It is August 1, 1986. I have one month left of summer vacation before I start my freshman year of highschool. School – long days of commuting, studying, and fraught social interactions – is hard. Thus, the first of August commences the bittersweet period of sadness as I count away the remaining month of freedom. I eulogize each last lazy ritual. It’s not that I particularly hate school, but like jumping into water, I know it will feel far different at school than my current carefree (and somewhat bored) idleness. In retrospect, I recall better school than how I frittered away summers.
Today is December 2, 2018. I have exactly one month left of unemployment before I start work again just after the turn of the new year. I’m ready for work again and its routines, struggles, studies, coworkers, projects, and frustrations. Nonetheless begins today the wistful losing of idle freedom.
I hunker down as if preparing for a hurricane. Best now see the dentist, get all the groceries, clean the apartment, and do all the fun errands, as I will be parsimonious with time once I jump back into the briskness of new work. I need to realize I’m not dying, just changing.
Stephanie notes my obsession (almost compulsive) with rituals. Most of my rituals are situational and subject to change upon transitions. I know in a month I will stop regular writing, may stop my 7-minute daily exercises, and may not have time anymore for leisurely breakfasts. I know that my life in a month will be eagerly but drastically different than my current routines, and I mourn the end of my freedom and that person.
I decided not to run off to either Hawaii by myself or Florida with Spinach and Giorgio. I’d rather savor idleness in San Francisco. Go out, be present, delight.