Half Time, All Done


This will be one of those posts. 

If I was to put the right key words into my blog search feature, I’m pretty sure I would find I’ve written it before, maybe even more than once. I’m not going to do that, though. I’ll just write it again. Perhaps I’ll say it better this time around.

Summer Equinox. The longest day. The shortest night. We’ve done it all now. Tonight, 23rd June, is bonfire night in our neck of the woods. It’s Saint John’s Eve. Its timing is a small notch off the mark for exact Midsummer but it’s near enough and that’s certainly a large part of why it exists and persists. It’s the final marker whereon you can stand and say you’re right in the middle of the Summer. After that, it’s downhill all the way. Or uphill, depending on how you care to look at it.

That’s what I want to type about today (and not for very long, I feel). My feeling about the passing of Midsummer and indeed the passing of the halfway point of anything at all. It makes me a bit sad. Not overwhelmingly, all-embracingly flattened or anything as dramatic as all that. More just a dull feeling that the best is now over and the remainder is just a swift run down into something less good.

That’s how I kind of feel now. Now that the Summer Equinox has been and gone. The best part of Summer is now over, as far as I am concerned.

It’s a feeling I try to quell and, to be fair, I largely succeed. There are still some days in June left to enjoy, I tell myself, and July and August will be pure Summer times, even though August is Autumn, really. There will be lots left to savour and enjoy. Why, Summer is really only beginning. I tell myself all this, and I largely believe in it, but through it all, there is a little voice in the back of my head wheedling and complaining. “You know that’s simply not true,” the voice says, “it’s more than half over now and so the best is gone and what’s left is only second rate at best.

I wish I didn’t have that voice in my head but it’s always been there, ever since I was a little boy. I subconsciously calculate the mid-point of any span of time and then I judge the first half as being the best of times and the second half as being, effectively, an over-extended and inferior end part. I do this with everything. Holidays, Christmas, bank holidays, seasons, TV series, books, you name it. Whatever it is, it’s half-over now and the best is certainly not still to come.

I’m doing it right now. It’s the weekend, a lovely time, by all accounts. But Friday evenings are always the best, because they’re furthest from the end. Saturdays are fine and Sundays are just a slow counting-down into Monday morning, when the week will kick off again.

More worryingly, I quietly do this with life too. Not in a big dramatic awful way, as I said above, rather just that quiet little illogical voice in the back of my head (61 next week, it ain’t really going to get much better from here on out, is it?). Even as I typed the word ‘illogical’ in that last sentence-but-one, the little voice is going, “What’s ‘illogical’ about it? It’s only common sense.”

As I said, it’s a feeling I don’t just simply accept. I rail against it. I battle it constantly. It’s now 10.40am, Sunday morning. I have a lovely long Summer Sunday ahead of me, to enjoy and to savour, and that’s what I’m going to do. The book I’m reading will be even better in the second half, you’ll see. This second triangle of sandwich will be even tastier than the first.

But that little voice stays and stays and we all know why it does.

Because there’s some small measure of truth to it. That’s why. The Summer Solstice is now over and the next stop is darkness.

Not it isn’t. It’s just not.

Ah, but yes, it is.

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