Friday, May 30, 2014

The End of Something

Today was the Musician's last final. Her high school days are over. And you know what? I don't feel too bittersweet about it. High school had too many difficult spells for her, for me to feel sorry that it is over. Looking at it with adult wisdom, I think high school is difficult for everyone, perhaps largely because these are difficult years in general. Teenagers are very often overemotional and immature, leading to a lot of what my youngest calls "teen angst" and creating those who the Musician calls "drama llamas." And high school is their world. If a co-worker was catty, for example, I generally wouldn't have to see her in any context outside of work. High school kids are stuck with each other during the day, for after-school activities, at parties, often even times at their entry-level jobs. Teens have to work out their own growing issues while everyone else around them struggle with theirs, and often clash. Even though my daughter was more popular, made more friends and was involved in more than Mr. BTEG or I did in our time, there's always those that don't like you, and teens can be all too nasty about letting you know.

Of course, having a daughter who's graduating high school can be a reminder to me that I am growing older! I try not to feel too badly about it, because I wouldn't want to be stuck in my 30's with two little girls forever, either. But it's a little bit difficult seeing my mother get depressed as she gets deeper into her twilight years (she will be 80 this year.) I feel concern for her, but I also hope this is not a glimpse into my own future. One of my big fears is outliving my body, so that I'm stuck in a nursing home for years, or even outliving my mind. And even as a Christian, I think death gives us all a pang at times. Even so, my mother can still live on her own, even if she doesn't have as much energy as she used to do, and her mind is intact. There are blessings there.

For the present, I'm going to celebrate my daughter's achievement!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

I'm pretty sure I've talked previously on this very blog about how college isn't all it's cracked up to be, at this time. You don't really get a true liberal arts education anymore, and it seems silly, with college so expensive, to take a bunch of classes unrelated to your career aspirations. In other words, say you want to be a teacher. You can get all of the education classes you need (and I'd argue whether all of those are needed) in about two years or so. Why put in more time and money (and we can be talking big money), when you could be out earning your living instead?

So, we've come to the point where the Musician is finally graduating from high school. And guess what? She... doesn't want to go to college. She's not sure what she wants to do with her life, and she's not really up for more classroom work at the moment. And it's a little bit difficult for me. I know that she is making the right decision for her. I'm proud that, in her current part-time job, she is showing that she is willing to work to earn money, and she can handle showing up on time, etc. But. Just about every other one of her classmates is going to college. She and I won't have shared experiences of dorm life, crazy professors, faking your way through long term papers, bad cafeteria food. In the end, though, she's an adult. It's her life now. She's extraordinarily stubborn (she shares THAT with her mother!) and tenacious. If she ever decides she needs a college degree, she'll find a way to get it. I hope she's happy wherever life takes her.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Trying Again

I have to admit, it's been crazy around here. I've had so much more energy and drive since the surgery, but too often I can wear myself out so much that I am exhausted for the next day or so. I'm hoping to improve my stamina and tackle things I never felt up to before.

Right now, the household is kind of on a countdown to June. The Musician will be graduating from high school. She's working and trying to figure out what she wants to do with the rest of her life, while she looks forward to her graduation. The Dancer is having a dance recital in June. She is in six dances, which required six costumes, a few of which needed sewing work. Costumes never come completely finished, I suppose to fit the size vagaries of hundreds of kids. Also, the studio owner and teacher asked me for more of my sewing help than I've given her in the past. Out of seven pointe costumes, for example, six needed alterations, including the Dancer's. The bodices are largely made out of a foam with stretch velvet over, and they've been weird to work on. But besides a lot of people being impressed by my skills (which is always nice) we're getting a tuition break this month against the hours that I've put in.

On top of all this, I've been getting more involved in the doll collecting world, which has led to me putting more time and effort into my collection. It's nice to have a fun and relaxing hobby, and I've met a lot of great people recently on the internet, but I've also missed this blog. I've missed the people that I know from here. Which means that I'm going to have to make an effort to write here again. I hope to see some familiar faces around, and maybe meet some new ones!