My annual tradition of reflecting on the previous 12 months on the summer solstice took a little delay this year. It's three days later, but here I am, back on the hillside of Donner Park, just as I was last year, writing my annual solstice post. A really nice breeze just kicked in off the mountains -- a welcome relief to the 97 degrees it was just two hours ago.
I'm writing on a new laptop, listening to my iPod on new headphones. These updates are a sign of the update in my life over the past six months: I'm back to being a full-time employee. Twenty-four weeks have already passed since I started the new job, which I'm lucky offers a somewhat flexible schedule and the ability to work from home or wherever (the new Mac helps). The full-time paycheck has been great. The job has had its ups and downs -- it was much more stressful four months ago -- but the benefits of stable work and a consistent check have been worth it.
What is giving me serious pause is that I'm feeling pulled away from the goals that I set for myself years ago. Goals I hadn't quite achieved. Goals I keep saying each year I'm close to, but never reach. Goals that now seem further off than ever as I pound my way through 40 hours of editorial work every week to go with countless hours of fatherhood. Lori wants me writing more. My friends who have read my stuff want me writing more. I want to write more. Yet here I am, writing more, but not topics of my choosing. The sun is ducking behind some clouds that are pushing across the west, and it's a good metaphor of where I feel I'm at: so close, but obstructed.
The reasons I'm three days late on this post are both good and annoying. Sunday, the actual solstice, was Father's Day, and I preferred spending my evening with my family. Tuesday, the boys had a swim meet that ran late. Both more important. Monday, I was just worn out from work. With the boys all over for summer sports, and Michael in a basketball tournament later this week, I needed to crank out productivity wherever and whenever I could. By 8 p.m., I was too exhausted to sit up here on the hillside and write. That's frustrating, and something I haven't yet reconciled with my situation.
A streak of orange is emerging from the top of the cloud line, so no sunset yet. I'm not actually going to see it dip below Antelope Island this year. These past 12 months have been the quickest of my life. I say that every year, but this year was ridiculously fast. I can't slow it down, but I can make the most of it while it's here. I've been contemplating another blog for sometime (not the one I've been contemplating for years, but another one), and I've been researching how to start it. Tonight, I sign up, pay my 60 bucks to have it hosted, and begin. It will take a few days to get it designed and get some content written, but there's no sense waiting anymore. I don't want to be hidden behind those clouds any longer.
I can see a little sliver of red between the tops of the mountains and the far west/bottom edge of the clouds. The sun is setting, I am barely catching it, but it's there. Maybe the sliver, the little glimpse, is all I need.
Until 2016, I depart from this hillside. I'm looking forward to what I'm going to write then.