Tag Archives: Time

The Perfect End to An Endless Summer

Tomorrow is the very last day of summer break. After that, two days in Santa Cruz for a teacher retreat, a day to prepare my classroom, and then three days off to celebrate the final weekend of my twenties with friends (and dogs!) at a beach house about two hours north of San Francisco. Life is full and good to the point that I don’t have much time to lament summer’s passing.

Yesterday, a dear friend threw me an early 30th (or second 29th as she prefers to call it), and I have to say it was the perfect farewell to summer. We sat in her parents’ gorgeous backyard, sipped sparkling lemonade, and talked for hours about her life in San Francisco and mine, here. It was the kind of afternoon that does not need to end, filled with organic green clay masks, pedicures, and swimming, exactly the kind I long for whenever summer begins, that existed so freely in childhood, but now only appears here and there, unexpected though always desired.

If only I knew how to create that feeling more often– four hours on a Saturday could always feel never-ending in that beautiful childhood way. Time manipulation will always be my most coveted super hero power. So, as I ramp back up for 31 new little faces and a pile of revisions to my book, I am also determined to hold on to yesterday afternoon in a way that makes all time stop for a moment whenever I would like.

bday bday bday

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Time Goes by in a Blink

I have been waiting for some sort of moment to blog about for the last couple days, but instead I have struggled to keep up with time. Even in doing less, time escapes me. I do not understand why time spent with family and friends is the time that moves most quickly. It does not seem fair.

This weekend, my family went on our annual San Francisco Christmas trip, the one I looked forward to back in November when we stayed in Union Square for our friends’ wedding. It was a blur. Shopping, dinner, brunch, movie, done. As we walked back to our hotel from dinner on Saturday night, I had to remind myself to put my arm through my father’s as not to lose some part of the tradition.

A bit of deja vu from a month ago and every year for the past 25 years...

Seems so familiar… 25 years of the same view.

To add to the sense of time folding over on itself, here is our annual family Christmas pic in San Francisco five years ago.

To add to the sense of time folding over on itself, here is our annual family Christmas picture in San Francisco six years ago.

This year.

2012. Amazing how six years changes things– my sister all the way to the right has a four-year-old son, my sister all the way to the left used to be the little one in the middle, my brother apparently now smiles, my sister two from the left brought her boyfriend this year, and I am married. What will the next six years bring?

Sunday night we raced home to attend a Christmas party with friends. Standing around talking about babies and weddings to many of the same people I have known since elementary school, there was no clearer expression of time passed. Weren’t we just the little ones making gingerbread houses and driving our teacher crazy the day before winter break? Now I am that teacher…

Monday I scrambled to clean the house and wrap the last presents in time for Alex’s family to come over for dinner. Then I blinked and it was Christmas morning. I staggered the opening of each present as not to let the experience pass by too quickly. My dad sat to my right and refused to open any until the rest of us had finished. We were on the same page, yet somehow it all managed to become part of the blur as well.

Here is one of the presents I took my time opening... And, yes, I was that excited to get a vacuum cleaner.

Here is one of the presents I took my time opening… And, yes, I was that excited to get a vacuum cleaner… Further proof life has changed.

Yesterday and today were filled with visits with friends. Brunches and lunches and afternoons spent drinking tea and laughing. This evening I am certain that the fastest way to pass the time is in the company of those you love. Seems a bit ironic, doesn’t it? The moments we most want to savor are also the moments that pass most quickly.

I hope you are having a lovely end of the year in the company of those you love. If you are anything like me, I also hope you take a moment or two to yourself to help slow it all down. I leave you with a couple of my favorite pictures from the last few days in an effort to hold onto the good moments a little tighter.

And, of course, it's not Christmas without Simon in a santa hat.

Of course, it’s not Christmas without Simon in a santa hat.

My youngest sister and my nephew, this picture is pure love.

My youngest sister and my nephew, this picture is pure love.

Five years from now, she'll be 21 and in college... A very strange thought!

Six years from now, she’ll be 22 and almost done with college and I’ll be 35… Here’s to enjoying all the good moments from now until then!

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It’s Not an Adventure Until You Get Lost

Heading the wrong direction south on I-5 tonight with no exit to turn around for miles, I reminded myself that it’s all part of the adventure.  In the past 36 hours I have flown from Lihue to Honolulu to Oakland, driven from Oakland to Sacramento, and then from Sacramento to Mt. Shasta and then Ashland.  Needless to say, I’m ready for a week of relaxation on the Oregon coast, but I’m also trying to make the most out of the time spent getting places, even when lost.

That’s the thing I’ve noticed lately, time is moving faster, and faster, and faster.  The prospect of this only accelerating is frightening.  Hawaii was gone in a second, Oregon will likely be too, I’m realizing that life is way too short to spend impatient, ever.  So, each moment I catch myself wanting to get to the next thing, I stop and remind myself that there is something worthwhile in every moment, even if it is just laughter, a little lesson, or time to reflect.  Besides, knowing where you’re going all the time can be pretty boring, both in travel and in life.

A stolen moment along the route to Ashland today, the headwaters in Mt. Shasta have a beautiful little labyrinth trail filled with streams and a place you can actually drink water coming off the mountain.  My favorite spot is a small bridge that you can stop and dip your feet in the icy water.

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Will Teach for Time

I am a collector of things you can cannot touch.  Words, pictures, memories.  Right now my focus is summer.  Today is day 13.  I do not know how many days remain.  Enough, I guess.  I refuse to count for fear they will disappear too quickly.

I would lie if I said that summer had nothing to do with my decision to become a teacher.  However, I could not teach if I did not like the work.  Ten months of misery would not be worth two months of freedom.  Instead, summer is the perk that makes the pay more tolerable, helps me through those days with angry parents, makes me smile when my classroom is in upheaval.  In my past work life, I discovered that time is worth more than money.

Summer is time.  Time to refuel.  Time to reflect and grow as a teacher, wife, friend, human being.  Time to do the jobs that do not pay but feed my soul.  Time to write.

Everyday I am asked by people who do not teach, “How is your summer going?”

Splendidly, I respond.  I’m actively collecting all those little moments that will get me through the inevitable challenges of the coming year:

Listened to my sister’s high school poetry night, got lost in words, some funny, some sad.

Sunflower in Fair Oaks with my husband, he rode his bike seven miles to meet me. I drove in an air conditioned car.

Veggie burrito, healthy, much tastier than it looks. While other moms took their kids for Happy Meals, mine took me here. We’d feed the chickens and play in the park. I developed a fear of roosters.

Veggie nachos, probably the winner, but don’t tell Alex.  He gloats too much when his choice is best.

Sunday dinners with family, swimming, eating, happy.

My birthday came a little early today, make that a month and a half to be exact. My sweet husband bought me a new recorder of words, which I’ll put to good use. The irony of marriage, I’d tell him not to buy it if he asked, but I’m grateful that he did. And, yes, that is the cat you see on our dining room table, maybe you should rethink coming to dinner, I’ve given up on chasing her, at least today.

Much like the dog, I’ve also lazed about. Recharging is required to be a happy teacher. Scratch that, recharging is required to be a happy human being.

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