Wednesday, August 25, 2010

what am I going to be when I grow up more?

I am way too old for "what am I going to be when I grow up". I am now starting to turn my thoughts to what am I going to be farther down the road. I am retiring from my current job in 7 years. I will be 55 and eligible for retirement. I definitely want to take it, but at 55, I will be far too young to stop working.

So what's phase II? I don't think I want to stay in IT beyond that point. I have found it interesting, frustrating, challenging and boring, depending on the task and the day. It has been a good living, and I am thankful that I lucked into the field. It has afforded us a pretty nice life. But I have been doing it for more than 20 years, and that's plenty.

I am thinking community college administration, or some sort of administration of distance education programs. Maybe. Or Consulting. Business process re-design, maybe. I have 7 years to get the necessary credentials/education to do something different. So I don't have to rush to decide, but I do need to start thinking it that direction.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

a walk in the woods

The weather cooperated this weekend, and I got to spend some time in the outdoors. It makes such an immense difference to my mood. It really and truly restores my spirit. I feel in harmony with the world when I walk in the woods. The scent of damp earth, the crackle of leaves below my feet, the crunch of stone paths, the incredible green green smell of growing things. It wells up and fills every rough edge, every disjointed spot in my soul.

Sometimes I think the basic thing wrong with the world is that we are too removed from this. Simple things like wind on your skin, sun on your back, bird song filling your ears. We need it at a basic level, to remind us of who and what we are, and of our place in things. Spend too much time removed from it, and I think we forget. We start to see ourselves as bigger, stronger, smarter than we are, and then we start thinking off-shore drilling is no big thing, another skyscraper is just what we need, and we can master wind, water, earth.

We need to see ourselves as part of the natural world, not opposed to it or over it. The best way to do that is to just get out in it. GO OUTSIDE and play. It's good for you.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

reunion thoughts

I went to my 30th high school reunion last night. It's the first one I have been to. I haven't stayed in touch with more than one or two people, so it was an interesting experience.

I went to a very large suburban high school in a fairly wealthy area. My graduation class was over 700 people. It was filled with cliques, and I didn't really fit in anywhere.

I didn't have a good time in high school. I felt very different, an outside trying desperately to be an insider. I had a job from the time I was 15, and that left very little time for typical high school activities like clubs, sports or socializing. I dated very little, and usually only a few dates with any one person.

Wanting to fit in, I tried to hide large parts of my self. I pretended I was dumb, as much as possible. I even shaved points off my own test scores, getting a few wrong on purpose, so I wouldn't get 100s. I don't think anyone knew I was addicted to reading, and read just about everything I could get my hands on. I definitely hid my love of sci-fi/fantasy/comic books.

I desperately wanted to be blond, wear the right clothes, have the right boyfriend, go to parties and be cool.

Last night was fun. I got to see what 30 years does to change some things. And how some things don't change at all. I watched the cool girls, who pretended I didn't exist back then, still look right through me. 30 years ago, I found that crushing. Now I was kind of amused. Some of these women seemed so sad, so pathetic. I saw how some people blossomed, and some withered. The surprise successes and the equally shocking failures. Some folks hadn't seemed to grow or develop at all. In 30 years.

There were people I couldn't recognize at all, even though I knew them. And the same was true in reverse. There were people who remembered me, that I could not recall; and people I knew, who didn't remember. Some folks really did not age well at all; others looked better than they had in high school. It was like some vast science experiment -- we applied 30 years to this group, and here is what happened. Fun to observe, at least in the abstract.

I had been dreading going, really regretting that I had decided I needed to go. But I really did enjoy it. I loved the feeling that I was free. High school really is over and done with. The yardstick I used then measured all the wrong things and I could finally toss it out.