Saturday, September 20, 2008

Trip Up Memory Lane

I took a trip down memory lane this week.

I tagged along with Marc on his business trip to Nashville. It was my first time there and I didn't know what to expect.

We stayed at the gorgeous Gaylord Opryland Resort & Conference Center.

Marc was at the conference fulltime, so I was on my own for the most part.

Flying out we realized it was our first trip together, without Seth, since before becoming parents. Seth stayed home with our nanny. We didn't want to take him out of Kindergarten, as he is new at the school and all is going well so far. We'd like to keep it that way and not disrupt his routime.

So, while we were away together, we were basically ships that pass in the night due to his meeting schedule.

That said, I passed the time doing stuff that would interest me more than him anyway. This included shopping, getting a massage, and listening to music.

I discovered a surprising, newfound appreciation for musical expression. I had always heard about Nashville and it's music roots, but to experience it first hand is something I could not anticipate.

I went one evening to the famed Bluebird Cafe, where Garth Brooks got his break. I found myself totally captivated by the four songwriters who performed their own material. They had a great rapport, and such talent and hunger for success. You could feel them itching to be discovered (like many who come to Nashville), and you wondered if they would be. Some had already had their work performed/recorded by accomplished artists. Others were hoping for that, and one, in particular, the female of the foursome, wanted a recording career of her own.

What really struck me was the notion of people chasing their dreams with such a passon. And, the incredible talent of songwriters.

As an author, I've always loved the written word and its power to move people, but I never thought much about those sitting down to write a song. I do love Broadway, and being a long time theatre fan, I am in total awe of people like a Stephen Schwartz who wrote Wicked, Godspell, etc. But, to see someone sitting on a bar stool and strumming the heart out of a guitar or pounding the keyboards, was really raw and moving.

Mostly they were playing country tunes or ballads, but the final song of the evening caught me by surprise. I immediately recognized the pulsating beat. It was from Flashdance. How I had loved that movie! The song was Maniac, and it took me back to that time. Back to the days of cut off leggings. Back to a time when I would go dancing with friends at clubs. Back to my pre-motherhood and pre-marriage days.

Wow...if felt like a full lifetime ago. And, it made me remember how at that time, the world felt like my oyster. And, I too, had dreams to chase.

While I still have dreams, they're certainly not as easily pursued once you become a parent. Life is more complicated, and time feels tight. That's not to say it can't be done. And, we should stay true to ourselves and endeavor to keep those dreams alive.

So, I found myself thinking of this quick jaunt as a trip "up memory lane." I can still look up and reach for the sky, even though I've retired my leggings and disco shoes (at least for now). And, while I may do more chasing of my son than my dreams, I remain true to my aspirations. Seth would want it that way, and I feel lucky to share the ride with him to see where his life takes him as he evolves.

He'll have his own dreams, and one day I'll play the soundtrack from Flashdance for him.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Sandwich Generation Day: Cycles of Life

I have blogged on this subject before, and at the risk of being redundant, I feel the need to share my experiences of yesterday.

I am calling it a true "Sandwich Generation" Day. And, I wonder if you can relate. I'd love your feedback and to hear your experiences if you'd like to share.

Like many, I'm sorry to see summer come to an end. We had such a blast at our community pool, and I will really miss it.

Not only do I find the change of season a bit challenging, but yesterday, and this whole week, for that matter, I find myself in a somewhat conflicted emotional state.

Seth started Kindergarten today, and I took him to meet his teacher and to see the classroom and classmates. It feels surreal that he has hit this stage of his education. He loved the school, and got particularly thrilled when he asked the teacher if they go on class trips. She said yes, and the first trip is to a firehouse. Well...she couldn't have said anything better for Seth. Firehouses are his most favorite place in the world.

I am both excited for him and a little melancholy that he is growing up so fast. Part of me likes that there are more and different experiences we can have together, yet I like to cuddle with my little buddy.

It just gets me thinking about how fast time goes in general, and the cycles of life.

After returning from Seth's school, we met my dad at the diner for lunch. He was celebrating his 90th birthday! G-d bless him. I am so eternally grateful to have my dad in my life, despite his health challenges and not feeling up to par. I lost my mom 10 years ago, so his presence in my family's life is all the more treasured. And, my sister and I are planning a surprise birthday luncheon for him this Saturday, with family and friends. I want to savor our time together.

Such major milestones in the life of my son and dad this week!

Leaves me with a lot to think about. But, since I am the queen of overthinking, I'm keeping myself busy so I'm not too alone with my thoughts. The last thing I want to do is get teary eyed, though sometimes a good cry is the best release.

I am both sad and happy. I want to take note and rejoice in each upbeat moment and not let my emotions get the better of me.

Have you ever felt this way?

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