On Summer’s Last Real Weekend

Sigh. It’s the last Friday in August.

It’s bittersweet. It’s that time of year when I’m enjoying the rare rainfall, thinking about the quiet solace of the colder months. We Canadians, we hibernate. More reading, more nights with a glass of wine and slippers nearby.

Soup. I could write an ode to soup right now. Steamy, wet, by the cupful… But, um, I won’t. Suffice to say, I miss soup.*

This summer was nothing like I expected it to be. Getting injured again on June 8th, which took about a month to recover from, really fucked up my plans a little. Getting offered free help to tackle my home destroyed whatever plans I had left — it wasn’t where I expected to go, but now that winter looms, there’s a profoundly sweet satisfaction in knowing I’m loving the fruits of those labours.

Satisfaction comes also from knowing I’m a different person than she who started this summer. More grounded and focused. It’s been a strange and wild ride, if not at all what I’d expected. But that’s how life rolls. You think you know what you need, where you’re going to go. You get these fanciful delusions that your “plans” somehow matter in the cosmic sense of things. In the end, like any storm or river, life’s going to do precisely what it wants to do.

I scoff at these people who claim “it is written” or who believe in some pre-destined outcome for us all. So many of the little detours my life has taken this summer have been of the oddest and uncanniest timing. “Dumb luck”, as some would say.

Dumb or brilliant, it is what it is… luck. What you make of that luck, though, that’s everything. That’s life, in a nutshell. When the unexpected rolls your way, what you extrapolate from it, that’s your life. Not your plans, not what should have been. What is and what you make of what is.

I’ve thrown myself into the opportunity that rolled my way, that of changing the physical world I live in. I didn’t get out to play as much as I’d have liked. I wanted this done and over with, and it took a lot of time and focus. That process is not a place I wanted to live in for the longterm. Now it’s when I restore myself, incorporate what I’ve learned and done. For me, that means time alone.

But it’s the end of summer. I’m forcing myself to be a little social, might even get a date in so I can pretend I was dating this summer. Heh. I’m cycling again, which feels great and good and swell.

Still, fall looms. I can smell it on the wind. The air’s too fresh, that freshness that means winter’s either comin’ or goin’. Leaves are turning already. With great mixed feelings I spotted more than one leaf-smothered patch of grass yesterday. Signs of autumn are afoot.

And not entirely sadly so. Sweaters. Lazy mornings where the weather inspires you to stay in, do little, and love it. Soup, oh, how I’ve missed thee, soup. A little sandwich, soup. The muffled silence of the world outside,  now that windows will soon be closed more often than opened. Have I mentioned laziness?

We all know what bullshit plans are, given how my summer didn’t just change course but made the jump to hyperspace, but I have this romantic hope of having a writer’s autumn. Lots of hours spent tapping away at my keys, thoughtful windy, cool strolls as I figure ideas out, moments spent staring at the ceiling while wishing on that right word to dance into my fingers. Fleece jammies and dog-eared books.

I don’t know what’s going to come of my fall and winter, but I’m keen to see where they lead. I strongly believe one’s environment dictates the readiness with which one’s willing and able to take on the world. In a home of chaos, I wasn’t much ready for anything. Now that I’m slowly getting a handle on my life, I’m feeling more ready to take on bigger challenges. Now that my life has more space in it — literally and figuratively — I’m ready to find new ways to bring fillers and fulfillment back into the fold.

I’ll tell you one thing I’ve still not figured out about myself yet and thought I’d totally figure it out this summer, and that’s whether I really am a social person at heart or not. I’m leaning towards no. Other people get energized being social; me, I find it takes it out of me. It’s often obligatory, and I feel it shouldn’t be. But I do love the people in my life; I just don’t get “recharged” from being around them. I suppose that makes me antisocial. Which means I probably spent my summer right. ;)

Fittingly, tonight I’ll be furthering the antisocial thing — cycling around, followed by a solo viewing of Inglourious Basterds. Murder and bloodshed is always cathartic in MY world. By Tarantino? Fuck therapy!

And so, with bittersweet feelings, I venture off now into the start of my last “summer” weekend in August.

PS, NOT-SO-CONFIDENTIAL TO JADE:

Jade wanted to know how my back’s doing. It needs a lot of stretching, I know what to look for as a cue as to when I NEED to exercise to limber up, and I think I have a great handle on living with a not-100%-back at this point. I haven’t been doing much rehab this summer, but somehow all the painting and stuff I did last month seems to have strengthened it. I start rehabbing it again tomorrow, and am confident I’m past all the bad shit. I’d say it’s 90-95%, but with an asterisk, because the moment I drop the ball with being on top of shit and let it slide for more than two days, that could change in a hurry. So… I’m trying to be on top of it. :)

*Among other things.