FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010 11:57 AM, CDT
Right Choice #17 (Written July 16, 2010)
How to choose my attitude when faced with a summer dedicated to medical recovery? It is tempting to watch the cyclists flash by the house on their way to ramble through the single-track trails that make up our extended back yard, or the road cyclists flying down the hill after completing the Preserve Loop and declare that it isn’t fair. And occasionally it feels unfair. It’s easy to read the e-mails piling up in my in-box and worry about meetings missed, classes to prepare, and articles to write and feel as if I should be accomplishing more. Yet most days, as I gently walk the neighborhood, gain strength to water the plants, and begin to run short errands at nearby stores, I feel an unusual peace.
I have been given the gift of mellow, the time to be present, and the luxury of hanging out. For the first time since my middle school years I’m experiencing a “Summer Time” pace of life. Remember the song…”Summer time, and the living is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high?” Well, my Daddy may not be rich – my Ma is certainly good looking, but it is the reminder, the “Hush little baby, don’t you cry,” that speaks to my heart.
Don’t cry – each morning there is time to sip coffee, read, catch up with world events and the lives of friends posted on Facebook, make breakfast and chat with whatever teenagers are hanging around the house.
Don’t cry – the days with Phil living at home are dwindling. Each moment to connect with him is a blessing that wouldn’t have existed if I had been teaching and consulting, cycling and hiking.
Don’t cry – friends surround me. There is time to sip wine, grab lunch, write letters, talk on the phone, reconnect.
Don’t cry – I’m home each evening as the family reconvenes. We catch up on our days and discuss what is happening around the world. We laugh with each other, and enjoy our time together.
Don’t cry – my strength is returning, the pain is receding and a full recovery will occur in its own time.
I’m not saying there aren’t tears. Phil departs in ten days, so there are breaks from the “peaceful, easy feeling” the Eagles sing about in their iconic song. You can read more about his adventure in the front-page article written about he and his military-bound classmates. It will be tough saying good-bye to him at the airport, Tuesday the 27th of July, yet as he departs there will be immense pride as well.
There is anxiousness and excitement as well. Kevin and I are waiting to hear back from McGraw-Hill. Our book has cleared all the acquisition hurdles and will be given an up or down publishing decision from the Signing Council in August. We’re hopeful that our manuscript will be signed with this respected publishing giant.
And there is much to look forward to in the last month before I return to work. Phil and I will travel to see my parents next week, then Jeff and I will have the house to ourselves for the first time in 19 years. Phil takes off July 27th, Kevin heads to Montana to spend time with a friend, and Katie will move between Evanston, Wyoming, Nashville Tennesee, and Huntsville, Alabama experiencing music camp, space camp and travel with my parents and her cousins to see where Papa grew up on the farms of the Southeast leaving us all alone to test out our empty nest coping skills.
Mid-August Jeff and I will drive out to California where we’ll meet up with the family, sans Phil, but including my parents, to spend a week relaxing in Northern California.
I’m well enough to make the journey to my parents with Phil, and to look forward to a road trip with Jeff. For me, that’s what makes this “Summer Time” living so easy – getting better each day and enjoying the precious slow approach to living.
Hope your summer time living is easy as well.
Lots of love,