Every year Jim and I went camping in Colorado. The first year, 1983, we arrived in Estes Park during the annual rodeo, and if Jim hadn’t had a good line of gab, we wouldn’t have had a place to camp. Then, our planned drive up Fall River Road was cancelled because of snow. To Missouri people, snow in July was surely an oddity. Eventually, we discovered August was the perfect month to visit the Rockies. That is, perfect, except for the hordes of tourists.
So, we came up with a plan to go on Labor Day weekend after the bulk of the tourists had gone home. The aspens had turned fall colors and elk roamed the streets of Estes Park. We were in wildlife heaven! We pitched our tent at Moraine Park and prepared to enjoy the peace and quiet of cool mountain mornings.
On our third night of camping, I woke up cold. I rolled over on my back and splat, icy cold water dripped on my nose. Splat, splat, splat, the cold water began to drip faster. I covered my head with my sleeping bag and went back to sleep.
The next morning, Jim woke up early, as usual. He sat up and hit his head on the tent. He started punching the drooping tent trying to remove the six inches of snow that had fallen during the night. Ice water pooled in the floor of the tent and our sleeping bags were soaked. Snow continued to fall during the day; luckily, we found a cabin for the next night. Jim’s comment on the situation: “This will be a good story to tell our grandchildren someday.”
Life was much simpler then than it is now. September is one of my busiest months, and sometimes, I think the days of September have become the “daze” of September. The month whirls and swirls as events and deadlines surround me.
My to-do list has turned into a to-do book. I’ve broken it into four different categories trying to keep up with everything. The month begins for me on Labor Day weekend with the first of two family reunions, followed swiftly with our team fundraiser. Walk to End Alzheimer’s is always in early September, and I haven’t missed one of those since 1998. That definitely leaves out vacationing of any kind.
Just for fun, let’s throw in a club meeting, speaking at a conference, updating websites for numerous events, two dinners (on the same night!), appointments, mowing grass at home and in town, new projects, finishing old projects, and on and on.
A few days ago, I complained that I retired from a forty-hour-a-week job to sometimes work from daylight to midnight. The problem with retirement, as I see it, normal work hours don’t apply. It’s like being on call twenty-four hours a day without defined meal breaks.
Harold looked over my to-do book, and said, “It seems to me that most of your time is volunteer work.” This was after a marathon of working on my photo drive, at his insistence, which had nothing to do with my volunteer work, or did it? After all, other than my sunset photos, most of the photos were of, you guessed it, volunteer events.
“Well, I don’t want to work all the time,” I insisted, “but I don’t want to sit around doing nothing all day either.” There you have it: the dilemma—too busy, or too bored. Where is the happy medium?
One new thing I’ve thrown into the mix of activities is line dancing exercise class three days a week. I get my exercise, laugh, and forget the busyness and “daze” of September.
Yes, sometimes, I’ll look at the calendar and wonder what the heck I was thinking. Or not thinking. But, you know what? I’ve chosen this lifestyle of my own freewill. It is the life I find meaningful, fulfilling, and purposeful.
Besides, before you know it, it will be October. Mmmm. SBW pajama party (guess who’s in charge), Business Women’s Week, proclamation, board meeting, chicken dinner, Halloween, …the to-do book is already running out of pages.
One thing I really look forward to in October is our “girls” vacation with my mom and sisters. Life is good. Busy, but good.
Copyright © September 2016 by L.S. Fisher