Tag Archives: summer

I always get anxiety when I think about summer being over

Summer went by way too fast. It always does. This is what summer feels like, like it’s over, like it never really had a chance to get going. When I’m freezing my ass off in February or early March, I imagine what May is going to feel like, those first full days of warm weather. And then I blink and it’s late August, it’s September, it’s right now.

I was standing around talking to someone about the weather, about the change of seasons. Lately I’ve been seeing all of the school buses out during midday, I guess doing their practice runs or whatever they do to ensure a smooth first day of classes. And even though I don’t go to school anymore, I still have those sense memories, like something is ending and something else is right around the corner.

“I can’t believe summer’s over already,” I say it and I’m already tired of saying it. It’s unoriginal. There’s nothing that I’m adding to any conversation. It’s kind of like I’m just throwing these words at people, hoping that someone might make something with them that I can’t. Before I even give the other person a chance to respond, I’m already spitting out more, “But I love the fall. I just love the fall. Yep. Fall. What a great season.”

This one guy said to me, “Yeah, I guess fall’s OK. But I always have such anxiety about the summer actually being over.” And that was already better articulated than anything I could have hoped to have said. I keep having to remind myself that we still nice weather, summer weather, and yet I’m already writing it off as if it doesn’t exist. I don’t want to see the summer go, so I pretend like it’s already gone, like what I’m actually wanting is to be somewhere else.

But I heard this other person tell me about his reservations, and it cut through whatever it was that I was telling myself to make me feel better about the passing of time, the changing of the seasons, the inevitable drop in temperature followed by holidays followed by a long winter followed by, what, another August?

And while, yes, there is something real to the seasons, a lot of what we’ve constructed as these four periods of equal time is artificial, just another way that we try with varying degrees of success to force the natural world to fit into our preconceived notions of how things should be. Maybe it’ll be hot until November. It’s not totally out of the question to have a really warm stretch of weather lasting all the way until the beginning of winter.

I can’t talk about the weather anymore. But I do have a definite anxiety about the end of summer. Once it’s fall, once I have my feet firmly planted in September, October, or November, I know that I’ll be OK. With summer in the rearview mirror, I’ll be free to really enjoy the colder weather, and when that weather gets to be too much, once that winter chill finally works its way deep into my bones, I’ll be able to start longing for the warmer temperatures of spring.

But whenever I think about the summer, whenever I try to take stock of my existence in any of these seasons, it’s never June or July, it’s always late August. The good months fly by without so much as a blip on my consciousness, but the final weeks stretch out forever, all characterized by that anxiety, the stress of losing something that’s not really there in the first place. Because what is an ideal summer day? Is it really just the temperature or my own physical comfort? Or am I longing for something else, being together with friends and family, maybe just slowing down a good moment for a while, delaying the inevitable end. In constantly skipping ahead, I’m losing track of what I’m enjoying right now. I’ve got to stop prematurely mourning what I haven’t yet lost.

I miss summer vacation

What am I supposed to do for the rest of the summer? The Fourth of July is long gone. There aren’t really any holidays to look forward to until Labor Day, which in my line of employment, it’s more of a joke than an actual holiday, because I always work Mondays at the restaurant, and especially on holidays, especially on holidays that don’t really have anything to do with anything real, it’s like people go out to eat in droves. Personally, I’d never wait on line for more than ten minutes to sit down and eat, but I’m clearly in the minority here, because on any sort of a day off, it’s like, let’s go out to a restaurant everybody.

Labor Day, it’s an actual day of labor for me. So I’m not counting that as a holiday. And then Columbus Day? Again, it’s the same. Most jobs still make you come in anyway. I think it’s just banks that take the day off. But that’s not until fall. I’m losing track of where I was going with this. It’s still technically summer, and I can’t think of anything special to do.

And I don’t know what the problem is, really, because when you think about it, there’s nothing really at all different about July or August than there is February or March. They’re all just regular months, go to your regular job, wait for the next holiday, which is always way too far away. It’s just the weather that changes. I’m freezing, and then the next thing I know I’m way too hot.

It just sucks because we spend the first twenty-two years of our lives having summer as a vacation. Even if you had a job growing up, which I always did, you still got two months where you didn’t have to go to school. When I was in high school, and then during those summers in between college, I’d love to work some crappy job. One, regardless of how pointless the work might have been, it was all very temporary. And two, it was a break from the normal routine. No school, no classes, something different.

And then you’re an adult and the weather starts getting warmer and there’s still that expectation that something different is going to happen, that for two months anyway, even if I’m not going to be able to sit around and do nothing, I’ll at least get a well needed change of scenery.

Now I’m twenty-nine, so I’m still at this point where the majority of my life experience is telling me something different than what I’m actually experiencing: a life of going to work over and over again, maybe I don’t hate it, maybe sometimes I do hate it, but it’s something that I have to deal with, because it’s never going away, there’s no rest at all. Once in a while maybe I’ll take a day off or a couple of days, a week or two once a year, but that’s it.

It’s just so soul crushing. And I hate sounding like such a whiney little brat, I totally realize how entitled this all sounds. But I just hate the fact that we have this warm weather, that all I really want to do is just go outside and run around and relax and play with my dog and cook a nice meal. I’d get my writing done when I felt like it, I’d have plenty of time to read the newspaper or some books, all of the stuff that I never get to do.

Because my real life is just waking up, struggling to get a run in, making myself sit down to write all of this stuff out, why? Because I want to be a writer. Why? So that way I could do all of this fun stuff that I’m talking about without having to sacrifice seven hours a day at a restaurant. And again, I don’t hate it. I definitely don’t love it, but in terms of a job that I have to do to pay my bills, whatever, I could have it a lot worse.

But all of that stuff, the reading, the cooking, more exercise, more time to just take a walk with my dog, maybe do a little gardening, there’s never enough time. I always go to bed at the end of the day thinking that there was so much more that I wanted to do that I wasn’t able to because I had to go to the restaurant and run around like a crazy person getting this, doing that, and by the time I get home, I always tell myself, you can do it Rob, you can stay up a little bit longer and get some more work done. But then I’m asleep. And then I’m waking up again. And it’s the same old, same old, every day, winter or summer. I just want to go outside. Just give me two months to go outside and hang out. That’s not so bad. We’re a pretty rich country. This is a pretty advanced society. Can’t we make it so we take turns working? Right? Wouldn’t that be nice?

It’s getting real hot out there

I spent a fair amount of last summer complaining about the heat. I’d sit down to write something, but the sweat would be pouring out of my body, soaking my laptop, making it impossible to write anything of significance. As my fingers would slip on the keys, as the messages popped up on the screen, “Reminder, do not pour liquids onto your computer,” I’d think to myself, this sucks, I’m so hot, I’m not getting any writing done, and everything that I do wind up writing, it’s just this long whiney complaint about being hot.

heat sunset res

Then the fall came, and that was great. Even winter was a welcome relief. And it wasn’t until about March or April that I really started to get sick of the cold. This year winter wouldn’t take the hint. It was like when you have your friends over and it’s three in the morning and you’re pretending to act like you’re still having a good time, that you’re not super tired, wishing that everyone would just leave already so you could go to sleep, and just when you think somebody might make a move for the door, somebody else sinks a little deeper into the couch and asks, “Anybody feel like getting a game of Monopoly going?”

But winter’s finally over. Spring made a delayed appearance for like a week or so. And then I woke up yesterday and it was summer again. The first day came and went and I didn’t complain. It wasn’t that hot, there was a nice breeze, I got to go outside in shorts. It was pretty pleasant considering how long winter took to finally melt away into warmer weather.

But then day two. I always bike to work and, not really thinking it through, I wore jeans and a t-shirt. Come on, I thought, it’s still May. It’s totally going to be OK. It totally wasn’t OK. The humidity was reminiscent of August. I wasn’t even halfway to the restaurant and, although you might not be able to tell just by looking at me, the entire surface of my body was covered in sweat.

It’s like, I love wearing jeans, but I can’t think of anything more uncomfortable than sweating through a thick pair of denim. The pants turn to sandpaper. Every step, every pedal on the bike, it becomes an exercise in exfoliating the skin on my legs, one layer at a time, until there’s nothing left but rash and raw.

And then I got to work and I had to change into my work clothes. I took off my damp jeans, my moistened shirt. And that wasn’t even the wettest part. My undershirt, my boxers, my socks, even though I’m going to be putting on a fresh change of clothing, everything underneath is heavy with perspiration.

I changed into my uniform. You know how it is, your body takes a minute or so to cool down. I thought my jeans were restrictive, but wearing dress pants, a shirt, tie, and a giant waiter’s apron, that was downright stifling. Not only did the sweating not stop, it actually picked up a little bit. I could start to feel my freshly laundered outfit starting to absorb it’s own layer of gross.

Man, and what the fuck? Why did it feel like the heat was still on? My restaurant is at the bottom of this gigantic building in Midtown. I can only guess that, in an effort to not be surprised if winter decides to make one or two more guest appearances this early in the warm season, they’re delaying the official changing of the thermostat for as long as possible.

I’m going to try and stop complaining. There’s nothing I can do about the heat, and it’s still May. It’s only going to get hotter and hotter. But man, I’m so f’n hot. I wake up in the morning and my mouth is like sealed shut because it’s so hot out and it makes the inside of my mouth so dry and then I go and try to get my day started but I get out of the shower and I’m already soaked through with sweat again and by the time I sit down to write even though I’m telling myself not to write about being so hot I can’t help it it’s all I can think about I can’t stop writing I can’t even make commas or periods I’m so fucking hot.