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What Happened to May?

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Nancy Sharp
Nancy Sharp

May pulled me by the collar like a cyclone. All month, I spun from event to event -- birthdays, mother's day, school plays, school picnics, school fundraisers, school conferences, school projects, cycling events and so forth. Beyond "planning" and "showing up," there were annual medical appointments to be made, camp forms to be completed, a sputtering washing machine to fight and the ongoing drill of stocking the fridge and freezer and preparing family meals. Weeds had to be plucked, plants cut and the mess of pines that fell from the trees gathered into bags. I made the last edits on my book, Both Sides Now, faced the mountain of files and papers on my desk, and finally hunkered down to finish last year's taxes. There was also a car crash. I was fine; my car wasn't. This led to hours of insurance chat, car research and wasted moments exploring vehicles.

Now that the month is nearly over, I find myself asking, what the heck happened to May?

Those with school-age children understand this quagmire. But how many others feel that May has gotten out of hand, replacing December even as the "Can't Wait To Exhale" month? A friend points out that at least December can be partitioned: you work or complete school, but then most everyone has a reprieve for the year-end holidays.

I don't know about you, but I'm bothered that I've come to resent the rush of May. Because May really is a glorious time of year. It's spring, and you can't help but feel more alive, less cloistered. May is the month of my birthday, my twins' birthday, my father's birthday, three of my grandparents' birthdays, my late husband's birthday. When there is so much to be grateful for (trust me, whining and all, gratitude is never far from my heart). So, why have I come to dread the treadmill of May?

Maybe it's age. Wasn't it only yesterday that the countdown toward May began months prior? "Three more months until May. Now two. May, at last!!!"

Don't get me wrong: With a few exceptions, I wouldn't trade the past.

It's just these are multitasking times and multitasking isn't as easy or pleasurable as it used to be. Long gone are the days I said, "See how much I can do?"

Finally, the rapid tide of May has slowed. School's winding down, the activities have ebbed and our family can simply chill in the back yard.

A period of rest is well-earned and vital, I think, to revivify ourselves for summer.

I wish I had the power to scatter the bustle of May throughout the year. Alas, no one does. The best we can do is to steady ourselves, take deep breaths and accept the craziness of the month as Life In Full Bloom™. Sure beats the alternative... and therein lies the lesson.