Yes, the blog title was a reference to Monty Python. But, …, I believe we would all agree that there are certain points in our lives in which our perspectives change. And I mean, I massive turn. It’s like you liked candy, and now you don’t. What is it that can cause these complete changes in perspectives? Well, let’s go with my experience. Experience trumps book knowledge. End of story.
So, what has changed? Well, harrumph, my son has just earned his Ph.D. from N.C. State University in physics. I flew down from Michigan to North Carolina to witness the defense of the Ph.D. thesis. It was successfully defended. And although I didn’t ask any question during my son’s presentation to the Ph.D. committee members, I did think of a couple afterwards, and we discussed them over a few adult beverages. Well …, imagine that.
And I just wanted to chime in with an alert that my perspective may change from here on out. I mean, let’s think about this. When I was growing up (let’s say, early 20s), I thought being a successful parent was a fairly mighty endeavor to undertake. I mean, there’s a lot of effort that goes into it, years and years, and there is no promise of any reward, but if I were to try to come up with a mental picture of what a successful parent is (for me, please understand, there are different pictures for each individual), it would be witnessing my child earning a Ph.D., and indeed being there as it is awarded and receiving appreciative nods from the Ph.D. board members who enjoyed working with my son for the last 6 years.
And so, it is finished. And yet, there is more to come. And that is what I am understanding at this point in my life. Here’s what I’m telling myself: you can have a 20-year plan, and take pride in executing the plan, and rejoice in the success of your children, but …, and here’s the realization, … it’s just a start. Whoa! Really? Sigh. I dunno, but at the end of it all, it all makes sense. Life is a journey, not a destination. (Not that you can’t have some way station destinations along the way …)
So, here’s what I’m asking, if you’re trying to follow along. Think about what your life goals are. And then ask yourself, what do you do after the day that you see that lifelong dream realized. I understand that this is likely a scenario that does not really apply to a lot of people’s situations, but I have to deal with what I’ve been dealt. So, let’s see. Deal it in your winnings, or just go with a new hand, go with new relationships that will (if given the right impetus) will result with equally satisfying life long goals. But, …, life long means a number of years to play it out. Do I have it in me? Ha. I dunno. But I’m glad that life has presented me with an opportunity to make a choice. That’s golden.