Long term visioning and planning has never been my strong suit. I’m not a plodder and tend to leap before I look. Reading the news from the class of 1987 in my college alumni magazine is a humbling reminder of how productive the frogs are who plan for a few hops ahead.
Reading the class column becomes a blur of fabulous jobs, PhDs, throngs of uber-successful offspring, just finished books, and global volunteering stints. How do they do this? I admit that my focus can be a bit wonky but I have an impressive energy level. I just don’t understand how some people squeeze so much from their 24 hours. The back pages are filled with frogs who must have an extra gene for planning their lily pad track.
As I put down the magazine and pour my umpteenth cup of coffee, I remind myself that people who report into their colleges thirty years after graduation are in a high-achieving micro-niche. Most of us garden variety frogs don’t remember that much of college and have trouble with our next leap let alone tidying up our leaping image for people we haven’t seen for three decades.
I’m positive that no one wants to know that I’ve arrived at a stage in my life with my husband and four kids where I have found the time to shower regularly, garden a little, walk the dogs, prepare lots of meals, and herd my imperfect family through the day.
Matthew is fascinated by my alumni magazine in the way that you can become interested in a stranger’s story overheard at a restaurant. He pulls the glossy edition from our mailbox and grins.
“Oh look, my alumni magazine has arrived.” He emphasizes the my.
We read it together and laugh, not at my classmates’ lives but at our fallible selves. Matthew and I have attention challenges at the opposite ends of the spectrum. When we operate together, we form a rather well-functioning unit. I push him to leap and he reminds me to look. We agree that together we might be alumni magazine worthy.
Several years ago I had an essay published in my alumni magazine where I told the story of how skydiving with my oldest son prepared me for dropping him off at college. It was the only time I’ve made contact with my alma mater since I graduated. Perhaps my classmates think I’m too busy skydiving to get a PhD.