Saturday, June 13, 2009

Things I've Learned Recently

I was cleaning the bedroom tonight (try not to faint from the shock) and found some draft blog posts I scribbled out at various times over the last few months. Sometimes when I'm stuck waiting somewhere and didn't bring a book, I'll grab a scrap of paper and start writing. Then I bring the papers home and put them down somewhere "till I can get to them." Months go by, and they get buried under other things to which I plan to get. Then by the time I unearth them, they're way out of date. This time, though, I found some I can still use. Here's the first one:

Things I've Learned Recently

  1. It's impossible to sneak up on someone while wearing flip-flops.
  2. No matter how much you pay for health insurance, your money buys you the right to wait over a month for a doctor's appointment, sometimes while in terrible pain.
  3. It takes 2 people to catch a skittish chicken, and the process involves lots of swearing.
  4. Sometimes we don't recognize the major turning points in our lives till later--sometimes years later. A corollary:Major events in our lives sometimes hinge on small, mundane decisions. And a corollary to that: Everything happens for a reason, but sometimes it's a really trivial or lame reason rather than a grand, cosmic one.
  5. We'd all be better off with more conversations and fewer assumptions.
  6. 5-day-old pizza is gross.
  7. Most hour-long meetings could be replaced with a couple of paragraphs of information that would take about a minute to read. But since we're all inundated with information, we need to hold meetings to get people's attention.
  8. Most hour-long conference presentations could be replaced by a few well-crafted PowerPoint slides that would take less than 10 minutes to read. But since we're all inundated with information, we wouldn't bother to read them, so we need in-person presentations to get our attention.
  9. Despite all the high-tech medical advances, many doctors are still baffled by--and uncomfortable hearing about--pain.
  10. Emotional energy is finite.
  11. When life kicks us in the butt, we can laugh or cry. Crying usually makes more sense, but laughing is a lot more fun.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Then and now

25 years ago today, I graduated from high school. I can't quite wrap my mind around the idea that it's been that long, and I'm sure if you'd asked me that night what I thought I'd be doing in 25 years, I would have had no idea. I remember that I couldn't imagine a life beyond school, so I guess it was a good thing I was college-bound. It freaks me out a little to think how much my life--and I--have changed in the last quarter century.

Then: Scrambling around trying to get all my graduation stuff together and plan my post-graduation partying.
Today: Scrambling around trying to get errands done and move furniture so we can have our new kitchen floor installed.

Then: Driving around listening to Night Ranger's "Sister Christian" and being overemotional about leaving high school behind.
Today: Sitting around typing a nostalgic blog post and being overemotional about it having been 25 years since my high school graduation.

Then: Trying to a) figure out how I felt about a guy in my life and b) get the nerve to let him know once I figured it out.
Today: Glad that that guy is back in my life as a good friend, even though he's many miles away.

Then: Wondering who I'd stay in touch with and who I'd never see again.
Today: Marveling at how many people I've gotten back in touch with (thank you, Classmates, MySpace, and Facebook!) and how much we still care about each other, even though we hardly ever see each other in person.

Then: Looking forward to college with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.
Today: Looking forward to another work week starting tomorrow. My life is much more predictable now, with fewer huge changes, but that's mostly a good thing. I do wonder sometimes what the next great adventure will be, but the status quo is pretty good.

Then: Needing a bigger box for my record collection.
Today: Enjoying the bigger hard drive I just bought for my MP3 collection.

Then: Wondering when my parents would join the 20th century and get a microwave.
Today: Thinking about replacing the microwave they bought a year after I graduated, which we're still using.

Then: Planning what I would take to my new dorm room
Today: Planning what I will put in my currently-being-redone kitchen.

Then: Marveling at how long 4 years sounded when I was a freshman and how quickly it went by.
Today: Marveling at how long 25 years sounded when I was in high school and how quickly it went by.

25 years ago, I was 17, on the verge of becoming an adult but clueless about life, relationships, and pretty much everything else. 25 years from now, I'll be 67, probably just starting my retirement years and contemplating the end of my life at some (hopefully distant) point. So I'm more or less in the middle, between the beginning of my adult life and the beginning of my "golden years." I guess that means I'm truly middle-aged. *Sigh*