OUTSIDE, IT'S WHAT MOST Labor Day planners would call a miserable day. Intermittent rain, driven by stiff wind from Tropical Fugue State Ernesto, with cool air and whited-out cloudy skies over all.
I couldn't be happier.
With each passing September day, the dead heat of summer heads further toward the horizon. I will be able to take long morning walks without dehydration and long evening walks without being a mosquito snack bar. I will be able to sleep deeply, with the windows open, and not piss away nearly $100/month blasting my Korean War–era air conditioner.
I feel some sympathy for those who had been planning cookouts, reunions, beach outings, or sun-drench drinkfests today. As a New Jersey resident, I am especially conscious of how a summer with ill weather can dent our state economy due to reduced beach patronage. And I do have to grant that August, of all months, actually offered up some comfortable and gorgeous days in its latter half.
We will be treated to more such days, however, as September unfolds. Between today's gloomy Hamlet of a day and the punishing humidity and heat we suffered earlier in August, the sweet spot lies. Were it not for this little quirk I have of needing to work for a steady income, I would curl up in that sweet spot every day from nippy morning through slanting sunset.
For now, however, I am taking advantage of the crummy day by shedding some paper clutter, transferring my poker records from Word to Excel, and otherwise maximizing the chance to be inside. I have the benefit of Monday's holiday to accomplish more outside-based chores when the weather is rumored to improve. I also avoided the temptations of crappy mall food and cooked myself a bowl of whole wheat penne with fresh broccoli, topped with ground pepper and a spoon of extra-virgin olive oil. With the potential for some boardgaming mayhem tonight — which is traditionally accompanied by some meat-topped pizza to get the killer instinct flowing — and a siege of Chinese food coming tomorrow, I want to notch a couple of decent, healthful meals while I have the chance. Eventually I will venture forth to the gym, which I will follow with a fruit/protein smoothie, another checkmark on the side of nutrition.
In all, I am taking this day at a lazy pace and enjoying not being on demand for job or heavy chores. The cool air and grey skies are, for me, a catalyst to all of this rather than a limit.