As is the usual rhetoric about this time of year and others like it, I find myself thinking "I can't believe that it is the end of summer already." Why is it that time appears to travel more quickly as adults than as children? It has been a very busy summer. Far more coordinating of schedules than I care for, no camping once again, no visits to Boise to see my family, and less time at the beach than I'd like. But the good as well -- Bear Week in Provincetown with a house full of friends, just a small handful of our favorite summer concerts in the park, and a few mornings of coffee on the patio watching the sun rise.
My work schedule has been crap. The last three or so months I have ended up with only part of the trips that I actually ask for. The remaining trips are assigned to me as a result of my general, default, sort of requests. The trips at the Portland base are a changing! We have tons of three and four-day trips typically involving Hawaii layovers and typically getting home later (me no likey). We have very few turns left here, and just a handful of two-day trips. All of my favorite trips are now taken by senior bidders to me. The airline industry is, indeed, a freaky entity. Changing. Evolving. Never the same. I guess if I wanted the same old thing from day to day, I'd be sitting in an office answering telephones and responding to emails Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm. Right?
I've been hard at it at the gym lately. That is one great thing I've done for myself this summer. I've been doing yoga, the treadmill, and lifting a few sets of weights. I've been working on my core and abs. I've been stretching, twisting, bending. It does feel so good to be in an environment with people who are actually doing something, something positive, for themselves. And I've even twisted the arm of my partner to join me in yoga for his very first time ever. And that has been years of arm twisting, believe me.
I've only been to our clothing-optional beaches a few times this summer (deep sigh). I created this map years ago to highlight them. I was first taken to a nude beach in the summer of 1998. I was absolutely horrified that anyone would possibly think that I could take off my clothes in front of anyone and wander around. After all, as you'll recall, I'm simply not that kind of boy! But, honestly, it happened in 1998. And I haven't looked back. Our beaches are both on the mighty Columbia River. And one of them still, at the middle of August, has very high water that precludes beach goers from using the normal paths which are still under water. Crazy. We had one of the driest winters on record. But we had one of the wettest springs on record. But the scenery at the beaches and throughout the Pacific Northwest is amazing. And so, I go. Not as often as I'd like to, but I try.
I've found myself being irritated far more often than I'd like. Things set me off easily, I have zero tolerance for stupidity and silliness, and I'm finding it difficult to sit for very long without my mind wandering to politics, hateful people, my iPhone or iPad, the Internet, or my continuing struggles with toothpaste being left all over the lid. I'm not sure if this is a product of growing older or if I have unresolved issues in my life that need tending to. And I've even thought that my coffee in the morning doesn't do well by me -- I'm down to just a single cup many days and even that seems to add to the frustrations. As much as I take advantage of the many technology pieces we have available to us today, I'm just as much upset with having it available. I'm a trees and water and wind and dirt and sand and skies sort of person. And I'm not getting enough of it.