If I’m honest with myself, I’m feeling a little roots-less this week.
In mid-June, we took a final trip to the house I grew up in, and brought some furniture and family keepsakes back to Syracuse. My parents have, by now, made it to Charleston, SC, where they bought a house a couple of years ago. My dad has retired, and my mom will probably find 14 adjunct and distance positions so she can teach college students how to teach young kids until she’s in her 90s.
On Saturday, we spent several hours packing up a moving truck in Minoa, because Frank, Nicole and their Small Man were moving to Ohio. This is the same Frank who wrote this piece about home a little over a year ago. [You should really take a few minutes to read that. You don’t need to know him to feel it.]
After packing up on Saturday, they drove the 7-plus hours to Ohio on Sunday, only to turn around on Monday and drive all the way back to see Frank’s dad before he passed Monday night. I stopped in at calling hours last night. There were smiles and friends and people and that sort of thing, the way it should be. Small Man, by the way, has been a fucking Buddha about the whole thing. I shared that story with my staff this week and got tears.
There’s a reason the author of the Jewish mourner’s prayer didn’t include death. We need to remember to celebrate life.
I’m of a generation that has been taught that being busy is important in life. And I’ve fallen into that trap. I took on an extra role at work that added about 3 hours in front of a computer to my workday. I’ve said yes to a lot of organizations in my nine years in Syracuse. I’ve worked with 40 Below, Alchemical Nursery, Future Fund, Tapestry, several different recreational sports leagues, a poetry reading and a bunch of other stuff.
I’m paring back.
When the current seasons are up, I’m going down to one night of rec sports a week. I’ll volunteer heavily with one organization at a time and give them a lot of my attention, rather than just squeezing them in (and I’ll probably do some on-going thing, too, that requires a check-in here and there). I shed the extra role at work. Sure, it’s less money, but now I’m working 8 hours a day instead of 11, and I don’t feel the need to be attached when I leave the office. I’m going to start training and work on overcoming some fears (heights and such).
You can already see I’m writing more. I’m also reading more. I’m getting time at home and with friends. My calendar has more white space in a week now than it used to have in a month. I actually spend time each morning sitting out on the deck with a newspaper, a cup of coffee and the dog, leaving the technology inside.
And that’s where I’m headed right now. Later, gators.