Monday, September 15, 2014

Last gasp of summer

I'm sitting in the middle of a long, horrible meeting but I'm having trouble paying attention because I need to finish prepping a class for tomorrow and writing an exam for later in the week, but I really need to pay attention because I fear that the changes being discussed will inevitably increase my workload even more when I'm barely keeping up with all I have to do right now, and I'm sitting next to a colleague who confessed that she feels guilty when she spends time with her children because she's not grading and she feels guilty when she's grading because she's not spending time with her children and all that guilt gets in the way of being in the moment and enjoying life, and all this angst is roiling about the room in an oppressive and distressing manner when my cell-phone buzzes and I discreetly glance at the message from my son informing me that he has a softball game at 6:30 and wouldn't I like to watch?

And I know I have too much work to do and I really can't spare an hour or so to watch a softball game, but the fact that I'm too busy too watch my son play softball suggests that I really need to watch my son play softball, so I put down my big ol' bag o' work and trot on over to the field to watch the game.

And they only play seven innings in church-league softball but I don't really relax and get my mind in the game until the fifth inning, which is a good time to start paying attention because they suddenly have this amazing inning in which my son's team bats through the order and my son makes it to base on an accidental bunt, if such a thing exists, and his team pulls ahead 18-9.

And it's a beautiful evening, cool and clear with a sky full of clouds that look like waves breaking on a beach, and it's the last game of the season and the last gasp of summer and the last opportunity I'll have to be in this moment right now, and I don't want to ruin it feeling guilty because I'm not grading or prepping or writing exams. 

So I don't--for now. Ask me again tomorrow.


Andrea said...

You made THE excellent choice. Isn't it curious how, sometimes, it can take so long to reach "the moment"? For someone like me whose greatest strength is co-dependence, I am surprised that my repressing worldly cares can take as long as several days!
I have a friend at work who tells me that, upon turning 50, she magically stopped caring what other think and stopped letting systems (managed by people, machines or whatever) control her thoughts and actions. She is eight years into it, and her new life seems to have stuck. I'm almost three years past 50 --and still waitin' on the magic.
I'm glad you went to the game, Bev, and as Terrence Malick might say, "noticed the glory that surrounds you." Your choice gives me hope.

Bev said...

I keep thinking about what Garrison Keillors likes to say: "Nothing we do for children is ever wasted." In a week when two of my colleagues lost children and another lost his father, I really needed be reminded of this.