A moment of silence for Summer; by our reckoning, she officially slinks off into the realm of history this evening. The Schedule-Driven Life resumes at the Beehive in a matter of hours.
Pausing to examine one's life from time to time is a Wise and Revealing Thing To Do.* The turning of seasons hails that moment for me more dependably than anything else. Tomorrow being Labor Day means that here I am, as though on some compulsory cosmic cycle, rewinding the summer frame-by-frame and evaluating whether I spent it wisely and well enough to graduate to Fall.
This is a dangerous business.
It's been some years since my to-do list has seen a day when it would not fill an entire page of a legal pad. I have actually had vivid, manic dreams of waking to find my to-do list blank. (That, and my chronic bruxism, should tell me something about my need for more yoga sessions or maybe just a lake house.) But the task load on that infernal list always hovers just beyond my daily capabilities, remains just unconquerable enough to make me feel like I'm perpetually failing. I crave the cruelly elusive sensation of progress in my life -- but I also rarely give much satisfactory notice to the things I actually do accomplish.
So it is, as always, that Lots of Stuff I Meant To Do This Summer just didn't get done -- is STILL smirking at me from my PDA screen, my legal pad, my email inbox, and the plenteous post-it notes that decorate my life. But before I begin to wallow in regret and sink in the Slough of Despond, let me quickly consider The Good Things I Did This Summer:
~ Kicked my coffee addiction; took up anti-oxidant rich and less caffeinated green tea, which I'm positive I will eventually look forward to just as much as that long-beloved java fix. Positive. Really.
~ Started taking my herbs and vitamins like I should again.
~ Went to Memphis for a week and heard some fantastic preaching.
~ Nursed my daughter through mono and pleurisy.
~ De-cluttered, de-junked and generally weeded out my closet, with the considerable help of Beatrice, which has changed my life. Seriously.
~ Emptied, cleaned and reorganized my pantry and spice cabinet.
~ Stocked my freezer.
~ Sang a lot.
~ Grew my hair out.
~ Masked regularly for the first time in a decade (Origins masks are tha bomb; addictive stuff).
~ Bought an intensely incredible-deep-red-velvet-double-wide-squishy-squooshy-kissy-chair to read in.
~ Sat through an entire movie on several occasions, which my kids will tell you is a miracle.
~ Got out my juicer and started buying organic carrots in bulk.
~ Micromanaged my children's academic futures for yet another school year, and bought all the necessary books.
~ Helped a friend teach two back-to-back week-long singing schools even though I was completely unprepared to do so and scared half to death. But she asked. And I love her.
~ Got my teeth cleaned.
~ Bought a bunch of new books (duh).
~ Discovered the perfect voice of Susan Graham.
~ Got a full body massage. Oooh Ahhhhhhhhhh.
~ Took lots of sunset walks with my kids.
~ Wrote an article to be published.
~ Had lots of good intentions.
There's still plenty left to do. I could show you my list.
*It is hoped that our fellow Austen fans noted the verbal wink here even without the nudge of this silly asterisk. (I never flatter myself, but my friends say I certainly do know how to make a clever allusion.) However, if it sailed right past you, it's a clear signal your Janeology is sadly slipping, in which case you will need to re-read Emma this fall. Oh, even if not, read it again anyway.