Today has been the most beautiful day of 2012 so far. With the temperature in the mid 60s and the sun shining, it was a great day to get out. I ventured up to Evanston and made my way down to Chicago. I walked on the beach and watched the dogs play. I think this could be used as therapy. It is so lifting to see dogs so free and having fun playing with their friends. I do not know how anyone can stay stressed for long with such happiness around.
It seemed like everyone was out today. Along the lake you could see many families and people running. I walked a mile or two along the path and just took in the warm air and sights. I feel so much more alive in the spring when the weather improves. I needed to be outside.
I took a few minutes to find a rock and plant myself. I want to make sure I take more time to sit, take in, and reflect like this more often. For some reason, reflection comes a lot easier around a lively, beautiful place. I reflect about work about 20 times a day, but I need to take more time to reflect about other ideas. Part of me feels almost guilty about not making teaching my life because so many great teachers I know do this, but I truly feel that if I am happier, then my teaching will be better. Life really is all about balance, especially for me.
As I was walking back to my car, I saw benches with dedications. I've seen this before, but I found the plaques to be more personal than what I'd seen before. One was about a woman and it said she loved walking and talking with you. It made me wish I could have walked and talked with her. Another was about a man that was a windsurfer and a harley man on his last ride. How wonderful to think about death as another adventure. I'm not there yet, but I hope as I age and my time comes, I will be up for the challenge.
It also made me wonder what someone would put on my plaque. Last night I couldn't help but realize that I am getting older. Now, I'm not saying old, just older. In my mind I still perceive myself as young. There is still so much I have not figured out and still so much that I need to do. Right now I feel like I'm in the more selfish part of my life, but I know that this will change eventually. I hope that it does before I'm old, wrinkly, and nobody wants me anymore. As I look in the mirror I see an aging face with dark circles. I hope I can always hold onto my youth.