Monday, September 12, 2016

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

It's 1:30 PM on the first Monday (of classes) of the semester and I'm just beginning to write this blog. I started a post last night, but it hasn't quite come together yet. I came up with another idea in the shower this morning, and thought I might steal some office time to write it after I finished with my class and my meeting, but that didn't happen either.

What did I do, you might ask?

I taught a class, met with a student, made some copies, did some planning and talked with two colleagues.

Then, I walked across campus and got a chair massage. I mean, what better way to kick off the first five day week of the semester?

I've been considering taking the plunge for some time. I've even pulled up the schedule a few times, but never actually made an appointment. Something -- usually time constraints -- always stopped me.

But this morning, my seminar fellow and I were talking about wellness, and the subject of massages came up. I pulled up the schedule to answer a question we had, and, after she'd left and I'd checked a few things off my list, I decided to go for it. I'm proud of myself. It's only taken me six semesters to take the leap.

Why now?

As you know if you're a regular reader, my daughter left for college last month. I said then that if she was happy, I'd be happy. And I meant it.

Well, the votes are in. She's happy. And I'm happy for her.

But I also need to be happy for me, and part of that happiness is starting to make some progress on the list of "things I'd like to do sometime." To take advantage of the fact that my schedule is flexible and be a little more spontaneous. To sign up for a weekend trip or do something new, or even just something I've been meaning to do.

Like get a chair massage.

When my daughter first left, I couldn't bring myself to think of the fact that our life as a family would never be quite the same again. I knew it, of course, but emotionally, I wasn't ready to think in those terms.

Only recently has it has begun to dawn on me that this shift is not necessarily a bad thing. That sameness is, perhaps, not all it's cracked up to be. That change is whatever we choose to make it, and we can mourn or we can dance.

And I'm gonna dance.

Or at least get a chair massage.

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