Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Grand Friend"

Today I am going to my nieces' school for "Grandfriends day." It is their version of grandparents day and this is the third or fourth time I have gone as Erin's friend. I am sure old enough to be her grandma and since both her grandmas have passed I am glad to stand in their stead.
They always do some cute little thing. One year her class sang"When I'm Sixty-four." That was a hoot since they all thought 64 was ancient. They wrote little stories about it and they were a riot. All they talked about were wrinkles and being weak and having grandkids and dying. Oh, if they only knew that when they are 64 they will still feel young inside. They don't know that people who are 64 fall in love and start careers and write books and garden and play sports. Their idea of 64 was more like our idea of 94 or even 104.
I don't plan on living to be 104. It seems like an unlikely goal. An unreasonable goal. I had a conversation with my daughter about unreasonable goals. They discussed them at their morning meeting at work. They chose personal and business goals. The business goal seemed completely doable to me and then she started listing the personal goals of some of her colleagues. One girl wants to live in Europe for a year. (Not too hard, she could do one of those English language teacher things), one girl wanted to got to graduate school and publish a book.(Seemed reasonable to me.) My daughter wants to finish and sell her script. She has been working on it off and on for a few years. (I know she can finish and possibly sell it too). I mentioned to her that none of those goals seemed unreasonable to me. Even the business plan they have is completely doable. And guess what, that was the point!! Things that seem unreasonable or unattainable may be perfectly reasonable in the light of day when shared with others.
The kids in Erin's class had goals in their stories about being sixty four years old. Many of them wanted to have multiple careers. You know like rock star, soccer ace, and pro football player and an accountant. That was just one boy! Some of the girls chose a traditional path--motherhood, being a grandma, teacher, a ballerina and a rock star. All at the same time, I guess. They knew nothing about unreasonable goals. To those kids, it was all possible. They were insulted if some adult laughed. I tried not to laugh at any of them. They should think life is full of possibilities. Why should they feel limited at eight or nine years old?
We self-impose limitations. I wonder if by the time we are 64 we can rid ourselves of the restrictions and go for our dreams? Some, I am sure, do. I hope I am one of them.

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