The End of Summer

I always get a bit panicky around this time of year. I can see the end of summer approaching and I start to think about all the things I thought I would get done during the summer. And then I start counting all the things I didn’t get done. And then the panic sets in when I realise how little time remains to do them.

It’s as though 1 September comes and someone will pull a curtain across all possibilities for life and fun and activity and I will return to a coma-like state for the next nine months. And then I get a little bit depressed. Because the end of summer is not a happy time. It means the end of long days. It means putting away my strappy sandals and rendering my pedicure invisible. It means getting up in the dark, going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. The big, high, pale blue skies of summer start to close in; the sun which had fixed us in its beady gaze starts to turn its attention elsewhere; the light changes.

But this year I want to beat this feeling of gloom. I want to travel into September happy or at least content and at peace with the end of summer. This is going to require a change of mindset.

So this year, to start with, I am going to think about all the good things that happened this summer. Places visited, friends caught up with, good times had, broken things fixed, things tidied up and sorted out… even cups of tea in the garden count. With that reflection on things done instead of things not done, I already feel better.

And with the onset of cooler weather, I am going to snap out of my summer torpor and make more plans. It’s time to get someone in to fix those little problems around the house. It’s time to start planning some long walks now than risk of sunstroke is past. It’s time to sign up for evening classes or weekend classes or join a book club. It’s a time to think about cosy slow-cooking Saturday nights (not a euphemism). It’s time to think about harvesting the fruit from the fruit trees before the pigeons and squirrels get them all.

No, this year I will not be sad and panicked by the end of summer. I will take a deep breath of the cooler air and I will walk into autumn with a smile.

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