Did you know that it’s possible to have an emotional reaction to a calendar month? According to an article I recently saw on Yahoo, it’s true. Depending on what events or emotions we individually associate with a particular month, we develop a long-lasting aversion to or affinity for a particular calendar month.
August has always made me anxious. Most parents are cheerfully—or desperately—looking forward to carting their young off to school. Those youngsters are enjoying the balmy days of summer tans, swimming pools, and sleeping in. It’s usually a glorious month in the Midwest, full of corn on the cob, county fairs, and summer trips. But I’ve never fully enjoyed it. Once July becomes August, my sense of unease stirs.
Now I’m finally able to pinpoint a reason—or reasons—for it. My emotional calendar has recorded an inordinate number of disturbances in the month for as long as I can remember.
I’m a military brat. Almost every August I was eyeballing a new school, another set of classmates’ and teachers’ names to learn, a new locker combination to decipher, a new address and phone number to memorize, another walk home or bus number/stop to remember.
After all that, you’d think I’d know better, but I went into teaching. So, every August, I’d dread the in-service prep days because there was never enough time during them to actually prepare my classroom and lessons, so I’d have to go in days earlier. That would shorten my last bit of summer. Plus, even if I didn’t change schools, every year brought new classes to teach, lots of new names to learn, new colleagues, new administrators, new policies and procedures.
And the back-to-school sales would come earlier and earlier every year, reminding me summer would soon be over and all that stress would begin again at the end of August.
Gee, is it any wonder the turn of the calendar gave me the August anxieties?
This is my second August without a classroom looming at the end of it, but I still feel the August trembles. I’m working at it, but it’s going to take me awhile to reeducate my emotional calendar.