During my grade school years summers felt endless. June to September, 3 full months! I was unbound by the reigns of responsibility and school. I could do anything I wanted. A project, a trip, or just nothing. If I didn't get to something today, I could do it tomorrow. Time felt limitless.
For 16 years of adolescence I lived on a schedule dictated by the school year. 9 months in school, 3 months summer break. It was predictable. Summer was always there for me to pursue my interests. And if I didn't get something done this summer, I could always do it next summer.
Yet in my early twenties my perception of time was no longer based on a predictable school year schedule.
I was in the workforce equipped with 5 sick days and 10 vacation days. No summer break. Summer months were indistinguishable from other months. Time became based on work project deadlines and quarters. Start a project in January, launch it in May. Start planning in June for a project that will launch the following year. And the cycle continues.
The pause, created by the bookend between the school year and summer was gone. The warm feeling of unlimited potential that appeared at the start of every summer break dissipated.
I had fallen into a rhythm where one year flowed into the next. No bookends. If I wished to pursue a project outside of work, I had to make time for it. I needed to manufacture my own bookend.
I could no longer find comfort in doing it next summer. Next summer was no more. And so next summer became this evening. This weekend.
Next summer became today.