I realize that for most people summer ends with Labor Day and the beginning of school but I’m hanging on to the last few real days of summer (until the equinox makes it official on the 22nd) with everything I’ve got. Maybe it’s because, for the first time in my life, I’m going to miss all the best parts; the leaves turning from green to gold to scarlet, the reemergence of sweaters, scarves and boots from the back of the closet, pumpkin flavor showing up in everything from breakfast to dessert, Halloween decorations… While I absolutely love fall, I’m sort of having a hard time letting go of summer. The middle of it was full and busy but these last few weeks have been a relatively empty and rough adjustment and it’s made me reluctant to say goodbye.
I’m wishing I’d gone camping, done more hiking, caught fireflies, made ice cream, spent more time lying on my back staring at the clouds and the stars. There are always things left undone. The trick is to make the most of what you’ve got while you’ve got it and appreciate it when it’s gone without spending too much time lamenting what never happened or what has slipped through your fingers. And I’ve never been very good at that.
I also don’t do well without structure. I tend to laze and while away my time, fooling myself into thinking I’m being productive but looking back I have nothing to show for my efforts. It’s a constant struggle to keep myself motivated. My natural inclinations are to stay in my sweats all day, never leaving the house, curling up with a book or some writing. And these last few weeks of unemployment have consisted of mostly that (aside from the TESOL class and the other preparations and aided by a nasty cold.) But I have this little part of me that screams like a banshee to get noticed; that wants to have adventures, to see the world, to never go home. That part acts as my conscience and prods me to do things, not just read about them or learn about them, but experience them for myself. And I’m always glad when I pay attention. But I’ve had a lot of practice ignoring it and I almost never heed the first nudging. It’s easier, and far more comfortable to close my eyes and pretend that other things are more important but that’s usually when I end up looking back and feeling as if I’ve wasted precious time.
I have just a few short weeks left until I leave for Thailand and I want to make the most of them. But even more I want to take advantage of every minute of the six months I’ll have living in a foreign country, experiencing a different culture and way of life. I hope I’m up to the task.