The air conditioner kicked on, its slight rattle either from her poor installation or just its standard machinery awakening. The air conditioner would only be needed for a few weeks longer. Summer passed like that, by degrees and the reduced layers of clothing; in moments that somehow seemed emphatic when bathed in sun.
Summer was nearly over. She thought about what summer had come to mean, as an adult.
Your days still go on; you’re still following nearly the same schedule. If there are children, you try to find more time for them when it’s available, yet realize too late that you haven’t.
This summer seemed lost to her in a way. A blur of confusion, choices, fear, laughs, reassurance, stress and aimlessness.
She had survived, she had fought, taken a chance. Yet, somewhere along the way, she felt sad.
Sad that she hadn’t done enough. Diminished in her ability to be the parent she wanted to be. Hell. The person she wanted to be. Worried that she had worried too much. Certain she’d continued patterns she’d hopefully outgrown.
At an age where it all felt in the balance. You keep learning as you go, but the more lessons you encounter, the more chances you’re hampered by the weight of experience.
She spun in the chair, where she had sat far too long; yet was too tired to do otherwise. Worn out by her thoughts and her days. Thoughts whirling enough to just bump against each other at this point. Somehow summer’s vigorous energy felt as stunning yet cloying as the chilly air ahead.
For some reason she identified this as a pinnacle summer. No rhyme or reason. No inclinations how that would even be defined. But the same patterns, the same choices had led here. To a point where she wanted to ensure the experience was rewarding.
She knew she could potentially feel that way for the rest of her summers and maybe that was the idea. She wondered if she was missing the point.
Closing her eyes, she thought about what she wanted. She only knew the basics. To love and be loved. To be happy and know kindness. She wanted to know her children knew how important they were even if her skills in showing it were less than fine-tuned.
She wanted habits that haunted her to diminish in their hold; yet wondered sometimes if that’s what her identity stood on. She sought to feel content in a human way instead of constantly dissecting the flaws, real and perceived. Knowledge that it had started to get better because it was supposed to.
The fatigue from this many summers was catching up. Time doing its diligent best to tick down. She found she was focusing on the fears instead of relishing what emotions and experiences can inspire fear. Sometimes they’re not negative; just so your gut knows the difference between wanting to fight or finding flight away from what’s in front of you.
She sighed as she realized she’d always known, there would just come a point where she took ownership of the knowledge. How she could possibly have been missing the story, when she was the story.
Yet it all still made little sense. What seemed like it should be a somehow tangible thought was no more able to be held than the humid air outside.
So here she sat. Wondering how the answers were supposed to come to her when she was too afraid of actually looking for them. Too tired to pursue accomplishment and satisfaction.
Realizing she’d sat out the summer. With no self-pity for doing so; in that she wouldn’t wallow. What remained was what she would take with her to each season that followed.
She stood and opened the door.