Last night I returned from a trip home for my 20th year high school class reunion. Talk about painful fun. No matter how comfortable you get in your own skin, walking amongst the ghostly memories of adolescence with people who lived them with you has an interesting effect.
People you loved, admired, and respected. Or maybe not. People you laughed with, laughed at, and who laughed at you. People you fought with and made up with. People you wanted to beat and who wanted to beat you. People who helped each other. People who know where you’re coming from. And whether you like it or not, these people shaped a lot of you in some way or another.
After the dinners, I was so excited to come home and tell my parents all about what Ben or Dave or Kyle was doing, and they listened. But they weren’t nearly as enthusiastic as I was. After putting four kids through school, they struggled to remember the faces and names that seem so clear to me: “That was so long ago, Terri.”
Geesh. Was it really? I swear we all looked the same. Talked the same. Expressed ourselves the same way, only better. Six hours one night, and eight hours the next, flew by, and I still didn’t get to talk to everyone like I wanted to.
I can conveniently omit whatever I want about myself when I go bravely into the big world; with these 88 people, I’m stuck. But I don’t mind, and I’m not sure why. Accountability? Necessary humility? Familiarity? Don’t know, but I had a great time. Just wish more of us could have showed up!
Twenty Year Later…Any Regrets
One theme of this blog is giving up a career for your kids. As I journeyed to my reunion, I looked back at the twenty years–pharmacy school, medical school, residency, career, and now staying home. Every minute was worth it, and I’d change very little, except the ability to have more confidence and to shed worry with more ease.
I am having a blast staying home with the kids, and for now, I don’t want to change it. I don’t get bored. Every irritation is a problem to be solved.
Clothes all over the floor? Where can I put hampers to stop that.
Backtalk and hate stares? How can I use more words to explain what I think and feel to prompt them to explain to me in a conversational voice what’s happening in their growing brains with words?
Math struggles? How can I help? What can I change? The learning environment? A new technique for long division?
Eating junk food? How can I explain anti-nutrients and nutrients to them so they can look at food as “function” rather than taste alone?
Are they on the computer too much? Perhaps I am, too, and I need to get off and read aloud to them or read a book to myself.
Am I feeling personally unfulfilled? I try to pursue things I have wanted to do and never had time, like learn Spanish and understand piano theory better. I don’t know how I became a nutrition learner and started this blog. I never desired that. Oh, well.
The kids are growing older, and I keep myself open to change. People ask, “Do you think you’ll go back to work when the kids are older?”
Couldn’t tell you. I am here today. Twenty years ago I was there. For now, we are content, and that’s all I ask.
Are you content? Are there any creative ways you can find to get there if you’re not?
All the best, always–