Something about the first day of school brings a terrible feeling. I know it comes from many many (many) years of having to return to school after a glorious summer break. Thanks to graduate school I was a student up until just a few months ago. And thanks to teaching, I've had to return to "school" every year since graduating college. This year for the first time in 23 years, I am not returning to school as either a student or teacher. So why, then, do I have this awful pit in my stomach? This feeling of impending doom?
For a few reasons: the first of which being that old habits die hard. Who doesn't see school supplies come out in (gah) July and immediately get a tummy ache? I don't care who you are, the idea of starting a new school year makes your stomach hurt. Second, it's the end of summer. Somehow the weather and school years have gotten aligned over the years and it's almost like an instant change. When school starts the sky changes color. It might still be 90-degrees for the daytime high, but here and there the overnight lows are down in the 50s. YIKES. Shadows look different, and there are seemingly so many more of them. Suddenly it's dark outside noticeably earlier than last week. If you're anything like me, this is a sad, sad realization.
Don't get me wrong. Fall is a beautiful season. I love the changing leaves, the color of the sky, I even enjoy that fall smell in the air. I especially enjoy fall fashions. However, fall is still merely a transition between my favorite season and my least favorite. It still serves as one big reminder (or warning) that the flowers are getting ready to die, trees will once again be gray and bare, and the weather is about to be so cold you curse every time you step outdoors. Snow and cold weather are fun for two things - the holidays, and days off school. This year I only get to enjoy one of those perks!
While I am not returning to school or work this fall, I am working on a project that will essentially bring my "summer break" / extended maternity leave to an end. It won't be the same as getting up to go to work or school every day, but it will require some big adjustments and make our routine considerably less flexible. So in a way I have a lot of the same feelings this fall that I did when I was teaching and going to school. Guess I wasn't getting away from them so easily- I only finished grad school and quit my job! Haha, c'est la vie.
I shall end with a quote from my wedding song that perfectly captures my feelings about this time of year...
"We watch the season pull up its own stakes, and catch the last weekend of the last week before the gold and the glimmer have been replaced. Another sun-soaked season fades away."
-Dashboard Confessional, Dusk and Summer
(one of the best albums ever, IMHO)