Our parents would say to us “When you have your own house, you can do whatever you want.” and we thought Great! Can’t wait! We were going to be 17, 21, 30 years old and we were looking forward to it gleefully.
We were looking at the Big Picture: house, car, money to spend, going out whenever we wanted, traveling, making our own rules, living without rules, answering to no one but ourselves, doing whatever we wanted whenever we wanted…
We were always asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. There were so many possibilities that we were going to have 5 careers – all at the same time. Because we were extraordinary. We had the super powers of 5 in one. We’d be Einstein and Edison and Michelangelo and Da Vinci all in one. (It wasn’t about the money. And the word ‘layoff’ wasn’t in anyone’s vocabulary.)
Because we were looking at the Big Picture. When we were 5, 10, 12 years old, no one said a word about The Details. And we made plans, anticipating, oblivious to The Details:
And the taxes…
Details. They’re what make up the fabric of our lives – not cotton.
And how were we going to pay for all those college degrees? We had no idea they weren’t free. No one said a word. And we assumed we could go to any college we wanted. Applications? Acceptances? Those were Details. Every college would want us to attend their institution and pay for it as well. Because we were extraordinary. GPA, activities and money were superfluous.
Adults fueled our fantasies and said “Hurry up and grow up.” Because they wanted us out of their house.
mowing the lawn
falling asleep by 10 pm on a Friday night
still needing to visit the dentist
realizing you can’t afford to live to be 100
there are consequence and you will be held accountable
no more trick or treating
no more ‘do overs’
2 weeks vacation time a year
no snow days
That’s the reality of Details that make up the Big Picture. Hopes, dreams, expectations? They’re still in there, but they’ve changed through the years, merging and blending with reality. Some were painted over, some mutated, some evolved, some were dismissed or disintegrated – for a variety of reasons.
On the phone with my aunt sometime before she died, mentioning her aches and pains, she advised me “Don’t get old.”
I laughed. Now you tell me? Too late.