Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Reflections of the Way Life Used to Be

Every morning I leave my house around 8:00, sometimes 8:15 if I’m running late. I drive about 2 miles before I pull into the parking garage across the street from my office. I get antsy when the mechanical arm takes too long to let me in and about half the time I can hear my tires screech as I rush to find the closest parking space. I pull into the first one I see (sometimes passing by a few spots that are too far from the stairs/elevator), I throw the car into park, yank up the parking brake, scramble out of the car and head for the stairs. I take the stairs mostly because the elevators in the garage are painfully slow, even from the 2nd level, where I usually am able to park, but I also use it as a pitiful excuse for physical activity on the days I skip the gym. But I digress.

Once I leave the parking lot, I carefully, yet somewhat speedily, make my way across the cobblestone street (in heels, no less!) and head through the double doors of my office building. The stairs are not an option for two reasons: 1) we’re on the fifth floor and I’m not so dedicated to my wedding dress weight loss plan that I’m going to arrive at work huffing and puffing and 2) once I actually made it to the fifth floor, unless someone had propped open the door to get out of the stairwell, I’d be SOL and have to go back down to the lobby and take the elevator anyways. Once in the elevator, I anxiously watch as my fellow passengers swipe their access cards and select their floors, hoping they are all going to the sixth floor and that we won’t have to stop at floors 2, 3, and 4 before I can walk to my cubicle, pop open a diet coke and log in to my computer to start my work day.

This morning, as I was rushing through this process so as not to be late for a 9am meeting (I got in at 8:15, but I just hate being late), I thought back to a simpler time, when mornings were not rushed and were actually enjoyable. When was this time, you may be asking. Perhaps it was in college? Nope, I never had morning classes so, for me, mornings did not exist for those four years. The time I’m referring to is high school.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t go back to high school if you paid me. So much drama, so little time. But back then, mornings were fun. I hated getting out of bed, just as I do now. But once I actually got to school, the routine was much more fun than my current one. I would not say that my group of friends was part of the “popular” crowd, but we had our routines and our habits. Every morning, those of us lucky enough to have our own cars (not me) and those who every now and then drove a parent’s car to school (sometimes me) would park in the north east corner of the north parking lot, leave the engine running to continue listening to music or morning radio shows. Groups of three or four would congregate in these cars (the carless would hop in to enjoy the shelter and warmth on a cold, rainy winter morning). We would sing along with the music, or chat about the various goings on in our lives until the first bell rang and we would scatter to first period.

We would reconvene in our little corner of the Bullard High world at lunch, balance lunches on the trunks of cars to enjoy the sun and chatting and flirting in a larger group. Some people would scramble to finish homework due in fifth or sixth period (not me, I don’t work well under pressure and stress). Everyone knew everyone’s business, because even the best kept secrets spread through whispers or notes between classes and we were all very close for the most part.

Most days, I love my grown up life and wouldn’t trade it to go back. But sometimes, I miss the camaraderie and the daily conversations with my closest friends. Too often I let days, weeks, and sometimes months go by without talking to the friends that I hold most dear to my heart as I rush through my work week and race around on the weekends, doing all the errands I can’t get to during the week.

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