Here’s what I did with my Summer:
I did not take any vacation of note.
I did not go swimming in the ocean.
I went to Los Angeles to help my parents clean out their house before they moved from my Childhood Home, only to have them accuse me of weighing them down; leaving behind “so much crap.” When pressed, I realised they were referring to the one (admittedly large) box of mementos I had packed up and asked them to ship to me.
My parents are weirdly dramatic.
Then again, my parents are also the proud owners of a “Snow Village,” consisting of hundreds of small, ceramic houses, people, and accessories, which is set up each year at the holidays for my mother to gaze upon, heave sighs, and say, “I just wish I lived there!” The boxes comprising the Snow Village at one point overtook every closet in my childhood bedroom; my parents’ old laundry room; and several other cupboards. They had to permanently rearrange their parlour to accommodate December’s Snow Village arrival.
So the fact that they complained about one box of my stuff, and yet found no issue with moving thousands of tiny pieces of useless ceramic should maybe tell you something about the particular brand of bonkers I am dealing with.
I went to Santa Barbara to run a half marathon, forgetting that I love to run on the East Coast because the sunrises are dramatic.
I miss the West Coast sunsets, and watching that heavy, fiery orb sink into the Pacific. But running at the break of dawn along the shore is nothing particularly special in California. The sky is just grey; pink; yellow; then suddenly…blue.
I went to Governor’s Island with my bestie for a race and wondered why I had never been; I went to Fire Island on a day trip with my friends and my dog, and wondered why I don’t go more often. On both of the aforementioned trips, we encountered the kind of freaky beach detritus that may or may not have contained human remains. In the style of true New Yorkers, we simply looked the other way and continued to enjoy the view.
I slipped and fell during a race in the beginning of August, and wound up having to fly back from Dublin and have emergency reconstructive knee surgery a few days later. I hesitated in making that public because I have had to deal with all types of smug, but well-meaning people leaving Facebook comments and sending messages with stuffed with annoyingly bold assertions like: Maybe this is God’s way of telling you to stop running!
(I am truly fascinated that I know so many people who are able to interpret God’s will; who have personal knowledge that God is a couch potato.)
In reality, this injury was a freak accident. It could’ve happened by walking down the street. But there is something about distance running that inspires…envy?…disgust?…in people who don’t do it and do not understand it.
I am on the mend now. The past few weeks have been a blur of crutches, rehabilitation, and more pain meds than is perhaps socially appropriate to mention in a public forum. When I woke up from hip surgery last summer, I felt like a million bucks – the injury itself had been so painful that the operation brought instant relief. No one bothered to tell me until after I had my knee surgery that operations like the one I had are typically more painful than the procedure I had on my hip.
So that was what happened. It was a far cry from what I wanted to do.
I wanted to run Summer Streets.
I wanted to train for more races.
I wanted to hike in the Adirondacks or the Berkshires.
I wanted to go camping.
I wanted to take my kayak out for the first time in years; hose out the boat; unstick the rudder pedals; paddle around the Sound.
There is a part of me that feels as if I have missed the small joys of summer the past few years; that I am Getting Through rather than really experiencing anything. There is a part of me that is angry that many of these things have been…missed…due to things well beyond my control.
But there will be other summers; there will be more races. There will be new memories to make. This is just my particular brand of bonkers I am dealing with in this sticky middle season of my life.