Monday Musings (late on Sunday)

This morning, on our way to Phoneix’ Sky Harbor Airport ( and isn’t that a perfect name for an airport?), I remarked that the next mountains I saw would not be those hazy purplish ones surrounding me on the horizon, but the huge grey slush and snow mountains piled beside the roadways and in corners of parking lots.  Sure enough, there they were as soon as we stepped out of the airport, at least 10 feet high and craggy, blackened with grime and carbon exhaust, flanking each corner of the parking lot.

Each time I travel in winter, and return from whatever sunny place I’ve been lucky enough to escape to, I’m struck anew by the contrast in lifestyles between those of us in the wintry climes, and those who live (or at least winter) in places where the weather is always warm.  It’s the difference between the ridiculous and the sublime…this morning, I left the majestic, sun filled desert and, in a matter of a few hours, was thrust back into a world of leaden skies, pitted roadways, and snow covered heaps. 

Sigh (of sadness).

As you may have guessed, we thoroughly enjoyed our four days in Scottsdale – after all, what’s not to like about sunshine and 78 degrees?  It’s very different than Florida, and although I was fascinated with the mountains and the desert plants, I admit to missing the greenery and flowers that are so abundant in the tropics.  But I learned tons of things – about the Saguaro (sa-whar-o) and Cholla (choy-a) cactus, about Frank Lloyd Wright, about fabulous bronze art (Dave McGary), about the best place to have lunch (Elements, at Sanctuary) and dinner (T. Cooks at the Royal Palms) – and in spite of all the “learning” managed to find time for a glide down the Lazy River in an inner tube at the Desert Ridge Hotel

Sigh (of satisfaction).

But now it’s Monday – or almost at any rate.  My Monday is shaping up like this  – a three hour rehearsal with Classical Bells (substituting for my friend Millie, who has another week in Scottsdale, the lucky girl), followed by an hour rehearsal at the high school (in preparation for District Choral Festival on Thursday), followed by a couple of hours at my office in an attempt to make ready for the week ahead.

Sigh (of  foreboding).

And while I’m trying hard not to complain, I know the rest of this week will be a very stark contrast to the past four days of reading, relaxing, eating, drinking, and most of all, laughing, with two very good friends. 

Of course, no one can “relax” forever.  Truthfully, I often feel guilty about all the “relaxing” I’ve been able to do this winter.  I guess it’s the Puritan in me, or those Scotch Presbyterian ancestors of mine with their darn work ethic.  I’ve been able to have so many lovely mini-vacations this year, four or five days away from work and winter, and even though I know I work hard and do my best job all year round, I still feel guilty and undeserving about having all this time off.

Why is that?   I have always considered myself as someone with good sense of self esteem, someone who thinks “she’s worth it” when it comes to life’s pleasures.  But I am prone to anxiety and guilt about the possibility of shirking my responsibilities, fearing any small loss of the reputation I have built for myself over the years.  

So if the Byline is quiet this week, you’ll know I’m working harder than ever to make up for all the fun I’ve been having.


So how about you?  Do you ever feel guilty about having “too much fun”?  Is it even possible to have “too much fun?”

And how is your week shaping up?


12 thoughts on “Monday Musings (late on Sunday)

  1. I have one of “those weeks” also. Appointment Monday, parent conferences Tuesday and Wednesday, essays to read, School Carnival Friday night, and work at home on Saturday. It does seem to go in waves. I got a mini-vacation in Spokane Th-Sat. at a teacher conference with a great group of teaching/writing friends. Good food,conversations, new writing done, and sunny weather. Bliss.

  2. Glad to know your trip was as good as you’d anticipated and that your travels were safe. Re: East vs West: we were in Arizona last Feb and had the same impression: beautiful in its own way, but long term, not enough green to sustain our souls. As for North vs South:lifestyles in winter climes ARE different…harder living, that’s for sure. There’s an energy there that intrigues me, but mostly, I’m glad to be away from it.

    Now, as for your guilt: sounds to me like you’ve been temporarily afflicted with the white, middle class female” syndrome…you know,where we’re never quite deserving of…whatever. Good grades? Oh, it’s only because I’m going to this school vs that…etc, etc, etc. I’m betting that by the end of this week you’ll be cured!

  3. Oh, boy, do I identify. While our generation of women know intellectually that we deserve the good things, we still find ourselves occasionally hearing that little voice that sings a different tune. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip. Breaks are good and you deserved it. There.

  4. I’m so happy you had a wonderful and relaxing week! I’ve had many moments and times when I thought life couldn’t get any better.. and those are times I hold dear for reflection on days that I need it most. Never feel guilty my dear. Life is too grand and too short. xo

  5. I have days when all I can do is think about work. Then there are times when I want to escape to New York. I live in the Florida Keys but I swear I could spend days alone at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  6. My dearest Becca ~ You sounds just like me here! I don’t know why we resent our own joy… But I know we shouldn’t! We deserve every bit of joy the world has to offer, and when we are happy, we inspire others to do the same for themselves 🙂

  7. Hi Becca! Thanks for dropping by my blog. 🙂 Email me your address (acertainslantoflight at hotmail dot com), and I’ll send you out some of my photo postcards!

  8. I have come to realize that people define ‘fun’ in various ways.
    I think it is fun to set goals and work hard. I never feel guilty for that!

  9. This is the week where space begins to open up for me. I’ve just taught the last in a series of 20 classes tonight. Yesterday, I said goodbye to some voluntary work I’ve been doing for the past 12 years, relieving me of 6 afternoons a month commitment. It feels good to have fewer responsibilities. Guilt for fun? No. Never. And your trip sounds like it was just great. (Thanks for the pronunciation hints on the cactus names!)

  10. I think as women, we are “programed” to feel guilt. We have been raised to feel we have “obligations” and that if we sit still and relax, we are doing nothing…we are idle. And that has never been a woman’s “role”. But times have changed drastically in this society — it is up to us to shake off that guilt. I think you have done yourself a wonderful favour by having all these mini vacations…and if you’ve done them “right”, you will feel rejuvenated and re-vitalized. I’m glad you have had these opportunities and have made the most of them! Hope you have a fairly stress free week!

  11. Your trip sounds like heaven! You can never have too much fun and it’s good for the soul.

    The sun has made me joyful and a haircut, fabulous!

    Don’t work too hard.

  12. Did you just hear yourself – “each time I travel in winter and return from whatever sunny place I’ve been” – yes, you are lucky, lucky! Sounds like you had a fabulous trip – and you deserved to have some fun, so don’t be all work and no play now. 🙂

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