Drawing Rooms

Dear J-

It has been a long time since I manufactured some outrage to be outraged over (meh, who am I kidding: it’s been a few hours, probably since the last time I was awake) but I worry about kids giving each other complexes and the name calling that goes on while your back is turned; you can’t watch them all the time I know but sometimes you wish your voice was around like Jiminy Cricket telling them these words have no worth, the confidence you have at four should be what guides you forward, albeit a bit more cautiously. The kids are all right now but are we already going past the limits of our expertise? There is a strong possibility that I’m out of my depth, again and as always; who knew anything about raising kids until I came along, right?

Or whatever. I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last. We keep moving forward in the same fixed patterns of life, like the inevitable wind coming over the top of the Peninsula or the rains that will refill the reservoirs and lakes. I guess I don’t know necessarily that our kids will be better of than us, financially or otherwise, and it pains me that I can’t seem to sock away enough money, but that’s the breaks you earn. All the interesting parallel lives that run, all the possibilities that we keep spinning around will lead us not to what’s fated but rather to what’s needed. Are we like Candide, to be led into an optimistic blind trust, or do we trust ourselves enough to know what we want and how to get it?

Where does dissatisfaction turn into ambition? Or is that rather the other way around? Four years out of school I was talking a good game of how this was still temporary and how I’d be back eventually, earning a doctorate just like the rest of the smart folks. Twelve years and a president later, I’m stuck on — or is that free of — the notion that I don’t need those three letters to tell me what I know. We let words define our lives, so it’s important to choose the right ones that accurately reflect what we want to hear. Falling into the full dark of day we don’t need to be downtrodden or dispirited as we tackle new weeks and every day new challenges, right?

Mike

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