Sunday, January 8, 2012

What Makes an Idyllic Sunday?

A week ago, I'd have been eating bacon for breakfast while looking for bad guys with my 5 year old nephew.  We were blessed with warm South Carolina weather, and so we could run outside.  We stayed in R and R housing on Ft. Jackson, and we were the only ones there, so we could make all sorts of noise without bothering anyone.  The cabins were on a lake, and we could have contests seeing who could throw pine cones and sticks the furthest.

Later, the whole family headed the the Horseshoe, that lovely quad at the University of South Carolina, where both my spouse and I completed graduate degrees and my sister earned her B.A., and almost a century ago, my grandfather earned a B.A.

How I love a Southern land grant school, with its historic buildings and large open areas!

We had a great time walking and climbing trees and seeing the buildings that had been built back near our old stomping grounds of Gambrell Hall and the Humanities buildings since we graduated.

The school was on holiday break, so all the buildings were locked up tight.  Still, plenty of people were walking dogs and riding scooters and tossing frisbees.  Idyllic.

It leads me to wonder why I don't do these things more often.  For the past week, the walk on the USC grounds has been one of the favorite memories that my brain keeps circling back towards.  Why don't I enjoy these kind of outings more often?

Well, one reason is the one that we all wrestle with.  As a point of contrast, let's think about my yesterday.  I ran a lot of errands and completed lots of tasks, tasks which had been postponed because of my trip to South Carolina.  It was satisfying in a different way.  It's great to have a working hose between the dryer and the outside wall, but not nearly as wonderful as constructing paper guns and chasing each other and discovering treasures in the pine straw.  It's not nearly as fabulous as climbing cneturies-old trees with their low-slung branches and enjoying the holiday decorations that still festooned the campus.

I will likely always continue to wrestle with the issue of balance.  I want more time out in nature, but I want more time to write.  I want a clean house, but I don't want to be so obsessed with chores that I neglect the humans in my life.  I want more time to read, but I also want to socialize with friends.

I'm grateful that I get days like last Sunday, days that remind me not to get too mired down in the daily minutiae.  It will be an important reminder, as our new school term launches this week.

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