Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

This phrase has always been interesting to me. It refers to the hottest and most humid days of the year. I'm sure in some other parts of the world this phrase refers to a short period during the summer months. Then, there's Houston. Born and raised here, I can tell you the dog days of summer can stretch from late May to late August. They says everything's bigger in Texas (it's true!) so I guess that can translate to everything's longer too---yay summertime! Lol.

Of course, I always interpreted this phrase a bit differently. While we were growing up, my parents would always look at our dogs and say "Oh, to be a dog for a day!" meaning of course that dogs have everything provided for them and get to sleep in the cool AC or the warm sun and play to their hearts' content. So to me, the dog days of summer referred to those days during the summer where nothing was required of me. I could lay in bed, on the couch, the floor, or in the fort outside. Read a book, or watch TV, or go on a bike ride. When I was thirsty I grabbed a drink; when hungry a snack (almost always an apple).

Now, though I refuse to surrender entirely, I am a legal adult. The food, the water, the electricity to keep the house cool and run the TV and refrigerator...that all costs money. Money that my husband and I work to earn, and which sometimes it seems that there's just enough to keep everything going. The "real world" as my friends and I call it is far from relaxing at times, and you're responsible for your own issues, provisions, etc. So, it looks like the dog days of summer ended at some point.

Or did they? I prefer to think that they morphed. I'm a teacher, so I don't have to work at the school this summer. I still have to go to professional development, and of course, I'm taking back up the roll of full-time housewife, so there is definitely still work...just not teaching! I still get my paycheck (the district I work for spreads the salary out over a 12-month period), which is a very good thing lol. So, there's still responsibilities...but within those, I still exercise when I want, watch TV, play video games, read, eat, and even sleep! when I choose.

So, my new definition of "dog days of summer": they're more like the vacation days of a well-trained hunting or herding dog. The dog knows how to work and still fulfills its duties...but during the summer it can do it on its own schedule...creating a rewarding and earned freedom instead of an expected one. I like these days best.

Anyway, I was just thinking.


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