My 20-year college reunion is a month away. My two good friends are very excited to go. And I’m not as excited. I have mixed feelings about reunions.
It’s just about 30 miles away so it’s not a huge investment of time or money. Why not.
I lived in a liberal bubble back then. I thought my campus was the world and was shocked when I found out that wasn’t the truth. Plus now, my political views have shifted more to the right. So that mismatch doesn’t strengthen my ties with the school. I stopped making alumni donations when I got a better financial handle and decided to stop until all my student loans were paid off. I just made my last payment in February . And, where’s that extra money going? Not to the school, sadly. I’m investing in yoga and spinning instead.
Reunions are like going to a huge party. I’ll see people I sort of remember. We may pretend that we actually care and lots of harmless conversations. Sometimes there are promises of seeing each other again. But we all go our separate ways and forget. I tend to think that if there’s anyone I would’ve cared to stay in touch with, I already do. I sound like the least friendly person but I just enjoy more intimate smaller circles of friends. Networking and parties are not really my thing. (I’m going to laugh at all this when I probably will end up having a good old time at the reunion. I have a feeling my insecurities come from a career break. Read on.)
I’m middle-aged and taking a little break from the career trajectory I was on. I had the option to work part time from home and be home for the kids. Being a mom is the hardest and yet the most rewarding job. Their smiles, hugs, conversations, achievements fill my heart. I dream and think about how I want to be in leadership roles again at work. Work in an organization (right now, my work is freelancing so it gets a bit lonesome) sounds thrilling! The reason is working with your own children can be maddening! Right now, I’m dealing with kids who won’t respond to anything I say. I know work has its issues too but it sure feels like I’d have more control than I have with my own children. (Thing about freelancing though I don’t miss the adult drama at work! How much time gets wasted on misjudged feelings, misunderstandings, unmet expectations, and more!)
What I want most of all in the mom gig is to have raised happy, confident, independent-thinking children. It would be my greatest accomplishment and my only wish to have healthy relationships with my children. Curious to hear from parents and children on what they appreciated most or would never do again, in terms of child rearing, childhood experiences, parent-child relationship and such. My kids are in Kinder and preschool – I’m out of the crazy baby years and loving this mode before attitudes and opinions and rolling eyes (it’s already started in small doses).
And, finally, if my awesome husband is reading this – know that you are the BEST daddy and husband ever. This life, with you, is, as the kids would say, BESTEST EVER.