imageI have always struggled with the endings. Sunday evening always felt hard.  The end of the weekend’s relative safety, and the prospect of another day in school. All the homework deadlines rushing at – and past – me, like runners with furious kicks.

Summer vacation was the same thing only an order of magnitude worse. A whole month of being with my friends who knew and understood me and appreciated me…turning over to 10 months of something less.

I feel these things now, even when I could fit three of my younger selves into the time that has past.  Even when the situation is so much different. But the transitions are still painful, even if the cause of the pain has changed.  Now, I think it’s more about my sense that each sweet moment could be the last.  Will my parents be there next year to hug me goodbye? Will my sweet child still want to hold my hand on the ferry?

Even my sense of what and when an ending IS has changed.  “Vacation” isn’t as firm a line from work, and anyway the duration is so much more limited and the relief less total. One never leaves behind the obligations of one’s work life with that blissful totality of having wrapped up all the final exams, cleared out one’s locker. FINISHED.

Now. truthfully, I don’t even WANT to be “finished” in such a complete way.  My sense of the fragile impermanence of things makes me tie little strings to everything I might leave behind.  And so I pull on the strings, follow them back, and then unravel them again until I’m a bit further along again…closer to the end of the transition despite myself.  It’s not as clean as it was before.  And I’m not sure that’s a good thing.  I still have the heaviness about me of the end of summer, but without the relative lightness preceeding it.

So, here are some things I am actually looking FORWARD to:

* Dinner at my favorite local Italian restaurant where I plan to have one final carb-loading dinner before returning to eating like a sane person.

* THE U.S. OPEN – here’s to binge-watching tennis and stumbling through work with eyes the size and shape of tennis balls.

* Celebrating the 20th Wedding anniversary.

* Getting back to my wonderful books at work

* Starting the first week of continued-contact with my novel. I’d like to prove to myself that this time I CAN do it!

Thanks for following me everyone. Happy vacations to those of you who are on them or planning them. And to those that aren’t? May your transitions be smooth.

6 thoughts on “Endings

  1. Lovely, poignant piece…especially wondering when your little one will want to stop holding hands. I tell my 6’4″ son…”You’re never too big to hug.” He has to kiss me on my forehead.
    (Congratulations on your anniversary)

    1. You’re welcome. I hope you returned rested. I think hating the end of vacation is a reminder that the little kid still exists inside us. I nurture her, knowing that she’ll make me thrill at a butterfly brushing my cheek or the smell of mint leaves in tea. (Both happened this morning in my garden!) Sincerely, Catherine Hedge

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