My dad mentioned to me the other day that this was the first year he’d ever used up his entire five weeks of paid vacation. I told him that was a good sign he was living right.
It’s good to conserve some things, like water, energy, and gasoline, but vacation time is not one of them. You are not rewarded with interest over time on vacation days you saved until the end of the year. Come November, you will still be able to use those vacation days, but it will be colder and darker. Basically, you can use that vacation day, but if you’re not skiing, you will probably end up reorganizing your closet or fixing other stuff around your house—which is just like work, but it’s at your home.
If you have not looked out your window in the past few hours or days, please do, and recognize that summer is now. But it is fleeting.
Today, the sun will set around 8:30 or 9 p.m., depending where you live. The first week of November, it will set when you’re still inside your office, and it will continue to do that for almost three months.
If you’re a teacher or student, you have a few more weeks during which you can spend an entire weekday riding your bike, climbing rocks, or splashing around in a swimming hole or alpine lake.
In a few months, you will not be driving down the highway with the music up and your arm out the window surfing the wind with your fingertips.
You will not be able to squeeze in a trail run or bike ride between dinner and sunset. Once winter starts to creep in, you will not be able to bag peaks in a pair of running shoes, with only a light pack on your back. Your dog will be significantly less interested in splashing around in mountain streams.
Men and women will appear in public with a fraction of the exposed flesh that you currently see. You will likely not see shirtless dudes and shirtless ladies climbing at your local crag. People who run and train half-naked at your local park will exercise bundled up like Randy from A Christmas Story, and you’ll miss summer.
You will have plenty of time to sleep in when the heavy hand of Daylight Saving Time drops on November 3.
Yes, I am aware of skiing. Please focus.
Now is the time to bail out of work at 4 p.m., or 3 p.m., and head to your favorite crag, trail, or hill climb. Or get up at 5 a.m. and do something fun before you head into the office. You can Tivo all those shows or baseball games or whatever it is on TV tonight. You cannot Tivo summer sunsets, riding your bike around city streets in the dark, eating ice cream cones on park benches, and your dog’s relentless enthusiasm for fetching that ball no matter how many times you throw it.
It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it? Maybe you should get out there. You only get so many of these, you know. Beautiful days, that is.