Wednesday, May 2, 2012

there goes another year

It has been a long time since I wrote anything. If you are still reading, thanks for hanging in there! Life just hit that level of busy where blogging fell off the priority list. I last posted just before the kids birthdays in February. I found myself blocked while trying to write the annual 'there goes another year ' update. Much as I love when others write endearingly of their growing children, and much as I adore my kids, I found myself unable to come out with any sincere or satisfying happy birthday posts. The fact that they turned 6 and 4 within a few days of each other and that the intervening time was filled with a business trip to Japan and China, that their fairly elaborate party was two days before I left, and that I had to generate 60 home made valentine cards for them to take to school/preschool before leaving for the trip made the week too overwhelming to write about. The fact that we survived it, and that everyone had a wonderful time has to go down in old fashioned memory, and a couple of facebook status updates, rather than in insightful prose.

What has pulled me back into writing again is that we are spending the weekend in Monterey, exactly a year from the last time we made this same trip. I'm running in a marathon relay with my co-workers (I run seven miles, not a whole marathon, I hasten to add), and brought the family down for a little mini break in this idyllic California tourist town. We are in an identical motel room, I think it is actually the room next door to the one we had last year, we ate an identical breakfast at the same Denny's restaurant (waffles. Geekygirl actually had waffles for 4 of the 6 meals we ate on the trip!) and spent another beautiful day at the aquarium. We dined at the same Mexican restaurant we went to last year with the rest of my co-workers, and again I got up at 4am to catch the bus to my relay race starting point, wondering again what on earth possessed me to sign up for this venture.

I'm not a very "in the moment" person. My head is usually recreating the past into ever rolling reinvented versions of the future. On the "Meyers Brigg", if you are familiar with that personality type tool, I'm an extreme "N', iNtuitive, living in the world of possibilities and connections, and not at all Sensing, grounded in reality and concrete things. The only time I get peace from my mind is when I run. There is something about the simple awareness of lungs, heart and muscle connecting with air and ground. Noticing the adrenaline kicking in and lifting my old joints into fluidity. Feeling the sun prickle my skin as the sweat rises. (In California. In Scotland it was the biting, icy wind). It was training for this event last year that reignited my dormant running addiction, and I feel quite satisfied that I'm going into it this year feeling strong and trained.

It was running that started me blogging. Analyzing events and retelling them to myself as stories in my head as I ran, I realized that I wanted to write them out so that I didn't lose all these moments to time.

I have used running to meditate through a lot of changes this year. Coming full circle back to Monterey in what seems like the blink of an eye has me turning them over in my mind again. Geekydaddy quit the business he was trying to start and took a new job, one that he loves but that makes huge demands on his time and mental energy. Geekygirl started Kindergarten at a wonderful, but challenging inner city school that makes demands on mine. My company merged the San Francisco office with the one in San Diego into a "one company/two locations" model, bringing with it the stress of forced change, rivalries, opportunities and the logistical issues of working with people in an office 500 miles away. I have become a regular on the Virgin America early flight from SFO to SAN, and the children now have more toys from that city's airport gift store than I had ever thought possible to buy.

The kids were delighted to be back here in Monterey. For them it is a treat, pure and simple, and they are thrilled with the novelty of a trip away from home, tinged with the familiarity of a place we have been to before, a place of happy memories. It was a weekend of simple pleasures. Time with mummy and daddy. Motel beds to jump between, jellyfish to look at, sand to play in, french fries and waffles to eat. Sure, mummy and daddy spent part of an afternoon working in the hotel room fending off dive bombing bed bouncers, but all in all it made for a lovely family weekend. I'm fascinated that the kids have both hit that age when they will form permanent memories. Forty, fifty or more years from now they will still remember this motel room in Monterey, and these trips to the amazing aquarium, much as I remember the little hotel in Maidencombe with the swing in the garden and the too deep swimming pool, and the red sandy beaches of Torquay from the holidays of my childhood.

That's what this blog is about for me. Preserving memories, feelings, moments in time. There is always something to write about. Recently I have felt that I haven't had time to write well enough to justify posting, worried that I will throw down posts that I cringe at years later, but I have decided today that doesn't matter. Writing it down is what matters. On that note I hereby apologize in advance for any mindless drivel that appears here in the near future.