On the plus side: I had a great birthday! My family arrived and, picnic gear assembled, we headed to our city’s outdoor ampitheatre for dinner on the lawn and an Apollo’s Fire concert of music by Vivaldi. Apollo’s Fire plays baroque music using period instruments, and Vivaldi is often my favorite composer, so it was a wonderful evening for me. The last time I heard The Four Seasons performed live, we were in St. Chappelle in Paris on a simmering summer evening; Saturday evening was as delightful, and a good deal more pleasant insofar as temperatures were concerned.
On the downside, no sooner I had resolved, as I described in my last post, that the future would hold more time for family and friends than . . . it didn’t. As I opened gifts on Saturday evening before our picnic, I learned that my daughter had spent the previous several days organizing a surprise birthday party for me for the night before! A party that had been cancelled because I was conducting a funeral that evening. I was crushed when the surprise was inadvertently revealed by my son (who assumed that I must have known by then) ~ I had had NO idea and have always wished that someone would plan a surprise party for me! Well, as a friend pointed out, I did get my wish . . . someone did plan a party.
A few nights later, I missed my book club, a bi-monthly gathering of women friends, because I was en route home from an out-of-state training event. I am so often flummoxed in my efforts to spend more time on my own relationships, and so disappointed when my work intervenes; I am beginning to see retirement as a necessity more for creating time with those I love than for anything else!