Half Full and Half Empty

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Half Full and Half Empty

by DC Steeves

OMG!!!  It’s already September.  Where the heck has the summer gone?

 WAIT!!!  It’s only September?  How come this summer has dragged on so long? 

I know, I’m sounding confused, out of sorts, maybe even a little out of touch with reality.  If I had hair, I’m sure I’d be pulling it out.  I suppose it’s a matter of perspective on how we see things, or what events have happened that makes it so that things are either going quickly or slowly.  It’s been mixed emotions for me, especially over the past month.
On one hand, my oldest daughter leaves for college tomorrow and for the past few weeks, it seems like the time has flown by.  Even though at 20 years old, she’s had her own life for a couple years now, and I’ve not been as involved with her day to day as much as I once was, it seems like it’s a lot more permanent when they drive away and you know you won’t see them for a few months.  It’s true, the college is a little less than 2 hours away, and though promises were made that I’d make the trip “some day”, it’s unlikely our schedules will match up so that the trip is actually worth it.  Who knows?  It could happen, but the truth is, I probably won’t see her until Christmas break now.
 On the other hand, my youngest son’s soccer team has had an absolutely horrible season, the worst they’ve ever had.  D’Artagnan is 11, and he’s one of the local sports stars in our town, regardless of the sport he plays, but with the soccer team, he’s the focal point around which the team is built.  With the team’s poor showing this season, he has taken the team’s failure to heart. He never gave up, but the last game of the season couldn’t come quick enough.  It would have been one thing had the team been competitive in most of these games, but the scores were so lopsided from start to end it was a challenge for all the players to stay motivated while anticipating the inevitable shellacking they were about to receive.  Most of the boys are also members of the town’s travelling Hockey team, so they’ve been counting down the days until Hockey season starts and that hasn’t come quick enough either.  The double-edged sword for my son, who is a straight A student, is that along with the start of Hockey season also comes the start of the new school year. Going back to school something he certainly could put off for another few weeks for sure.
For me, at my age, I thought I’d stopped worrying about whether it was summer, or winter because it really doesn’t matter.  Or so I thought.  You see, this is the first year my girlfriend and I have had a chance to pretty much spend every day with each other and it’s been great.  Truth is, I don’t want the summer to end.  It’s not that she’s going anywhere, I mean, after three years in a committed relationship with each other, we’ve taken the big plunge and decided to co-habitate.  Up until July 1st of this year it was a long distance relationship; we saw each other on weekends and holidays, a couple of weeks in the summer and that made it all seem so temporary.  But that all changed at the start of this summer and we’ve really enjoyed all the time we get to spend with each other.

 The problem is, I think I fear the inevitable.  You know, when the novelty suddenly transfers into “the routine.”  I say it’s inevitable because, with the start of the new school year, the girls in swimming and my son’s Hockey season, real life is about to deliver a swift kick in our collective butts and the sad truth is, we’re about to get busy with a whole Hockey sock full of additional responsibilities that will no doubt take precedence over our time together. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been busy throughout the summer, but we’ve been busy together.  Now, it’ll be me going in one direction and Wendy going in the other.

I suppose I really can’t complain though since up until this summer, like two long lost teenagers, “together time” was restricted to late-night telephone calls while seeing each other on web cam, long after dealing with our respective kids activities and issues and getting them to bed.  Though our paths will likely only cross first thing in the morning and long after the day’s activities have been completed, we’ll still be able to have those late night conversations face to face.

My daughter leaves for college tomorrow and that was going to happen regardless of how much I protested against her departure.  Truth is, though I’m going to miss her, I’m proud of her and wish her the best as she starts her new life. It seems like the time has flown by as her last days have now all been counted down.  On the other hand, Wendy and I waited a long time for the day to come when we were together on a more permanent basis, and it seems like it took forever for that day to come. 

But as I said before, though the countdown happened over the same relative elapsed time, it’s a matter of perspective on how we see things.  

Half full and half empty are exactly the same thing…no matter how you look at it.

Derrick Curtis (“DC”) is a Sergeant and Lead Instructor for Pre-Deployment Training for the Canadian Forces (Canadian Army) currently stationed in Kingston, Ontario. A member of the Special Forces and Airborne, he has served in the Middle East, Africa and former Yugoslavia, as well as having served as a bodyguard for military VIPs. He also was a popular part time DJ at several of his assignments.

Father of four, DC is a skilled hockey, soccer and badminton player and has been known to do a mean karaoke when he’s not DJ’ing at local pubs.


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