May: What a month…

I suppose it’s the convention to say “how is it the end of May already?” but this month has been full of memories…and as such has seemed pretty vast as I think about it.

The month kicked off with a run on the beach in Florida. I was there to give a speech (which went well! Also a solid start to the month). When I travel for work I kind of just go where I am told but I happened to look at the map and saw that my hotel was about a 10-minute walk from the beach. I also saw that my speech was not at the crack of dawn. So I packed my running gear and enjoyed an absolutely delightful early morning run along the sand, watching the waves. So a useful life hack: Search nearby.

That weekend I survived an MRI — definitely a memorable experience. There was no real clarity provided by all this. My lower back has a pronounced curve and I have some disc degeneration…but so do many people. There is nothing in particular to be done for it so I just keep figuring out how to live with it.

The good news is it doesn’t keep me from living my life — and May had a lot of other cool things. One highlight from the first weekend was hearing my middle schoolers’ jazz band perform in a competition. They were actually really good! It’s fun to hit the stage when listening to your kids’ music is truly enjoyable.

I went to a concert of Bach cantatas downtown on the 8th…and then on the 9th my daughter and I left for Paris. This was such a fun trip, with tons of crepes, walking around town, a Seine cruise, the Rodin museum and the Musee de L’Orangerie, eating on little tables outside little restaurants and, of course, Taylor Swift. However bad my back is, I managed to stand for 5 hours at that concert so go me. I enjoyed spending time with my daughter and with old friends. Paris in the springtime is just beautiful. The roses were in full bloom at the Rodin museum, for instance, and all the birds were singing as we wandered around at night. On our last evening my daughter and I just kept going outside as it was still light and we didn’t really want to leave…

A few days after coming home I went on my shopping extravaganza with Lani. I purchased a bunch of pants at Nic + Zoe and then also bought copies of several of them online afterwards, and and few shirts so my summer wardrobe has now been completely transformed. Which is a good thing. Let’s just say it was time.

That weekend (the 18th) I drove to Bethlehem to see the Bach Choir of Bethlehem perform Bach’s B-Minor Mass. This is my favorite work of music, and it was a more enjoyable experience to hear it having heard so many cantatas over the past five months as I listen to all of Bach. I could place more of it in context. Then my 17-year-old enjoyed his tea party birthday!

The next week featured the fun of my 9-year-old and 4-year-old getting to ride to school in a police car. That was memorable for sure. Then there was Memorial Day weekend with a family cookout and Princeton Reunions (and a solo bike ride!). I got to listen to the jazz band again last night during the middle school end-of-year concert. My 14-year-old hopes to continue this in high school and I hope he will. I love music and I’m happy that my older three children have all made it a big part of their lives. I have a tentative plan to teach the 9-year-old a little piano this summer. He can choose a band/orchestra instrument this fall as part of the school music program, and get lessons through school (which I will supplement with private lessons) so that will be exciting. I think it will help if he has some music reading skills ahead of time.

Anyway, lots of fun stuff. June will likewise be full. School is ending but not before there are several more recitals, an 8th grade graduation, multiple during-the-day school events and outside-the-school-day events. I have this idea that summer will be more relaxed but…maybe. In July or something. Anyway!

In other news: Vanderhacks is now 6 months old! This is my every-weekday-morning newsletter from Substack. Posts this past week included “Enjoy the 2,352 hours of summer” and “Say what you will do, not what you won’t.” The paywalled post was “3 easy ways to build a platform.” It’s been a lot of fun doing this newsletter, so if you enjoy this blog, it’s really just a bonus blog each day. Please consider subscribing! And if you’d like to support my work, a paid subscription would be great.

Have an awesome weekend!

2 thoughts on “May: What a month…

  1. That is great that you were able to get a beach run in on your work trip! A lot of times my meetings don’t start super early when I am traveling so I can often easily workout in the morning without having to get up super early but I usually opt for an in-room workout since the places I am staying are often not super conducive to outdoor runs, with the exception of Chicago which is such an easy place to run in w/ their great lake/river front path! Except I haven’t been there since Feb and it was dark in the morning in Feb so I did not run outdoors…

    Everyone is talking about how buys May is and for me it’s been the opposite since I haven’t traveled since the 2nd week and we have had a very manageable amount of events. But our kids are so young that we don’t have tons of extra things going on – I’ll enjoy this stage while it last, I guess!

    1. @Lisa – Chicago in February sounds a little less appealing for outdoor running than Florida in early May 🙂 I do love when it works out, though, to get a slightly different work out in while traveling…

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