Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Where the summer goes.

The longest day of the year or Summer Solstice is gone. June 21st is the day I both dread and look forward to all year, second only to turning the short day corner on December 21st.

Let me clarify. I dread it because the days start getting shorter again on June 22nd. I look forward to it because it's the day I met my wife in 1986. It was the longest day of the year. It was the longest, strangest and most unforgettable night of my life. The details are still vivid.

A night of dancing at a club which no longer exists. A crazy drive to the beach. A tour of a haunted house. Then, conversation until dawn on a front porch swing. The number of possibilities that were so close to effecting a completely different outcome between four people are mind boggling. What-ifs galore.

Consequently, June 22nd was the longest work day of my life because I drove straight there at 5:30am and worked two jobs until after 6pm. After that my memory fades. It's hell getting old.

Why does it seem like time is speeding up as I get older?

The Airstream is still nestled in the back of the barn, where it was parked last fall. It has, once again, been filled with items I cannot find safe storage for elsewhere. This includes windows, antiques and the like. Funny how every year I vow not to repeat this and every year I do.

I did manage to dust off the motorcycle and take a few rides this year. Which are a few more than last year. I've also managed to complete some fairly major maintenance on two of our vehicles, plant a good garden and make a dent in our landscaping plan.

The hens are now full grown and doing their thing around the yard. I see them eating more grass than bugs though. They must be getting something out of what they eat since they aren't losing weight. Between the bird feeders and the hen's feeder I have fattened up the local squirrel squadron though. I'll cut the feed back until cold weather. Sorry squirrels.

I've also made the commitment to take the drive every other week-end to visit my folks. I'm trying to help them out around the house where I can, share a trip to the store and just spend some quality time visiting.

My first boss out of college said something that I've been trying to apply since that day. Luckily, it seems to be working better lately. He said, "wherever you are, be there." Simple enough right? When you're at work don't spend time thinking about other tasks. Just work. When you're on vacation, forget about work. Completely let go and enjoy. That's what he meant.

Applied to daily life, what good does it do anyone to visit family and friends when you're only half engaged? I've caught myself thinking about the chores I have waiting for me at home or the car that needs repairs or the Airstream I could be working on. How stupid does that sound? These unending to-do lists can drive me up a wall if I let them.

I'm happy to take care of what I can and not let the rest bug me too much. And guess what? My visits have been less stressful and a whole lot more pleasant, insightful and meaningful. Maybe getting older has some benefits after all.