Seasonal Procrastination

It is still dark when I rise in the mornings. But the sun rises while I walk Leonard around the block. It is nice. But we change the clocks this weekend. We gain another hour of darkness. And every year around this time I remind myself not to let myself get too hopeful about the light, knowing it’s something of a false start to a delicate season. It’s like practice for the actual season.

I walked into the yard to fetch Leonard yesterday without pulling on a coat. The air was still. I felt exposed. Almost indecent. Spring/Summer always demands a mental adjustment. It’s a time of opening and acceptance. It demands risk.

The summer is fragile here. A gust of the north wind can displace it on an afternoon in July. Warmth is always something of an unfulfilled promise. Which shouldn’t be surprising, considering all the unfulfilled promises that every summer vacation brings.

Talk about shifting the blame.

I should say: considering all the unfulfilled promises I make to myself about this time every year. Counting down the weeks until vacation. Shoving everything I want to do ahead of me as though come June I will have the self-discipline of an Olympian.

I put too much of a burden of expectations on summer. I anticipate its arrival as if it were an awards ceremony for something I forgot I was never in the running for. All my half-completed projects. All the mental energy never followed up in the physical world. Everything seems so much closer to “done” in my head until I actually have days of unscheduled time and realize that the “everything” in my head is an overwhelming mountain of vague plans, loose bullet points, and incongruous metaphors.

I hear myself lecture the students again about how thinking about doing their assignment, learning their lines, sewing their costumes, is not actually doing any of that. Again. And I know damned well that I am lecturing to myself.

I set the timer and hope I can get some wasp work done in the real world before it’s time to go to work. Writing. Painting. I try not to think.

But the clean laundry is piling up again on the sofa in the bedroom, and I keep thinking about folding it. Thinking then maybe it can just stay there another two months, and that come summer I will sort through it all and simplify my life.

2 Replies to “Seasonal Procrastination”

  1. I’m not a teacher, but I can fully relate to these feelings about summer. With my kids home I feel the pressure to “make the most of it” and often stack the deck against myself by over-planning until I reach the point of exhaustion.

  2. I have taken next week off. And unlike the week I took off in mid-January, I’m not planning for anything. If writing on anything else than the blog novel happens, it happens. If I end up tidying my garden study, it happens. If I do nothing but read or M and I can persuade each other to drive to some lone beach and hold hands for an hour, that will be enough. Of course this week has been wonderful and sunny and warm. Next week, well, the forecast is miserable. But who cares – even if we just light the fire in the stove and ignore each other for days it will be enough. And you can bet your bottom dollar my blog next week will be all about missed opportunities to do do do, because by then I’ll have forgotten what I’ve written here now.


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