I’m not sure that we could ask for a better end to summer than a day of rain and mild temperatures. The weatherman says we’ve only reached the “century mark” three times this summer…so different from last summer’s sizzling agony.
But I shouldn’t be surprised. This summer has been different in so many ways.
Of course losing my father has dominated by thoughts and actions. It’s been a summer of memories, emotions, and challenges. As anyone who has lost a loved one can tell you, death creates change in every aspect of your life and you have to find a “new normal” that works for you. I’m not quite there, but I’m closer.
I’ve thought more about retirement this summer than I ever have before. Although I can’t say exactly when I’ll feel that the time is right, I do know that it will happen within the next few years. And “retirement” will only mean not teaching full-time. These days everyone seems to work at something until they are about seventy. So I’ve been thinking about plans and finances and another job.
I’ve cleaned and sorted and thrown out more “stuff” this summer than ever before. Feels good to get rid of the clutter! Not that I’ve ever been a “hoarder”, but I’ve been overly sentimental about some things. And I’ve just been lazy…you know…stick those papers in a file and forget about them for ten years. I thought it was interesting to hear a doctor say recently that the difference between a hoarder and the rest of us is that their accumulations interfere with their daily living AND they are unable to organize things. Whew! So as long as I’m organized I’m okay.
I’ve neglected my garden more this summer than ever before. I thought about that yesterday as I walked around and looked at the grass that has invaded several beds. I’d be ashamed for anyone to see my yard right now, but it probably still looks okay to an “outsider”. What I noticed yesterday is that the flowers don’t seem to care! They have bloomed just as well this summer as they have any other time, so I guess that “cleanliness” in the garden is mostly about our own expectations. As long as weeds and grasses don’t compete too much for space or water, the flowers are willing to share.
So…summer winds down, school is just ahead, and my new normal life moves forward.