead to what we would be doing or what we needed to have three or four months ahead of time. It was simple. Live each day as it comes. Enjoy each moment. Even tho time seemed to stand still as we were growing up, it wasn’t. Time flies. Why rush it? It goes fast enough on its own.
Throughout the long lazy days and weeks of my summer hiatus from BeingMargaret, I created several blog outlines to be finished and published at later dates. This post was one of those drafts. At the time of publication – this morning – while drinking coffee, writing and enjoying the quiet peacefulness of my house, the loud sounds coming from outside the front window of my abode did not fall on deaf ears. At first I reacted to it as normal background noise, not really paying much attention to it. Then I heard the same oddly familiar sound several times again. I got up and walked over to the window. Pulling back the drapes and looking out, my jaw dropped open. I saw the tell-tale sign of the end of summer. The big, yellow school buses were rolling down the street and past my home.
Good Grief! Where did summer go? How could it be that students all over the country were back in school already? It wasn’t even officially the middle of August yet. I tried to think back to the time when I was in school. Didn’t we always go back after Labor Day? Wasn’t that holiday the official end of summer? How could it be that schools now started 1 or 2 weeks into August? It felt so, so…wrong. So rushed.
And just like that – in the blink of an eye – that familiar, bittersweet ‘change of seasons’ feeling came over me. A topic that deserves a blog post of its own because I just know we can all relate to that. (stay tuned!!)
We have turned into a society that rushes through the events of our lives. Even the beginning of the school year for students everywhere seems to arrive prematurely. Maybe we should all just take a step back, meditate on the important things in life and slowwww dowwwwn. Time Flies. Let’s not help it along.