The Juggle

Reflecting on Katie’s post, regarding time flying in undergrad and grad school, I attended my daughter’s college graduation this past weekend!  If you are a recent undergrad, I am indeed old enough to be your mother…but even if you are old enough to be MY mother, you are not too old for GSLIS.

I have a wooden sign in my kitchen that reads, “You are never too old to change what you want to be when you grow up.”  This might sound like a trite quote from the mid-life crisis crowd, but the sign has hung in my kitchen since I was “only” 32.

Becoming a part of Simmons GSLIS was a huge lifestyle change, and if you read my earlier blog entries, I certainly had my share of anxieties. If you are part of the older crowd, you know what I mean about the great balancing act, but younger students have to strike their own balance, too. They don’t have it any easier than we do.

Neither of us has more to juggle, we just have DIFFERENT things to juggle.

If you are like me, you will remember all the stresses of being 22 or 32…job stresses, boyfriend demands, apartment hunting, financial woes, all the stress of defining oneself, and even the bad hair days!  Those have changed some as we have aged…now it is a spouse, kids, a home, a long commute (because homeowners generally can’t move close to school, especially in this economy), aging parents, aging bodies, and a bad hair day just means a new gray lock has appeared!  It might sound like we have more to worry about, but we also have a lot more experience to help us deal with it all. Remember that first big family event you hosted at age 25?  The stress, the worry, the need to clean and clean, and cook and cook, impress the in-laws, etc.?  Now, you have the old stand-by recipes for kabobs and salads and after decades of marriage, you don’t need to impress the in-laws.  If they don’t like you now…

As my daughter prepares for her first apartment and grad school at age 22, I see her stress level rise over things that no longer worry me, but I am busy worrying about different things. It is eye opening to recognize that we aren’t that different. You are not too old…you will juggle whatever it is, and if perhaps you have more balls to juggle as you age, remember, you’ve been doing it longer and have the skills to be successful!

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