This is a first! I didn’t write today’s Mom’s Monday Memo. In fact, it could be called Dad’s Daily Dissertation since it was written by Dad. Thanks for the reminder, John.
Sitting here watching the golf match, I am sensing a level of anxiety. A tightness in the pit of my stomach. Is it due to the fact that tomorrow is the first day of school? Is it nerves for my former colleagues? Is it the annual nervousness I experienced at the start of a new year? Or is the tension caused by something else?
On a Sunday in August or early September for 52 years I have experienced a nervousness at the start of the school year. Will my friends be in my class? Will the teacher like me? What struggles will I face? As a teacher, I was anxious to meet my new family away from home. For 180 days I would work and share experiences with these students and teachers. As a principal, I was concerned about student success and behavior, parent opinions, transportation, teacher performance, and the list goes on. But I do not think the start of the school year is the source of my anxiety.
I started reflecting on this summer and became exhausted. It started with moving from our house of over 25 years and re-establishing a home in Ocklawaha. This was quickly followed by retirement and all the celebrations and good-byes. We boarded a plane to Omaha in early June to fulfill a lifelong dream of attending the College World Series. We were home for less than two weeks when we were off again to visit the Northwest and celebrate a reunion with high school friends. Then Dee recovered from mystery hives.
The summer has been filled with bike rides, fishing, church volunteering, Meals on Wheels, boating and purchasing a new car. Family obligations have been met with our annual Family Weekend and supporting a mother-in-law experiencing surgery.
In a day we will be off to Miami to take advantage of a good hotel deal. We are busy planning a fall camping trip to the panhandle, assisting a friend with her daughter’s wedding, and weighing options of a trip to Europe. Then it dawned on me, I am exhausted
Do not think I am complaining. I have never been happier. I feel blessed with a wonderful marriage and a healthy wife to join me on adventures. We celebrate our three married, employed, successful daughters and their husbands. I think the catalyst of my anxiousness is a desire to experience everything now and plan the next episode rather the than enjoying the moment placed in front of me. I do not want to miss out on all that I want to experience.
As I considered my state of mind I realized how silly I was becoming. As a new school year looms before us, I wish my colleagues all the success and patience they deserve. I know the feeling you are experiencing today. I plan to learn how to enjoy the moment and make the most of the time. I look forward to September as a time that I can develop a new rhythm of life that is a balance of adventure and reflection. Developing a new routine is a priority. I am learning that moment you are experiencing is the most important time of your life.
Make plans, but don’t forget to live in the moment.