Monday Melancholy


I’m typically not one to dwell in malaise and melancholy, but this morning, I’m feeling a little bit of it.

It’s July 10, and vacation is over for our family. We had a great time, enjoyed spectacular weather, got to visit Charleston then spend time on the beach in Hilton Head. We ate at fantastic restaurants, the boys played golf, the girls rode bikes and relaxed on the beach, we hit a jazz club, played putt putt, and ate way too much ice cream.

I really shouldn’t be complaining.

But my son turned 17 yesterday, and now I feel like all I’m doing is counting down the days until he leaves for college and holding on to the days we have left.

Stupid, really.

I should be happy that we’re all good and happy and enjoying some time off this summer, but there’s that melancholy feeling that creeps in now and again which leaves me feeling just a little bit uneasy. Like life is passing me by. Like life moves really, really fast, and if I don’t stop and take it all in, I have the capacity to miss it.

I mean, really miss it.

Sometimes I feel as if I’ve missed things. I work a lot. I spent two years getting an MFA degree while working full time and missed some quality time with my kids when they were little. I spend time on side projects, like writing books and getting involved in the community. I try to see my friends every now and again amid the crazy, hectic schedules we all seem to keep.

So what happens? You wake up and realize another week has passed you by.

I don’t mean to be depressing, especially on a Monday morning, but really, the time is now. Breathe in. Enjoy life.

Take those vacations and go out with your friends. Spend quality time with your families. Before you know it, you’re middle-aged and thinking about retirement, not the beginning of your career.

Honestly, one of the reasons I love teaching at the college level is because the students keep me young. I’m forced to hear about their interests and their activities. I may be older, but I can still related to most of their predicaments and successes.

We all like to feel young.

I’m sorry for this jagged little post. It’s not as coherent as I would like, but it represents my chaotic thoughts this morning.

They’re messy.

And maybe that’s just how life is meant to be.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to enjoy every second of it.

Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.





To Blink = Change


This getting older thing causes a lot of nostalgia. It really does. I’m not sure where it comes from sometimes, but it seems to creep into my life daily. The years are marked by “big moments,” and some of them come barreling along, and some sneak in quietly. Lately, it seems every time I turn around, something is changing.

First, my son got his driver’s permit. It’s exciting, but it’s one of those aspects of your life that makes you say, “I remember just yesterday he was dancing to the Wiggles.” Jeez. He’s months away from driving and two years away from college. How did we get here so fast?

Second, my daughter is about to finish her eighth grade year and become a high school student. Again, blink, and there you are. One minute she was carrying on shenanigans at her preschool, and now she’s getting ready to join the ranks of a high school freshman. She even knows where she wants to go to college. (I’ll keep that to myself, because we all know, girls are prone to change their minds.)

Third, at Stevenson University, I’ve spent 16 years teaching on the Greenspring campus, which is the original campus of Villa Julie College before we expanded and experienced so much growth under our President, Kevin Manning. As our university has boomed, and as we have expanded to three campuses, our department of Business Communication is moving to Owings Mills North into the new, state-of-the-art Academic Center. It’s bittersweet. Of course, you want to stay current and move with the times, but the Greenspring campus has been the setting of my working days for so many years now (below is a picture of the Greenspring campus).

13240134_10154127311178954_8234915083251491347_nFourth, even our vacation this year will be in a different setting. Sixteen years seems to be the magic number, and for 16 years we’ve been spending our vacations in Duck, North Carolina. We have enjoyed our time there, but this year, it is time for some new scenery. We are heading to Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head for the first time as a family.

To blink = change.

You can be nostalgic, but you can’t hang on to it. You are constantly moving and changing even when it appears you are standing still. You have to roll with it, embrace it, and realize you have to live in the present. Living in the past rarely does anyone good.

I typically do well with change, and often look forward to it. I just needed a moment to remember what was.

Now, on to what will be.