Life Chronicles

Remembering How to Enjoy Life Again

Almost two weeks have passed since school ended, and it’s rather like I’ve been recovering from a marathon. I’ve never actually run a marathon, so I can’t be sure, but the amount of energy I exerted within those last few weeks of student teaching and the exhaustion that continually pounded my body must have been somewhat similar to that experience. I was so focused on the end goal that not much else got through my brain those last few days other than what was absolutely necessary. And it worked! I finished the last requirement, signed the last papers, and stayed the last hours … and then it was all over. College – that long-term goal of mine accomplished in so many short-term steps – was finished. I crossed the stage, took my diploma [cover], and switched the tassel from the right to the left, almost as if in a dream.

Sometimes I still can’t believe that it’s over. The routine became so natural for the past seven years that I almost expect to follow it in the fall – sign up for classes, get on the bus, attend class, do homework, etc., etc. But no! My brain screams in excitement at the thought that that routine is done! To be sure, a new routine very similar to it will quickly take its place – but now, I will be earning money instead of spending it. I will be the professional instead of the young grasshopper [well, actually, I will still be a young grasshopper, but in a different field!]. I will actually start creating the life that was just a far-away dream for so long.

And just what is that life, people often ask me? Well … honestly, many parts are still a mystery. In fact, most parts are a little hazy, other than what I would LIKE to happen! So in truthfulness, I must admit that only God knows my future for sure. But the possibilities are many, and for now, they all involve staying in Spokane. Hopefully they will involve a cute little apartment to call my own where friends will gather and home will be cultivated. Hopefully a teaching job is in store where the laughter will be plenty, the learning will be deep, and the children will be a haven of delight. Hopefully … hopefully, hopefully.

But what I DO know is the beauty of life that is returning to my enjoyment – that life that had to get forgotten about a wee bit while the marathon of the undergrad was being finished.

The fresh air of summer has been pouring into my searing lungs … the smells, sounds, and sights of everyday life have been delighting my senses like one wakening from a dream … the joy of actually spending time with people and taking time for myself has been sweetly tasted – and I feel alive once again.

I’m remembering what it’s like to watch a movie with a bowl of ice cream and not feel like I’m skipping my duties.

I’m remembering what it’s like to say, “Yes, I can stay late tonight,” because really what else do I need to do?

I’m remembering the joy of letting a two-hour coffee date stretch to three or four because I’m not tightly regulated by a stringent schedule.

I’m remembering how to wake up without an alarm clock as summer sunbeams stream through my eastern-facing window.

I’m remembering how to just sit and read a book because I’m being tugged along relentlessly by the characters and the plot line.

I’m remembering how to make words flow from my fingertips and express and process life again.

I’m remembering what it’s like to use my passions for HYPE again and get lost in plans for mentoring and training in leadership.

I’m remembering what the discipline of exercise is like and how good sore muscles feel.

These are the nights for dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory and wedding shoe shopping with one of my favorite brides-to-be … the nights of roasting marshmallows over campfires … the nights of laughing in a Zips parking lot while you down milkshakes … the nights of sweet-smelling breezes and carefree adventures … the nights of spontaneity and summer-charged plans.

These are the mornings of walks through spilt sunshine … the mornings of leisurely breakfasts … the mornings of breakfast at Madeleine’s with a very wonderful Emily-girl … the mornings of kneeling for long prayer again … the mornings of repeating favorite Scripture verses … the mornings of hot mugs of tea … the mornings of possibility.

These are the days we’re alive. And yes, I lived through the crazy months of college and student teaching, but in a very different atmosphere. It was an atmosphere of holding-your-breath-hoping-you-didn’t-forget-anything-hoping-you’re-good-enough-hoping-you’ll-finish-well-and-hoping-for-enough-sleep.

This is the slow atmosphere of restoring my sanity – remembering why I’m alive – and drinking the moments of memory deliberately and surely.

The summer has so many more memories to come – I’m simply bursting with anticipation for them – but right now, I am loving the slow, lazy current that is restoring my joy of every little moment. It’s such a pleasant place to be.

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