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.
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.
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.