Why the summers seem so short

This year I think I’ve figured out why summers seem half as short as any other season. The simple fact is: they are shorter.

Consider. Summer officially starts June 20th or thereabouts. June 20th is reasonable for summer starting. By the end of June, we’re pretty reliably above freezing and most of the snow has melted. Then you have July, which is really summer. (Except this year, when it was May Take II.) For me, the first week of August we have our big vacation of the year where I go home and hike Mt. Rainier and relax while my kids are entertained by my parents. I come back August 10thish a bit more tan and a bit more relaxed. But as soon as the tires of my Jetblue redeye touch down at Logan, I’m into planning for fall.

It’s not summer that’s weird. It’s fall that’s weird. No other season requires so much advance planning. I don’t plan for summer. I don’t plan for spring. I plan for Christmas, but not for winter. But well in advance of the calendar start of fall (September 20th or thereabouts), I’m planning.

Part of this is due to my own unique circumstances. Let’s look at my autumnal schedule, shall we?

*September 23rd – my birthday (generally ignored)
*October 6th – Grey’s birthday (big deal)
October 12th – my FIL’s birthday (we miss you Mike)
October 16th – my sister’s birthday (I sometimes scrape up a card)
*October 21st – my husband’s birthday (err… I usually buy something for him off his Amazon wishlist)
*October 28th – Thane’s birthday (what am I going to do for his first?)
October 29th – my niece’s birthday (make with the loot already!)
*November 14th (this year) – Mocksgiving (huge big hosting deal that requires lots of forethought)

Items with an asterisk require me to do party planning if a party is going to happen (which is a longer and longer shot with the grownup birthdays).

Add to that the typical things that need doing in fall — a new wardrobe for the kids, a new Saturday activity for Grey (we’ve settled on aikido), starting preschool, prepping the house for winter (cleaning gutters, furnace maintenance, mulching, etc.), Halloween, Thanksgiving and all that.

Finally, toss in a good measure of church starting back up. Now church doesn’t close down, but we have a more moderate schedule over the summer. Our committees meet less often. We don’t have quite as many events. There’s no Sunday School (we do have a kids’ event). There’s less extra work. But there’s a lot to be done for fall: the Fall lunch, the pumpkin party, lining up teachers to teach, ordering curriculum, the Sunday School launch party… all sorts of seasonal things. (Many of which I should probably start thinking about since the loss of a member has made us very shorthanded for some.)

Well, of course I had better start planning for fall by the middle of August! But what this means is that the amount of time I’m in summer and thinking of summer is about 6 weeks — from the end of June to the middle of August. Although there’s another 6 weeks of summer left on the calendar, my mind is already engaged with the fun season of autumn and has left summer behind.

Hmmm… I’m not actually sure I’m glad I wrote out all the things I need to do in Fall. Because right after I get those done we’re in Christmas. Ah well. As one of my professors used to always say (which, to be fair, drove me absolutely bonkers in college), “Life is rich and full.”

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

2 thoughts on “Why the summers seem so short”

  1. You should see my room at school. Nothing done! I have some computer work done, but the rest of it — wish me luck! You are correct, even with the summer off, it seems really short!

    I like being a teacher — and not just for the summer “off.”


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