Christmas vacation is over. For the kids (and teachers) in our lives, that means an end to late, leisurely mornings, and a resumption of the often-hectic pace surrounding school, school activities and life itself.
What’s more, it’s darn cold out there, making the desire to cuddle into the covers even more attractive.
The teacher in my life approached it with great courage, stepping into the cold, dark Monday-morning dawn with something almost approaching enthusiasm.
“This is the last time I’ll have to go back to school after Christmas,” she proclaimed, as she thought about her upcoming retirement from the teaching game,
Yes, it’s the last time, but it also suggests the beginning of a whole lifetime of “first times,” as we enter the new year and years to come.
We’ve seen several new years since an eminent University of Iowa doctor and professor said to me, “We’re going to try to buy you a little more time” as we pursued some hopeful, stopgap measures after the quick, decisive failure of the primary cancer treatment I had undergone. My case of prostate cancer was more aggressive than any he’d ever seen before. So much so, that he wrote my case up for an international medical journal.
So much so, that “a little more time” seemed like a lot to offer.
But what a time it’s been.
There’s something to be said for outlasting your warranty, so to speak. It makes you appreciate every scrap of time all the more. We’ve treasured the travels that have led us across the country towards family and friends. And we’ve enjoyed, too, the long, lazy backroads journeys we’ve taken to nowhere in particular. I’ve loved seeing my sons meet and marry great girls, and enjoyed, even more, sharing in the growth and beginnings of their own families.
After the whole cancer thing forced my retirement from the ad agency business, the eventual opportunity to work (and play) as a part-time Star Courier sportswriter has brought a whole new sense of purpose into my work life, as I’ve met and enjoyed the legions of kids and coaches who make it more of a pleasure than a day-to-day job.
And, of course, there’s this.
This column, that is.
When column boss Rocky Stufflebeam asked if I wanted to do it, I wondered if I’d ever be able to think of enough things to write about. And sure, sometimes it’s a bit of a stretch. But for the most part, it’s been a labor of love, as I write to you and you--quite often--tell me what you think.
So it’s another new year. Another year filled with opportunities, ideas, dreams and experiences. My life, like many, comes with a soundtrack. And as I write these words, an old song by James Taylor comes to mind:
The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There ain't nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill
But since we're on our way down
We might as well enjoy the ride
The secret of love is in opening up your heart
It's okay to feel afraid
But don't let that stand in your way
'cause anyone knows that love is the only road
And since we're only here for a while
Might as well show some style
It's just a lovely ride.
Happy New Year to you all.