Our entire lives are spent working to prepare for the next thing. Kindergarten is spent getting kids ready for first grade. Stand in any first grade classroom throughout the day and you will hear continually that they will need to know this for second grade. Elementary school is all about preparing for middle school, middle school for high school and the four years spent there is all about getting into the right college (or for many of what you could afford). We go to college to be prepared for the real world and once there many feel they are totally not prepared!
What no one ever tells you is that there is just no end to the cycle. When we are young we assume that it is all for a purpose, as if we will be rewarded as a result of our years of preparation. Once out of school it is about working to get ahead or more the norm just to stay afloat. Work hard, hard, harder just to pay your bills and don’t forget the outstretched hand of the government. Property taxes, sales taxes, federal income taxes and for many of us state income taxes and now a presidential election where some say we still don’t pay enough.
Our lives lived as if we were merely hamsters on a wheel, running in circles.
Recently there has been much sadness around us. Cancer, a very rare medical situation and a massive heart attack. Taken much too young, a friend, an acquaintance , a relative of a friend, all under 50 years. Why does it take such tragedy to make you say STOP, if even for just a little while. We spent the weekend as a family enjoying beautiful weather and some great soccer.
Sure the bills must be paid and the tests taken. The days will pass but we all need to make a conscience effort to enjoy the little things. To stop and recognize the beauty of each day. I am not an extremely religious person but I thank God for each morning I get to kiss the girls as I wake them or see them smile with each new achievement. Life is too short, before you know it you are looking back wishing for one more moment. Enjoy the moments while in them, smile more and worry less. It’s easy enough to say right? I am willing to put in the effort!
Before I begin to whine, I will start off by recognizing that we had very little snow over the last two winters. I also fully understand that the last winter was on the milder side. As this winter started I hoped for some snowfall. I joined in with my children doing the “snow day” dance hoping for the day off from school admittedly more than once.
The first snow day was a welcomed friend that we had not seen in a few years. The second was also embraced. The third was seen as the friend who had one too many drinks at the party. The fourth, well that one was far beyond one too many drinks and was viewed as a drunken fool. This past Monday was the fifth snow emergency closing of the year. If I were to stick to my “friend at the party” comparison, this friend was the one who stuck his face in the punch bowl, took off all of his clothes and passed out in the bushes.
We have seen temperatures in the single digits termed the polar plunge, early dismissals from school as well as delayed openings due to ice. It is only the beginning of February and according to that crazy groundhog we will have 6 more weeks of winter. I like where we live. I enjoy the experience of all four seasons. These extremes that we endure, the extremes in the heart of the summer during the 90+ degree heat waves. The humidity that you could cut through with a knife. Or the winters such as this one that are filled with depressing grey sky, freezing temperatures and snow covered earth. These extremes make me fully appreciate those wonderful breezy early fall evenings still light enough to walk in the park. Or the early summer days when the pool is just open, the laughter from the kids and friends mixed with the sounds of splashing water. Most of all I love the beginning of spring as the trees begin to wake from the harsh winter months and sprout those first splashes of green. The blue skies and sun rays that makes everything feel new and alive.
After the last several weeks I long for the beginning of Spring and promise the first person who complains about the heat of the Summer will be smacked. 🙂
The summer has officially ended in our house with the yearly closing of the pool. There are still some very warm days in the forecast like today’s heat in excess of 90 degrees, but once school starts there is just not enough time in the day. Speaking of school, the fist day was a success for all! Both girls had great days especially our new first grader.
The first day seems like a life time ago already. Saturday morning was picture perfect. Although there was a slight chill in the air, the sun, high in a bright blue sky was warm and comfortable. Our day started with a season opening soccer game with the youngest at 9am. At her age they play 2 fields of 4 on 4, open goal. This is my husbands first year coaching soccer and the first time most of the girls have played together. There were many bright spots. A little girl who just could not keep herself from picking up the ball mid play was not necessarily one of the brightest but the season looks to be fun none the less.
The travel game with the older child was much better. I think what made this game so much fun was the fact that over the last year we sat through many (emphasis many) bad, down right ugly soccer games. With Megan as the full-time goal keeper this year we feel extra pressure to ensure she plays her best. Saturday the entire team stepped up and played the best game we have seen them play as a team. The final score was 3-0..first game of the year and first shut out of what we hope will be a wonderful soccer year for Megan and team.
The week is flying by with time split between my few hours at the school doing cafeteria and playground duty, soccer practice, karate and everything in between. How quickly our lazy days of summer have been filled with days that just do not have enough hours.
On a totally different note, I caught a few minutes of the news last night as I was getting dinner ready for the girls. The story was about a new pump to help to identify breast cancer up to 10 years sooner than with current methods. I do not know how much data they have collected on it or how accurate it is but I would like to believe that such advances are true and reliable. I think about my young daughters and the very real high risk possibility that they face of breast cancer. I can only hope and pray that the advances continue so by the time my babies have to face tough decisions, like me they will be lucky enough to be able to act proactively.