As I’ve gotten older, I find that they just don’t make summertime like they used to. Summers as an adult are simply not the same as the summers of my childhood. Oh, for the glorious days of summers gone by.
What’s different about summer today? I mean it still gets hot, kids are still out of school and people still go on vacation. What’s different is ME. I am older, wiser and saddled with more responsibilities. Summer viewed from the perspective of an adult is simply not the same as what a child sees.
When I was a kid, summer would stretch endlessly before me with untold hours of free time to fill as I saw fit. As an adult, I don’t get the whole summer off. Life goes on as usual–just hotter. I still have to go to work, do grocery shopping, pay bills, and clean my house. At most I might get a bit of a break and have a small amount of additional time because certain activities in which I engage take a summer hiatus.
The heat was my friend when I was a child. It meant that I had the opportunity to go swimming in my neighbor’s pool or at the community pool. It also gave me the chance to do crazy things that you could only do in the summer–like try to fry an egg on the street in front of your house. Epic fail. The egg didn’t fry; it simply tore up the pavement; however, it made for a great story to recount.
As an adult, hot weather means having to maintain the pool in my backyard. There are chemicals to buy, leaves to skim out and liners to replace. Hot weather also allows me to have crazy adventures like opening the current electric bill to see if I can view it without having a heart attack and pay it without wiping out my bank account.
When I was growing up, summer meant going on a family vacation to the beach. Woo hoo! What fun. Hop in the car and we’re off. As an adult, I live in a beach resort area. The LAST place I want to go in the summer is anywhere near the beach. Why? Well, it is swarming with pesky tourists on their summer vacation.
OK, I could choose to take a vacation somewhere other than the beach. But going on vacation isn’t quite like it was in years past. Back then, at most I might have had to pack a suitcase by dumping my summer wardrobe in it and gathering some books, puzzles, etc. to enjoy while enjoying leisure time at the shore. As an adult, I need a vacation just from getting ready to go on vacation. I have to make sure things are caught up at work and covered in my absence. I have to make arrangements for the pets to be cared for in my absence, stop the newspaper delivery, make sure bills which come due in my absence are paid in advance, get travel money from the bank, make hotel reservations, service the car for traveling, etc. WHEW!!!! It might be more relaxing just to stay home…..
Yes, summer was a magical time when I kid. There was plenty of free time, adventures to be had and a lack of responsibility. Too bad I did not appreciate back then just how good summertime was. But since I live in the present, it is on me to make sure I have a good old summertime as an adult. The free time may be more limited, but I can make the best of what little I have. As an adult I have more control of what activities in which I engage and the means and ability to make things happen. I want to look back on my adult summers when I am elderly and say, “Wow! I didn’t realize just how good it was in summertime then.”