It dawned on me today that it’s August. Kids are getting ready to go back to school just as I am noticing it’s summer.
This summer, I have spent sitting. I’ve done a little math. I figured I’ve spent an average of 80 hours a week sitting in front of a computer, 45 hour sleeping, 7 hours walking the dog(s), 1 hour doing yoga, 14 hours eating (mostly more sitting), 3 hours socializing (yet more sitting), 3 hours shooting, 4 hours working with birds, and the remaining 11 hours doing mundane tasks like getting ready in the morning, driving places, grocery shopping, dog washing, dog feeding, taking the dog to the vet, making coffee, and doing household chores.
That’s not exactly how I might have planned my summer.
I think back to the summers of my childhood when they seemed to stretch on forever. I remember running around in the neighborhood with my friends playing whatever game we could come up with much of the day. If I wouldn’t have been an avid reader, I probably would have spent the entire day outside. When friends weren’t available, I took my books outside and read in our treehouse or in a make-shift tent made of blankets hung over our swing set.
There were chores and, when I was old enough, a job. But my first job was mowing lawns–even that felt like a fun outdoor activity once I got started. I used to love the smell of fresh cut grass and the look of a neatly trimmed lawn. All of it spoke of summer to me.
It’s funny that we grow up thinking we will have summers forever. Summers with less responsibility, fewer deadlines, and an open schedule. Summers where the biggest worry is that we’ll be bored. Do kids still have summers like that? I miss them.
I miss the feeling of sleeping in on a weekday, rising to an empty house with a stocked fridge. Meandering through the day without a single thing planned, required, or demanded.
I suppose the whole summer wasn’t like that. There was a week of camp. Days I had to do things. But I looked forward to those days because the freedom of the unplanned days was sometimes overwhelming.
I entered this summer without acknowledging it. I didn’t just spend it sitting; like walking past a lost penny, I didn’t pick it up to spend it at all. I didn’t notice the longest day of the year. I didn’t catch any fireflies. I didn’t spend a single night gazing at the stars. I didn’t take a moment to sit in the shade on a hot sunny day, feeling the breeze and thinking life is good. It seems like a summer wasted.