Saturday, August 31, 2013

A sense of perspective

My favorite shot of the trip. Man contemplating John Singer Sargeant portrait while I contemplate scale and perspective.
We are home. After a crammed full week of visiting friends and colleges for our rising Senior daughter driving up and down the Eastern Seaboard I am tired.  Even with gracious hosts and tasty meals and comfy beds I was still grateful to get back to my own bed and work.  

I am also grateful for the time to take this trip while folks covered for us at the shop. (THANKS CINDY!)  It really gave us a sense of perspective to look at a college a day and see how even when they ostensibly have the same fine arts programs the coursework, the teaching, the emphasis, the campus, the goals and the student body could be so completely different.  Frankly, it was fascinating.
You are dead a lot longer than you are alive. Perspective from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts .
My poor kid was overwhelmed about her options.  But being her mother's daughter, she immediately started organizing her thoughts. She also quickly realized that she did, indeed, have opinions that I don't think she realized that she had. Yes, she did want to go to an urban school with larger collaborative classes.  That she preferred a large, diverse student body, that she liked the hopping, active  campus over the serene, contemplative one.  I must admit, I was a little jealous.  When I was her age, I didn't recognize that I did have options.  I was always the pragmatic one, taking what came in front of me and making the best of it. I ran my whole career that way, and frankly I have had a wonderful life but these visits really make me think about roads not taken.

 The reason Bob was nagging me about going into Fanuiel Hall was that in 50 years of going to Cape Cod he had NEVER been inside? Who knew?  The Docent loved the kid's Dr. Who shirt.
And for chucking my successful corporate career at a time when that income would be contributing a great deal to the options that are ahead over the next few years.  Would I trade this time?  This total  self-employed, make all your own decisions, fly or die by your own petard,alternative to the average Washingtonian lifestyle for cash flow and snappy shoes? For the ability to actually join my extended family on vacations and replace the crappy carpeting that slowly and surely becoming an embarrassment?  No, not really.  Standing back my perspective is that I have served my family.  My kids are kind, strong and smart (although they REALLY miss the cleaning lady), my husband hasn't stroked out from stress (although some days he does still have self-inflicted high blood pressure) and I still have more plans, goals and dreams then I have time and money.  It's a good place to be.

Thor waiting for his people to return.  All the time in the world.