Wow! Did this summer fly by! I can’t believe classes start next Wednesday. I can’t believe I’m buying books right now, or that I have an orientation at GMU this Thursday. Where did my summer go? Where did my trips to Great Falls go? Where did Sunday morning perusing the local farmers markets go? How is it that my summers are always packed full of weekends traveling about the Northeast, but rarely do I seem to have time to enjoy them? I look forward to summer, I build it up, I have more expectations than can possibly fit into that short span between April and September. It’s not that it hasn’t been great fun. It has. It’s just that there’s always so much more I wanted to do when these chilly days of fall start coming upon us. I know I’m jumping the gun here, it’s only mid-August, but DC had one of those fall days today. It’s football season now, the leaves will change soon, and it’s time to go back to school…for all intents and purposes, summer has passed.

I’m developing a new framework as of late to understand how the psychology of all of these expectations works. Developing is a lie…I’m reading a book called Stumbling on Happiness, and, though it’s far from an academic treatise, it helpfully lays out the research of how the mind imagines a future, only summarily filling in the blanks. How we imagine our tomorrow’s much like our todays but with little regard for time, for reasonable expectations. Our imaginations are so far from exact tools. I imagined a summer of endless weekends spent at the beach, in the woods, meandering the streets of DC, and cuddled up with my baby. I imagined more into that summer than time could possibly allow, but in my temporally inept imagination, it all fit nicely, sequentially on my timeline. Oh well, one can’t lament, I suppose on such a summer spent. I did have fun, I did see old friends and go to some great parties. I saw the ocean once again, and spent time in my baby’s arms. Now it’s almost fall…and I love the changing of the leaves, the chill in the air, the Steelers on TV. I’ll try not to make the same mistake…to imagine an impossibly wonderful fall…but aren’t we optimistic creatures? I’m sure I’ll fall victim to the same trap and write this same post again on the first snowfall of the year…but so be it.

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