I yearn to be outside. I long to put on my hiking boots and, at this time of year, trudge up a muddy hillside. I will gleefully sustain the dislocated shoulder from my dogs dragging me up that hill because their leashes are never quite long enough for the exploration they would like to do.
Today, I dream of doing this, but from behind my desk. Darn you, responsibility, you strike again.
If it was an average weekend, I would have dropped my chore list – yes, I still have one but now I make it for myself and it is no longer inflicted by my mother – and frolic out into the false spring sunshine. But it wasn’t an average weekend. It was the weekend before spring break.
Don’t get me wrong; my days are no longer judged like they were while I was in public school and college. I no longer count the days to winter breaks, push sluggishly through to spring break and make a frantic dash toward summer vacation.
No, I am an adult. I don’t have breaks. I have scheduled, thoroughly planned and well-ahead-of-time notified vacations, even if the vacation in question is only a couple of days.
However, my boyfriend still has breaks: winter, spring and summer. Thank you, post-graduate education, for reminding me that my life is dictated by seasons.
Why, you might ask, am I not enjoying this Sunday surprise showing of spring? The answer is simply because I try to follow my own advice – or rambling, as I prefer to call it – that has spewed into this column the last couple months.
If you don’t read my ramblings — it’s fine … no really, it is — I’ll fill you in: I’m figuring out that being an adult means being responsible and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
On day 109, I was not surprised to find out that AAA does not have a road map to life – but I would also like to thank the helpful woman who rolled her eyes when I asked. It does, however, have plenty of California maps.
So, on this Sunday, I am diligently working, actually compressing, a week worth of work into one afternoon. I’m not entirely sure if I will be successful, but I should, and I should do it quick because my inner wanderer is counting the seconds until it’s allowed to have control.
You see, spring break now means a planned escape and a much-needed one at that.
As my subconscious harps on me to pay attention to the passing moments that will become memories as I move forward to being on this planet 25 years, I can’t help but notice I think it’s all moving too fast.
I just learned to enjoy college while at an alumni meeting. I’m just learning to enjoy some of my best friends while we retell childhood stories. I’m just learning to slow down as I’m noticing in some cases it is too late.
I’m thankful to be learning this lesson now; it would be regretful to learn it much later in life.
That said, I’m going to learn to enjoy the moments as they happen on my planned escape to the coast this week. And, when I undoubtedly dig and push and smash a mound of sand together and deem it a castle — while my boyfriend undoubtedly looks at me like I’m crazy — I will dedicate it to my inner child, for whom it is no longer socially acceptable to let come out and play.
Cortney Maddock is a reporter for the Sparks Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.