As you probably already know, I was dreading going back to work. I feared my writing life would be over, that the summer me was gone. While the students returned today, I actually went back to work last week, transforming the past two days into my first legitimately earned weekend in awhile. To my surprise, instead of feeling rushed or deprived, I instead felt like life was full.
Even though I hate to admit it, there is something comforting about the return of the school year. For some reason I give myself more opportunities to relax when I know I have to go to work than when I’m trying to fit every imaginable pastime into the open expanse of summer. I don’t understand the logic, but it’s true. This weekend I actually hung out on the couch for a couple hours and did nothing. Oddly, that didn’t occur once this entire summer.
Suddenly I am craving the return of new episodes of my favorite television shows, the subtle darkening of the sky a little earlier each night, and the eventual change from summer to fall. I know it’s still a ways off, but starting school at the beginning of August creates a false sense of the impending shift in seasons. Still, this transformation brings me back to my childhood, the whispers of Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas around the corner.
One of my favorite parts of teaching is this difficult to verbalize connection to my own childhood love for the change in seasons. I’m sure I won’t feel this way every night during the school year, but tonight at least, life is full and the return to my routine is comforting.