No more pressure to plan the perfect vacation. No more GPS frustration, flight delays, or check out deadlines. No more extra laundry due to packing and unpacking. No more asking friends to feed the dog, get the mail, or water the plants.
Gently sigh into September remembering only the good things about that stressful vacation. Honestly, I can understand why the concept of “stay-cations” was developed. Sometimes it is more relaxing to have time off at home. That is, if you will actually take time off from your responsibilities. Play tourist in your own town and enjoy the comforts of home when you are exhausted from “sightseeing.” Why do we need to crowd into a couple of rooms and pay for the convenient use of a tiny refrigerator to have a vacation?
But now the fresh start of September is here. No doubt due to my teaching career, I regard September as the beginning a new year. It has remained one of my favorite months. I always feel so hopeful in September. I think most people do. A new school year loaded with expectations begins. For pre-school through graduate school, students turn to a clean September page with hopeful anticipation of what they will write there. A chance to do something different this year. A chance to improve something this year. First days can be frightfully exciting. Everyone (teachers included) is on their very best behavior. I learned in a college education class that even the hardcore “troublemaker” wants a fresh start. A standout September memory I have is riding the school bus the first day of school and seeing the boy up the street from me get on the bus looking sharp in his brand new school clothes. But it was way too early to be wearing a long sleeve shirt and a wool sweater no matter how beautiful the sweater was! Before we got to school, he was wiping the sweat off his face…suffering for his back-to-school fashion. So as this example from the past proves, we must ease into those early September days.
Folks return to their work routines and schedules in September. Even retired folks are positively affected by the return of routine of people around them. No more abbreviated summer schedules, vacation closings, or temporary help to contend with. Grandparents know where everyone is, or at least where they are supposed to be. Many grandparents I know are no longer on first call for childcare when the daycares are closed for vacation weeks. And who among us will admit to being relieved to be out of a summer babysitting job?
The cooler breezes of September find us more energetic. We have the energy to start new activities, realize plans, and continue projects we put aside because it was too darn hot to fool with! And apparently, the entertainment executives agree with me. New shows are kicked off in September. The much-hyped new season begins.
I mistakenly thought that once I retired, I would enjoy the freedom to travel and enjoy all that summer vacations have to offer. Now I understand that what I enjoy is the freedom to be at home while everybody else is on a schedule.
I leave you to enjoy your wonderful September days with this bit of wisdom: A little bit of traveling goes a long way.