The End of Summer Blues and Promises not Kept

Sometimes even dogs get the blues
I, probably not at all unlike most people at this time of year – most of all students, feel the End-of-Summer Blues coming on.  As I find myself approaching middle age, these post summer pangs are probably a bit worse than when I was merely a student with little else to worry me than another year of bully-induced aggression and education-induced drudgery.  For now, I view the end of summer as yet another milestone from which to measure failure, goals I did not meet, and promises not kept.

So let’s see how I did:

Goal: I’m going to go camping with the family
Result: The camper never made it out of storage and now sits unused under a black walnut tree covered in blackened walnut effluvium

Goal: This Summer I’m going to read more
Result: I read 2 chapters in the book I started on New Years (the last time I had a resolution to read more)

Goal: Take the family to parks more
Result: I took the kids on 3 occasions (we’ll call that partially met)

Goal: Take the family swimming
Result: Again, partially met – we went swimming together as a family 3 times

Goal: Take the boy to an amusement park and ride some really big roller coasters
Result: By some last minute maneuvering, I achieved one! With 2 months of constant prodding – and an almost immaculate confluence of weather, schedules, and finances – I was able to take him to an amusement park and he really enjoyed.

And even though I usually hate the crowds and commercialism, I really enjoyed it too. From the grizzled, middle-aged (and maybe hackneyed) perspective of someone who realizes this: when I am gone special memories like this may perhaps stand out and allow my son to remember me more fondly (than as the distracted workaholic he might otherwise envision) and to set a better example for his kids.

I know this is the true “theme” that these theme parks pimp and have programmed into hapless parents like myself, yet it is probably one of the few advertising gimmicks that has some ring of truth to it.  Spend a day with your kids, don’t think about anything else, and share a memory that might live on a little beyond yourself.

When your daily work, missed goals, and failures are forgotten, this is the one thing that remains and lives on: the fond memories of your friends and loved ones – perhaps at least one reason to feel less blue. 

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