Sunday, April 30, 2017

Summer Approaches

It is April 30th... Tomorrow May begins, and in three weeks time I will be finished with spring semester, 2017. The year has flown by quickly, which is nice because there's nothing sweeter than summer vacation. But I also feel as though many creative opportunities has blown by as well. I still have not learned how to manage my time well, at least not during the school year. Maybe I'll never learn.

As I mentioned last week, things have been busy, in a very good way. My eldest daughter has chosen her college. My youngest daughter is kicking butt and taking names in her two college courses (math and history). My wife is continuing to build her career as a health coach. And I'm doing what I do best -- talking to students about literature and creative writing.  We've been working hard, I believe, and for the most part I think we've been having a good time.

My blogging projects (the daily themes) have temporarily fallen to the wayside, and it seems that whenever I work on my book the words come painfully slow. Yet, I am not beating myself up too much for the lack of productivity. In fact, I've been thinking about the Big Picture today.

When I was walking the dogs across the green belt near our home, the sublime beauty of the day, the profound pleasure of just being alive, suddenly overwhelmed me. If you already know me well then you probably know that this happens a lot for me. I have no shortage of "stop and smell the roses" moments. I've taught the book "Tuesdays with Morrie" too many times not to feel immensely grateful every single day.

But gratitude aside, I still find ways to grumble and feel self-pity, and it's almost always in regard to my writing career. I'm never satisfied.

But today, as I was walking the dogs I was thinking "I'm 45 years old. If I am lucky, half my life is over... And if my luck is average, then odds are I only have 30 good years left." Maybe I have a lot more, maybe I have a lot less. You might think that these thoughts are depressing, but they aren't...

Because this means I have 45 amazing years locked in the canister of time. There are many mistakes and regrets in those decades, but the vast majority of those years are filled with joy, love, and laughter. And I've told a few stories along the way, and a couple of them might outlive me.

That's a pretty darn good feeling. I hope it stays a while.


  1. Wade, I love this reflective post. Especially the "Because this means I have 45 amazing years locked in the canister of time. There are man mistakes and regrets in those decades, but the vast majority of those years are filled with joy, love and laughter."

    I'm 46 and recently was talking with a group of friends, one of which is turning 50 and isn't excited about celebrating it and that made me a little sad.

    For the experiment of "Write a letter to your 100 year old self", my plan is to approach it with a reflection back at my previous 46 years and also what I hope to accomplish for the next 30 - 40 years, i.e., incorporate more "smell the roses" moments.

    My son is nearly 8 and the time is flying by WAY too fast! I'm trying to savor every moment I have with him, which can be a challenge sometimes in this crazy fast paced life. I'm trying to slow it down and "smell the roses" and be in the moment more.

    With regard to this semester, I'm so grateful I enrolled in your class. I've learned so much and I think you are doing a fantastic job with your role of mentor and teacher. Keep it up :)

  2. Thanks, Kaye. You win the award for Nicest comment of the Year!

    And time really does start to fly when your child gets to a certain age. When my girls were little (during the diaper changing years) time was slow and exhausting. But once they hit age 13 everything has gone by at lightning speed!