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Not too fast, not too slow

by Alex Binck

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Summer races on by yet again. Summer is my favorite season, and when looking back on it, it always seems so short. I love the warm weather, the green growing things, swimming, life exploding out of every inch of dirt. But during the summer there’s always a certain eagerness for it to be over. By August, the craze of weeding, planting for fall, picking, trying to cram in more time with friends or trips to the beach, the heat, the bugs, the humidity… it can all start to get a little exhausting. Like most folks in the DC area, I try to get out of town for a week or two every year around this time. When I was younger, vacations were mostly about lounging around, walking, playing board games, or reading: at any given moment, doing nothing or whatever I felt like. But lately it seems even vacations can be a mad scramble. In order to get in all of the relaxation and fun I want, my vacations need to be strictly regimented, every hour scheduled out. Even then, I rarely leave without a few regrets, things I didn’t get to do. And now I’m back. I successfully crammed the absolute maximum amount of rest and relaxation into my time away, and yet I don’t find myself feeling much more rested or relaxed. A little voice wonders: when will summer end? When will things slow down a little so I can finally rest?


It bothers me that I think this. Summer is a wonderful time; I know that after it’s over, I’ll remember it fondly, and look forward to the next one eagerly. I could work less but, relatively, I don’t work that much. Many farmers spend practically their every waking hour and then some working, and, if I want to be a successful farmer in the future, I’ll probably need to meet or exceed this level. Partly, this is because we live in a society where food and farmers are grossly undervalued, despite the fact that a more important job is hard to imagine. This is true even more broadly: generally, the more direct and tangible benefit you bring to people’s lives in your work, the less money you will make. But, until society makes a real effort to consider these problems, this is the lot we’re stuck with. And maybe it’s not so bad. After all, the voice in my head doesn’t want summer to end because I hate it. It wants summer to end because I love it too much. Much better than the alternative, huh?

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