Reality can sometimes hit you when you least expect it.
I was flipping the page on my beautiful and practical Coastal Point calendar the other day to jot down a meeting I had scheduled, and the words “Labor Day” greeted me like a pie in the face. Yes, we’ve been talking in the office that the infamous Labor Day issue was approaching, and have been planning certain stories for that edition, but seeing those words in black and white, and comprehending how close that weekend is ... well, it caused me to think a little.
By the way, that would be refreshing news to my mother, who always opined as I was growing up that I needed to use my head “at least a little.” You know, that always irritated me. It took great creativity and ingenuity to pull off some of the stunts I was able to manage...
But I digress.
It was the reality that our summer season was pretty much wrapping up with the approaching Labor Day weekend. Oh, I know that fall doesn’t technically begin until Sept. 22, but I also understand that Labor Day is the benchmark around here for the unofficial closing of summer. And that bothered me.
I wrote a column just before Memorial Day this year where I stated that this was going to be the summer that I really took advantage of all that this community had to offer. I had learned from summers past that I had wasted many opportunities to get out and enjoy all that this area has to offer over the summer, and this was the year I was going to force myself to take the time and enjoy it.
Let’s take a quick look at how I’ve done.
• I wrote that I was going to get out and enjoy the beach. In years past, I’ve only made it to the beach after Labor Day, and usually only for a few hours when company came down to visit.
SCORECARD: I saw the beach once when I had a meeting in Bethany. It looked nice.
• I wrote that I was going to get back to playing golf — a game I dearly love that I have avoided since major knee surgery 18 months ago.
SCORECARD: This would be another failing grade. I played a few times this spring, and since then have only used my clubs to reach for things when I don’t feel like getting off the couch or trying to kill a fly in my kitchen.
• I wrote that I would get out and enjoy the inland bays and canals on a kayak this summer. I got a taste of it last fall, and loved the experience.
SCORECARD: Abject failure. I saw a kayak on top of somebody’s car, and I’ve seen a few photos that Susan Lyons has shot from her kayak. That’s about as close as I’ve gotten.
• Also in that piece, I wrote that this would be the summer I got out and explored a little more — you know, taking long walks and enjoying the warm weather.
SCORECARD: I got up to take a little walk one night. I remember it well. But I only got as far as my golf clubs in the closet because I needed to kill a fly.
Admittedly, not my finest hour. I really thought that this was going to be the summer that I altered my priorities a little bit and got out and did some things. To add to my list of failures, I wrote that I was going to travel somewhere other than Atlantic City or Washington, D.C., this summer, and my trips have consisted of, well, Atlantic City and Washington, D.C.
So, what do I do? Should I run out over the next week and try to cram in as much stuff as possible just to meet the goals I had set in my earlier column? Should I just maintain the status quo, and enjoy my summer in late September and early October like most years? Or should I squeeze in one or two of my goals this week, chalk it up as a minor victory and a sign of progress, and go about my business without stressing over the situation?
Or, do I just treat this entire situation like I do my annual list of New Year’s resolutions — a fun list to come up with, and one full of items that I’d love to accomplish, but not one that has any real chance of being met?
I’m going with the last. The fact of the matter is that our summer season is largely for the vacationers to enjoy. We work hard during the summer, grab some rest when it’s available and slowly creep out into the world when things slow down a little.
It’s how it’s been since this area first started attracting visitors, and it’s probably how it will be for many years to come. It works. Plain and simple.
Now, if I could just reach that golf club. I have an itch on my back that won’t go away.