Monday, June 27, 2022

Lady Pix

 I'm dog-sitting Beagle-girl Lady for Composer Brother. So for his birthday, I made him a newsletter of Lady pix that I've taken since she's been here the past few weeks. I'm posting them here for posterity's sake. And because no one reads my blog anymore, least of all my family. Ha!  Here we go:

Here's the birthday card:

Friday, June 3, 2022

Letter to My Niece


Dearest Niece,

Your father shared with me that you are taking a break from college. I will tell you that I did something similar when I was your age. In between my high school experience (at the infamous Wakefield School) I took 2 years off before going to Mary Washington. I lasted 3 semesters there before I took a break off to be a nanny (amongst other things). It would be 5 years before I returned to a different college, and I essentially had to start over, so that I wasn’t graduated until I was 32. But when I went back, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I’d also had more life experience and was a MUCH better student!

I think part of the problem was that there’s an attitude that you have to choose a major and therefore a career and start adulting and know what you want to be when you grow up. It seems like such a permanent decision. Unless you have a clear idea of what you want that also requires a college degree (doctor, teacher, lawyer) then it’s really more about “leaving the nest” and learning how to make decisions, manage your time,  how to do laundry and other self-care tasks, or how to get along with roommates. Well, you’re already an expert in that regard!

What I would tell myself at your age—and so I will tell you, is that you don’t have to have it all figured out. AND, most importantly, you can change your mind. Very few decisions are permanent. The woman who wrote Legally Blonde, actually did go to law school—and left. Ricky Gervais didn't write The Office until he was 40. I know that seems sooooo old right now, but somehow time speeds up and you’ll be there soon enough!

Your tastes and interests will change. So will your friends because they reflect who you are now. Being a young adult is about finding out who you are. That is the wisdom of Socrates: Know thyself. When you know who you are, and have a sense of what you want to do, it makes it very easy to say, “No, thanks; not for me,” or “Yes, please, I’ll have more of that.”

One of the ways I evaluate anything is to ask: Does this energize me or de-energize me?  This goes for spending time with people or on a particular task or job. I love art and reading and writing and so many things. I would rather gnaw off my own arm if I have to sit through meetings or do taxes. That eliminates a few things off the “What do I want to do” List.  Now, when I was in college, I had to take Macro-Economics in order to get my education degree. It was taught by a hideous man who spat when he spoke—and I sat in the front row. Ughhhh.  But it helped to remind myself why I was in the class—for a larger purpose. So I am not saying, don’t do anything you don’t want to do. That’s what being an adult is, having to do stuff you don’t want to a lot of the time. But when it comes to who you spend time with, what you do in your leisure time, make sure you enjoy it. And if it’s a necessary task that you don’t particularly enjoy (cleaning, for example) then put music on or listen to a podcast or book and make it enjoyable. If it’s a person who sucks the life force out of you, then limit your time with that person. You are not obligated. And—if someone tries to make you feel guilty, they are trying to control you. That goes for any kind of relationship. Seriously. Don’t take the ticket on the Guilt Trip. Eschew it. 

Welp. I think that will do it for Auntie HaHa’s Life Lessons. I love you no matter if you get a degree now or later or never.

Sending MUCH LOVE,