Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Endless Summer

Yesterday, I was thinking about when I was a kid, remembering how summers seemed endless and there was always an adventure just waiting. The neighborhood was filled with other children my age and we did all kinds of things together. We played baseball in the empty lot, explored what we thought was a forest (it wasn't), caught grasshoppers and put on a show with them. There was capture the flag and Simon says and red light, green light and a million other games. Sometimes we just sprawled on the grass and watched the clouds, sharing what we thought they resembled--there were dragons and bears and so many other things.

When I compared those summers to this one, the difference was glaring. Everything now is a race, and judging by the speed people drive at and their impatience, I'm not the only one who feels that way. I work full time, so there's my day job sucking up time and I had a novella and a book due in June and spent every waking moment I wasn't at work writing. I turned in both projects on time and collapsed.

Maybe that's why I spent the fourth thinking about how nice it would be to just take time to sit back and watch the clouds roll by. No stress, no pressure. No place to be, nothing in particular to do. No day job, no bills. Just living life and enjoying it.

Then I remembered a quote from somewhere. I did a search online, trying to find to whom I should credit the line, but I didn't turn up any answers. It's wonderful advice, though, no matter who said it.
Life is an adventure; live it.
I'm as guilty as the next person when it comes to forgetting to appreciate the small things, but I'm going to try to do better. That's my Independence Day resolution.

There's another line I love, this I can credit without looking it up--it's from Ferris Beuller's Day Off.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
I don't want to miss it. I want to live to the fullest so that when I'm old, I can look back and say, yeah, it was a kick. My favorite thing to sign in books is: Always pursue your dreams. I'm a big believer in this and I think it ties in to living life, to enjoying it. I'm trying to find balance right now so that I do things other than write and sleep. Last week, I joined Net Flix and I want to take an art class. I just need to find one for someone with no artistic talent. :-)

What's your dream? What are you doing to pursue it? And any advice for me on how to slow down and enjoy the small things? That's going to be a tough one for me.

Patti O'Shea


Nancy Morse said...

Well, Patti, it sounds like you have a severe case of adulthood. With it comes spouses, bills, kids, pets, parents who are now like kids, jobs, politics, errands, doctor visits, menopause, divorce and everything else we never imagined as kids. When I was a kid, we played a game called War where you bounced the ball as high as you could and screamed "I declare war on" and named a country. These days, war isn't a game. It's enough to make kids never want to grow up, if only they knew what was waiting for them. How do you slow down to enjoy life? I think this came up in a recent post. I try to make a conscious effort to pay attention to the small things. You don't necessarily have to stop what you're doing, you just have to train yourself to stay in a constant state of awareness. This way, if you can't take time to lay down in the grass and watch the clouds roll by, at least you're aware that the clouds are there and can take a moment or two to appreciate them.

Patti O'Shea said...


When I think back to all the times I told my parents, "I wish I was an adult so I could do anything I wanted to do when I want to do it," I have to laugh. If only I'd known what the truth was. :-)

Thanks for the suggestion on how to notice the small things! I'm going to try that.