here in Burlington, Vermont. My twin girls will be seniors next year so I’m heading into my last year of parenting kids in high school. I’m finding myself feeling uniquely nostalgic. I’m not sad about the inevitable transition, but I am mindful.
I have friends whose oldest or only children are graduating on Friday. It’s big. When my son graduated from high school in 2014, I was sort of a mess. I believe there’s just something about transitions that requires us to take stock of our emotions.
The summer between my junior year and senior year of high school was rough for me. I had a lot of friends in the class above me and they were all leaving for college and other adventures. Every time during their senior year when we played a ball game, sang in a concert or went to the drive-in movie theater it felt like we were saying goodbye to our childhoods.
Last weekend in South Dakota I got to spend time with some of those friends who graduated a year ahead of me. It was great! I simply cannot believe how much time has passed…1983 and 1984 just don’t seem all that long ago in some ways. I’m very aware of how my daughters are feeling this last summer before they graduate from high school…perhaps even a little too aware.
I guess to honor life’s transitions, we need to slow down a little and try to understand what it is we’re feeling…the good, the bad and the slightly confusing.
With the help of Voltaire, I’ve created a quick reference to help with my ever present procrastination. I refer to things I’ve left undone as an “open loop”. I can put a quick circle to illustrate whether I’ve just started, I’m in the middle or only have just a little bit left to “close the loop”.
“Perfect is the enemy of good is an aphorism, an English variant of the older better is the enemy of good, which was popularized by Voltaire in French form.” (Wikipedia)
It’s worked pretty well for me so far, except when I get struck by the beauty and simplicity of the shape and start researching circular song lyrics, photographs or poetry…baby steps, Lisa, baby steps.
Every year I have such grand intentions of how I’m going to show my love to my family and friends and every year I fall a short of my intentions and beat myself up a bit. I’m no longer going to miss out on the little moments of the season because of things I DIDN’T GET DONE. That’s bullshit.
This year, I’m forgiving, no celebrating myself for all of the great ideas I’ve had and didn’t accomplish. It’s those little moments with our loved ones, people in line at the coffee shop, grocery store or our bartenders for that matter that make the holiday special anyway. I’m going to be jolly and generous like Santa out in the world, that just sounds fun, right?
So now it’s December 19th and I’m putting one package in the mail for a very special little girl who will more thrilled than anyone on my list to receive a package. I will tell the people in my life I love them and not think twice about what I didn’t get done. Tonight, a Christmas lights drive with my family and spaghetti at our favorite family joint.
Have a very Merry Christmas and be ridiculously kind to yourself this year.