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?