It is Sunday of Memorial Day weekend as I sit and write this piece. We call this weekend the “Unofficial” start of summer since meteorologicaly summer actually begins on the summer solstice, (Day with the longest stretch of sun) which this year is Friday June 21.
For me though, summer starts the very 1st day I determine that it is not going to snow again this season. You see, I live surrounded on 3 sides by woods, with a 500 foot driveway that has a huge hill that runs alongside that needs weeding and mulching. With the leaf clean up, twigs and branches, thatching, preening, and mulching the list of chores to get my property even halfway respectable is longer than my arm. Then there is the power washing, deck painting, gutter cleaning and planting. After all of that, I need to dig out my yard furniture, get that all cleaned, and then clean out the shed and garage. Of course I also need to clean and get the bike ready (to be looked at all the time with a maudlin sense of longing since I rarely get to ride it). This usually eats up every weekend until Memorial Day. The week AFTER Memorial Day I open the pool. So at the Rodgers Compound; Summer “goes live” the 1st week of June. By “Goes Live” I mean I am done working on it and can finally enjoy it. A rough estimate reveals it takes 3 months of weekends, to be ready for 3 months of summer. Then 3 months of Fall and 3 months of Winter undo everything. It is worth it though. I think I have it just about balanced.
Between this summer prep, my job, my pursuit of everything Positive, with the writing, posting, and planning, along with whatever side hustle I may be entertaining, volunteer work and family responsibilities, and taking care of the pooches, there is not very much time left to unwind and enjoy. Unless of course I can say that all of this IS JOY!
Being alive, having family to love, property to prep, and an opportunity to have some kind of impact on others is JOY! I can say the task of living is not work, drudgery or inconvenient. These things are what life is about.
Make no mistake though, I AM taking today off and going for a Bike ride with my lovely wife on the Vic, then attending the best Parade in CT tomorrow. No matter how much of this JOY I can take, a little down-time never hurts. Just about everything turns back on after you unplug it for a while. With some things, they even reboot and are better. The key is balance.
When the task of life becomes a chore, we need to reevaluate our priorities. In my Book “ 1ST Things 1st” I wrote about dreams and goals that can tend to eat up life and only offer a brief sense of satisfaction after many years of struggle. If the goal robs us of a lifetime of Joy for few minutes of satisfaction, we may have taken the wrong path to begin with.
Take a look at where you are going. Is the destination worth the price of the trip? Like I always say, The Journey is everything! There is no point heading ANYWHERE if the trip to get there sucks.
If you saw a Blue Victory Cross Country in the Litchfield Hills with a guy and his wife smiling on Memorial Day weekend, you may have driven passed me. I’m the guy that waves at everyone.
I hope everyone took some time to honor those that gave everything so we can have all of this. Make the best of life so their sacrifice was not in vein.