All my life, April has symbolized for me a “hunker down, tie up loose ends, add another year to your age” month. This year, it turned out to be an inflated caricature of all that.
Years ago, as a developmental studies and education instructor at NMHU, I tried to impress upon my students the need to practice sensible time management. Plan ahead, budget your time, set goals, determine priorities and work toward meeting them incrementally, allowing for potentially unforeseen obstacles. This month, I found myself subjected to my own preaching.
With a tentative list of commitments penciled on my calendar, I was ready to rumble. Yeah, tax time. By April 1, I had all my documents ready and was set to do the honors, but dawdled. Shame on me!
My son, Eli, and his wife, Heidi, were expecting their third child April 18, but medical factors dictated that early labor be induced. Thus, instead of undergoing tax shock, Wednesday morning, April 6, found me on my way to Albuquerque to witness the birth of our sweet baby. At 5:47 p.m., Analeia Nicole arrived, healthy, beautiful. Proud granny, assured that all was well, I left the hospital, got home by 9:30 and proceeded to the next phase(s). Item 1 off my list.
Next item, a Senior Profile interview and subsequent article. Whew, done and submitted, well in advance of the deadline. On April 12, I let myself attend a fine reception for current and former employees at NMHU, met President James Fries and spent a couple of hours enjoying the company of former colleagues. Jim Mandarino, Highlands’ alumni director, commented to me, “I haven’t seen you in a while.” My inept retort, “I haven’t seen myself for a while.” We chuckled. Items 2 and 3, checked off.
OK, time’s a wastin’, now I had to do my taxes. Deep breath, a lot of sweat, but within a few hours, I was writing off checks to the feds and the state. Pain! Item 4 checked off after a trip to the post office Wednesday, April 13.
April 15, free of tax woes (well, kind of), I spent the morning with delightful young ladies at this year’s Girls Can! Event. I had a great time as hostess for local chiropractor Em Krall’s session. Item 5 done.
Now, I pause with respect and sorrow, as I learned of the sudden death, on April 16, of my beloved friend, mentor, relative by marriage and role model, Olivia Herrera of Wagon Mound. Needless to say, it was a shock, and I called my son to tell him of his godmother’s passing, proceeding to inform other relatives, as well. It was a sad day.
Now, having anticipated her niece’s being born on April 18, my daughter, Ileana, had booked a flight arriving on the 23rd. It was the day of Olivia Herrera’s funeral, so Ile couldn’t attend. Nevertheless, she promised to come to Las Vegas the next day. She did, and with her friends, Melanie and Victoria, my daughter and I spent Thursday touring Las Vegas and reminiscing about good times past.
Friday, April 24, saw us all in Edgewood spending time with the new baby and family. Eli, Heidi, my other grandchildren Elijah and Mariana, Ileana and friends, the new little one and I spent the day visiting. A nice family reunion, of sorts — the first in two years. By 3:30, Eli had to go to work at Legacy Church, where he is the multi-media director.
I, too, took my leave, saying goodbye to Ileana, who would be returning to her job as creative manager for Fox 13 and KCPQ in Seattle. I needed to work on an article I had promised for La Voz del Refugio. Yes, I submitted it Saturday. Item 6 done.
Easter Sunday! Back to my “regular” schedule — church, giving myself a congratulatory brunch break at Charlie’s and looking forward to a rest.
Not to be! I couldn’t relax. The events of the past three weeks kept streaming through my consciousness, so I took pencil to paper and charted an analysis of my activities to see if I could figure out why I was so preoccupied. It worked! What I realized is that the source of my problem is that I had sat too much.
Twenty hours of driving, 25 in church and hospital, 40 hours of visiting and restaurantizing, 15 hours of composing/e-mailing writing assignments. No wonder I was so tired. I hadn’t sat so much since I was a college student.
I also turned 65 in April, and I’m too old to sit my life away. Chien, my dog, and I are launching out on our regular regimen — nice, brisk walks along Las Vegas streets — rain, sunshine or wind. Maybe now I can regain my energy level.
Lupita Gonzales is an educator and member of the Optic Editorial Board. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.