Sunday, September 2, 2012

Summer's end

Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, but the weather has picked this moment to give us a last blast of heat and humidity. In the wake of Tropical Depression Isaac, which brought us some much-appreciated rain, the heat index is soaring into the triple digits again. Regardless of how it feels, though, some things are coming to an end, and other things are beginning, just as they do every year.

I'm focusing on the things that are ending. It's not just nostalgia or regret; some of those things I'm glad to see end, at least temporarily. Two of my major summer writing projects, the TV Club Classic coverage of Sports Night and the regular coverage of Breaking Bad, are going on hiatus until next year, and it's a relief. Those pieces take a lot of concentration, time, and anxiety every week, and it will be nice to have them off my plate for a while. Sports Night's last season 1 post went up this past Wednesday, and Breaking Bad's last episode of the current half-season is tonight. It's still a couple of weeks until the other shows I cover regularly (How I Met Your Mother and Modern Family) start their seasons, so I've got a nice break coming up.

It's also pleasant to have the kids' birthday party and the Ravellenics behind me. Last week I went to the Rhea Lana sale and bought most of the clothes they'll need until next spring (I hope). I still haven't cleaned out their closets of too-small items, or unpacked the bags of jeans and jackets I hauled home from that sale, but at least I'm more than halfway ready for colder weather. And with all the Ravellenic administration in the past, I've gleefully started what I hope is a binge of knitting things to keep other people warm, whether they are friends or strangers in need.

We've been having our master bathroom remodeled this summer, and that's nearly done, too. The pace would be considered too leisurely for people more outcome-focused than ourselves, or for a room where the loss of function is more disruptive. But we're just proud that we've gotten the process underway after years of knowing it needed to be done.

That's also the way I feel about starting a conversation with a financial planner this summer. We haven't finalized much yet, but stuff is in the works: more life insurance, rearranging some assets to provide more focused retirement funds, college savings, and an easier way to keep track of it all. I'm so pleased with myself for finally moving in this direction after living so long with the uneasy feeling that I wasn't properly taking care of business, that I'm not in too much of a hurry to get everything signed and squared away; it's enough that the ball is rolling.

Maybe this change of seasons isn't really about things ending, or about us moving on. It's about not having wasted the time we've been spending. And that goes for time with the kids, too, which right now is not a matter of long looks backward, but lovely moments that still linger in the now.

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