Summertime Sadness

Being way behind with what seems like absolutely everything in my life at the moment I have shamelessly borrowed the title of one of my younger daughter’s favorite Lana Del Rey tunes as the premise for a second person rant.

So Victoria, why exactly is it that you feel so blue?  School has been out for a month now, yet try as you might there still simply aren’t enough hours in the day.  Every year since you began teaching summer has loomed on the horizon like an exotic oasis – an elusive paradise where you WILL find the time to finish that manuscript… right after you get all the household chores and maintenance taken care of…NOT!

Winter and spring breaks never hold the same promise, no illusions of potentially significant achievement.  In fact it is widely known and accepted that all anyone manages to do during those breaks is to become totally exhausted and to put on 5-10 lbs.  The mere fact that you no longer have to get up  at 6 a.m. opens the way for all sorts of debauchery and over indulgence.  Best of all?  You’ve attached no expectations to those breaks, thus you experience no melancholy when they reach their inevitably anticlimactic conclusion… back to the grind!

That temptress summertime however lingers languorously, seducing you into all sorts of expectations of meaningful accomplishment – only to leave you in the lurch of course.  No sooner have the school end celebrations concluded and the PTA meetings ceased, when one fine August morning you awaken in a cold sweat having dreamt of lesson plans, new school clothes and supplies not to mention the relentless 6 a.m. wake-up call.

The panic that had momentarily gripped the entirety of your being gradually subsides, replaced by a dull ache and incessant pressure.  You become conscious of the atomic weight of all those unfinished manuscripts and household tasks you never quite got round to.  Even when you have regained your senses sufficiently to realize that August is still the better part of two weeks away the dip in your psychological barometer seems irreversible.

Your extremities feel like lead as you remember that there is wash on the line to be taken in, and that you must call the repairman to see to the machine which is holding the next load hostage while struggling with its own will to live.  With superhuman effort you resist the urge to burst into indulgent sobs of utter desolation.  You drag yourself out of bed by the hair to seek refuge in the warm familiarity of caffeine and peanut butter.

Trying valiantly to distance yourself from the impending day ahead you seek to single out a point of reference, a fresh perspective that will allow you to regroup with panache.  Obstinately ignoring the imposing “To Do” lists which glare down at you haughtily from your “inspiration” board, you go into a trance-like state.

Taking a deep breath you summon your resolve and ask yourself the 20 Million Dollar Question:  “What is the ONE thing I want to accomplish today?”  After having answered the 20 million dollar question, and having accomplished that ONE thing, you will have earned the right to enjoy, for at least a bit longer, the Summertime Madness!

As a side note I want to mention that this post was inspired in part by that wonderful writer and champion of writers Morgen (YES, that is with an “E”) Bailey!  Having read on her fabulous blog that 2nd person is her favourite POV it suddenly dawned on me that I had never, ever, tried writing anything from that perspective… I must now admit that it was quite entertaining (for me at least!). 

Victoria Andre King is a freelance writer and audiovisual professional her novel The Führer Must Die is available for pre-orders and will be released on November 8th 2016 with Yucca Publications, an imprint of Sky Horse Publishing NYC.

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4 Comments

  1. I’m so glad you wrote this piece and that I read it. It’s what I wanted to read without even knowing it. Ours is a summertime of projects—lifting, carrying, constructing, tiling, grouting, caulking, painting, refinishing, sanding, staining, and, of course, clean up. The decorating phase is but a glimmer in my mind. It is a different sort of summer for me, yet I hope for some sort of sense of accomplishment.

    Thank you, Victoria. Your writing has eased my angst.

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