I believe that summer begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day, and I strongly adhere to that schedule each year. This year, however, I have realized the importance of the “transition week” in getting myself from pre-Labor Day, when my life revolves around lakes and sailboats and sleeping until 9am if I want to, to Post-Labor Day (when people actually expect me to do some work). Maybe it’s because I have had such a whirlwind summer; The America’s Cup started Memorial Day weekend, lasted 5 weeks and brought 4 sets of houseguests. In the middle of that I played a full recital with an entirely new program. Then Paul and I finished teaching and we had our three-week staycation filled with beach picnics, snorkeling, swimming, sailing and a plethora of fun social events on the island, followed by Chicago to see my family (there were definitely s’mores–YES!) A week of camp in Boston, 2 weeks of camp in Maine, and then our road-trip to Baltimore, Charleston and DC. I have spent the last 3 days at our condo in Boston basically comatose. I am ready for the new concert season to begin, and yet my brain has turned to mush. I know that I have been practicing, but the lack of routine always throws me off and makes me feel like a total slacker. But as desperate as I am to get back to that routine, if you told me the season started tomorrow, I think I would fall to the floor, curl up in the fetal position and start crying, because I’m not READY!!!
Thus, ladies and gentlemen, “The Transition Week”.
Ironically for me this year, my season officially starts on the day after labor day in Boston, but I will be spending this wonderful “TW” at home in Bermuda. This is the week where I will ease back into my 9-12 am practice routine without fail, where I will set up my teaching schedule in Boston and in Bermuda, and where I will once again set up my work space in the room where the houseguests/catsitters have been staying. I will replant the vegetable garden and spruce up the flowers, and I will wrap my head around this new year, without actually having any lessons to teach, rehearsals to show-up to, or meetings to attend. It’s like dipping my toes into the pool of work life. Nice and Easy.
When I was growing up, my mom would buy éclairs for dessert on the first day of school and the last day of school. We rarely had dessert, much less one bought at a bakery, but I really looked forward to this twice a year tradition. It signaled something in my brain. September was “And thus it begins” and June was “and thus it ends”. But it allowed me to move from one mental space to another. As an adult, a pastry might not cut it. I feel that I need a whole organizational week, but I might try getting some éclairs too, I mean, they couldn’t hurt, right?
What about you? What are your “end of summer” rituals and traditions? Are you happy or sad about summer coming to an end?