Sunday, October 18, 2009

Goodbye Football, Hello Simplifying

Football season is over. The boys had their last games yesterday, and both enjoyed victories. The youngest hasn't played much all season since he's fairly new to the game, but he did get to see some action yesterday. My oldest son played quite a bit, and yesterday, though he wasn't feeling 100%, he went out there and had a great game. His team finished the season 8-0, scoring 20 or more points against their opponenets and not being scored on at all. That's quite a team.

Part of me is sad to see the season end, but another part is looking forward to not having anything planned each Saturday afternoon. Having quiet weekends will be wonderful, refreshing. I'm sure we'll end up filling those days with other things, but I'm really going to try not to. I've been thinking a lot of reducing, simplifying, and what better time to do so than now? The difficult part will be getting the others to go along with me on the simplifying our lives. Seems like they like going, doing, being active all the time. There's something to be said for staying home, enjoying not having to be anywhere, doing anything, seeing anyone.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ughhhhh! Midterm!

The semester has been a bit rough. Not just for me, but for many of my colleagues, too. I don't know what's going on, but dang, if it's not a student coming in with nothing prepared that should have been prepared, it's a student getting into a car accident because the driver of the other car was texting while driving. If it's not a colleague having to deal with family issues and thus needs someone to cover his classes, it's a colleague out sick, really sick. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm ready to get this semester over with. It's like a huge black cloud is hanging over the college right now, and that cloud just needs to move on out of here.

I did get my midterm grades turned in before the deadline, so that is a positive. Not sure the students will see it that way when they get their grades, but hey, que sera sera.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Those Little Encounters

Yesterday I had an encounter with a stranger that has left me thinking about it still today. It wasn't anything major, and I really don't know why I'm thinking about it. I do think, though, that something happened, something that I'm supposed to pay attention to, but again, just like I don't know why I'm still thinking about him, I don't know why I'm supposed to pay attention to my encounter with him.

All I was doing was getting coffee for me and my husband before we set off for a two hour drive to his mom's. As I stood at the counter, waiting for my husband's hashbrowns, I looked to my right. A rather tall, handsome man stood a foot or so away. He was dressed casually, in a fashionable athletic outfit, and he gave the impression that he knew what looked good on him. He had graying hair and a graying moustache. He was one of those guys that is aging really gracefully. He looked at me, and I mean really looked at me, not just this passing glance that so many of us give one another while in a public space. He then smiled and said hello, still holding eye contact. I wondered if he knew me somehow. I didn't recognize him as anyone I know, but he gave me the impression that I should know him. When the girl behind the register asked him what he wanted to order, he pointed to my large decaf and said, "Coffee that size." He then looked pointedly at me again, smiling like he and I were the only ones who understand what it means to need that much coffee. When I gathered up my coffees and hashbrowns, I turned to leave, and he again looked at me with that warm, I-know-you kind of smile on his face. I smiled in return, feeling the strangeness of the whole situation but at the same time feeling like I needed to know who he is.

Now I really would like to know who the guy is. The logical person in me, which is about 98% of who I am, knows how crazy it is that I'm thinking about him and wondering who he is. The logical person in me also realizes that my wondering is piqued by the license plate on his SUV: NHL HAWKS. Was he a former Blackhawks player? Did I miss an opportunity to really meet someone who played for the Hawks? If I did, stupid me. Stupid me for being the shy, introverted person that I am. If I had been extroverted, I would have just up and asked, "Do I know you?" But no. I had to just give my usual half smile and leave. And now I'll be wondering who the guy is for who knows how long.

Maybe the lesson here is that I need to be less introverted, that I need to look, really look, at those around me when I'm out. Perhaps as I'm being less introverted, as I'm really looking at the people I see in stores and restaurants, I'll see this guy again. If I do, I'm going to ask him who he is.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Has Set In

I love fall. The leaves changing to red, gold, yellow, and brown always make me nostalgic for the falls of my childhood, when we lived in southern Michigan. The smell lingering in the air, that of cleansing away the heat of summer and vegetation becoming part of the earth, makes me inhale deeply, filling my lungs, my being with what it might mean to be in the later stages of life. The brisk air means I can wear my flannel pajamas, which I hurriedly change into everyday right after I return home from work. I settle in for the evening, snuggling into the couch to watch TV or read a good book (sometimes a bad book). Darkness creeps in earlier, making me slow down, not feel the need to always be doing something just because there is still daylight. Soon we will set our clocks back an hour, shortening our daylight hours even further and giving me even more reason to settle in early.

Sometimes I think I'm still too young to stay in as much as I do. I've never been one to want to go out in the evenings. I'm perfectly happy being at home. My boys are like this, and I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. Perhaps they will change as they get older. My daughter loves being out with her friends, so the boys, when they are able to drive, will probably follow suit. For now, though, they're content to be at home, huddled with me on the couch. Lately, we've shifted to my bed which accommodates my husband, me, the boys, and the dog. We've had many nights of movies, popcorn, and talk while hanging out on the bed.

Today the rain has settled in. I'm really looking forward to this evening when I can don the flannel, fill a bowl with popcorn, lounge on the couch, and call it a day. Even if it's only five o'clock, that's okay with me.