Thursday, June 30, 2016

Getting In, Part 13: Orientation

There is something about the whole college process that feels a bit like running headlong into a field of the unknown. You read pamphlets and websites. You talk things through based on all sorts of unknowns, and you make decisions based on knowledge that seems spotty at best. And then you just hope--that your judgment is good, or that your adaptation skills are first-rate, or that the unknowns were really more known than you thought.

And then, suddenly, there is a bridge of sorts, called Orientation. While you may still be entering the unknown, you can stroll a bit before running headlong. While you may not learn everything, you can get a clearer picture than any brochure or website can deliver. While you may still (as a parent or a student) not feel 100% ready for the changes to come, you feel at least 80% more prepared.

When I think of all the jobs I've begun with barely a word of orientation, I am even more grateful for these days that are beginning the transition for us all. With orientation, you not only feel better, you can perform better. With orientation, the field of the unknown suddenly becomes the space of the (at least partly) familiar. Turns out that "getting in" isn't just about arriving. In the best of worlds, it's also about knowing what to do--and feeling good about doing--when you get there.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


It used to feel as though life was full of endings--endings of jobs or gigs, endings of classes or activities or childhood stages. Endings that were pulling the rug out from under us, each time we might start to feel comfortable.

As the school year comes to one of those endings, I am struck by how quickly it seems that something that feels as though it just began has ended. We have met the expectations--or not. We have conquered the challenges--sometimes. We have rendered ourselves ready for the next steps--maybe.

In a life full of endings, it is easy to get caught up in the mourning for what is over, in the emptiness of losing what is familiar, in the fear of the unknown that is coming. Yet, with most endings comes a beginning. Rarely do we just end one thing and not start something else, even if the something is just a small step in another direction. So, at these times of ending, we can afford to be excited, not afraid. At these times of ending, we can let ourselves be full, not empty. At these times of ending, we can allow ourselves to celebrate, not mourn. What we know may be over, but what we can know next is just starting. And if we get too caught up in the ending, we will miss seeing the beginning of our next big thing...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

When Days Blend

As my schedule becomes more and more overnight, I feel the days blending into each other, and I find myself wondering...

When days blend, what is breakfast and what is dinner?

When days blend, what happened today and what happened yesterday?

When days blend, are there seven days in a week, or more? Or are there fewer?

When days blend, what is the recommended daily allowance of calories?

When days blend, is it tomorrow or today?

When days blend, is it very early in the morning or very late at night?

When days blend, is 11am sleep bedtime or a nap?

When days blend, do weeks go faster?

When days blend, is this today's blog or yesterday's?

When days blend, is the bill due now or twelve hours ago?

When days blend, will I ever really know what day or time it is...?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Getting In, Part 12: Commencement

I have to admit, when we began the whole process of "getting in," we weren't actually thinking too much about the "getting out" that would go along with it. And so, graduation just came upon us--the cap and the gown and the goodbyes to something we'd just (or not even) said "hello" to. As hard and involving as the "getting in" process was, the "getting out" seemed like just a matter of getting dressed and showing up.

At each stage, whether it's a few months or a few years, whatever we're doing feels as though it will last forever (whether "lasting forever" is a good or a bad thing). And then, in a moment while our backs are turned, what we're doing is over, almost as if our doing it was just imagined. And we find ourselves at a new place, with new challenges, hopeful that those previous ones have left us sufficiently prepared.

In the blink of an eye, the caps and gowns, and all the things that came before them, are over. I guess it's not so much about "getting in" anymore. Now it's about getting started...

Friday, June 24, 2016



Soap writers rarely considered preemption a good thing. The usurping of soap air time by a breaking news event meant that their careful plotting of cliffhanger Fridays was upended, or that scenes that they had written and seen produced would never air.

I get it, believe me. No one wants to see hard work go to waste. And no one wants perfect timing to be compromised. But every so often, don't you wish you could have a little preemption--stop the clock for just a moment, so that you can catch up, step back, redo? Wouldn't you sometimes deal with a little inconvenience in order to buy a little time or breathing room?

So, maybe, once in a while, we let "breaking news" (or anything else "breaking" in our lives) preempt our regularly scheduled events. Maybe, sometimes, we allow the world to step in and alter what we have created. Maybe, just maybe, we even create a preemption of our own, just because. And we hope the stories and cliffhangers still work. Because no preemption, no matter how necessary, should get in the way of telling our stories...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I read recently that some of the brightest, most successful people spend their lives up against deadlines. While they may create masterpieces, they also often wait till the last possible minute to accomplish what they need to. It is, perhaps, a trap. But maybe it is also an opportunity--to harness need and pressure in order to up the stakes in what we are creating.

I confess, though I am not in the habit of doing the work the morning of, I have certainly had my last minute moments. Whether it's staying up late because something took longer than expected, or scrambling to write a post or finish the laundry that should have been done hours ago, I suppose we all sometimes find ourselves up against a deadline. We know what we do for that deadline. The question is, what does that deadline do for us? Does it make our head spin so much that we can't do quality work? Or does it make our head spin that much faster to use the best of our creative juices?

A deadline, as the word suggests, puts us in a situation of having to save our own lives, whether what we are saving is simply a schedule, or our pride, or something more significant. Will we let the deadline flatten us? Or will we let it take us to new creative places, where the pressure of time and the excitement of raised stakes combine to make us more than we thought we could be? I may not be waiting till the morning of to find out. But I can't help be moved by the power of the deadline--the stakes keep me writing and reaching and trying to make the deadlines without being flattened. Whether it's a week ahead, or the day before, or the morning of, we can all find brilliance in the deadlines. They keep us on track and in motion. And I'll take that kind of motivation any day.

Ups and Downs

I have often defined ups and downs by the external--the downs being the times out of work, rough patches at work, kid disappointments, and the ups being stretches of employment, life milestones, or a dress that fits just right. But as I wander through life, the line between up and down is increasingly blurred. And what once may have seemed external turns out to be a lot more internal than I thought. After all, it's very possible to be employed, but unsure. It's very possible to be between jobs but full of life. It's very possible to look great in a dress but feel not so great in your own skin. And, while up and down may appear to be opposites, they are often just different parts of the same experience.

I remember, as if it was yesterday, the days when I was out of work, just trying to make it through the day with some progress and with minimal tears--clearly, a time of "downs," a time I am grateful to be past for now. The key, I suppose, is to put the other "downs" in perspective, and to try to keep the "ups" in sight at all times. There will always be ups and downs. But just as we get past the big "downs," we can get past the smaller ones too. Until we find ourselves headed back "up."

Monday, June 20, 2016


Look, and you will see what you think you see. Look closer, and you will see what is real.

Look, and you will see what you want to see. Look longer, and you will see what I may not want to show.

Look, and you may see the big picture. Look more carefully, and you may see the true picture.

Look, and you can see how I feel. Look again, and you will feel how I feel.

Look, and you may blur the details. Look with more focus, and the details will come into view.

Look, until you think you understand. Look a little deeper, and you'll really understand.

Look, and I will appreciate your interest. Look too closely, and I will question your motives.

Look, and see who I am. Look once more, and I will see who you are.

It's all different under the microscope. Maybe better close-up, maybe not...but different...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Different Morning

It would have been an early morning. A baseball game first thing, cleaned uniform, ready to play, edge of our seats. But it was not meant to be. The playoffs ended early, and not in our favor. No disaster, just a different morning.

It is not the first time that a morning, or a day, has turned out differently than expected. From the mornings after a job ends to the mornings when school is off-schedule, we have become used to managing change. Sometimes, the change leaves room for new experiences and adventures. Sometimes the change opens our eyes to sights we never would have seen. A different morning can leave us off-balance, not quite sure of what to make of the bright light and the day ahead. It's not always easy to put aside expectations and patterns. But jobs change. And seasons end. And days are not quite the same. But we manage. We move on. And we learn to get past what we have lost and embrace what we have gained.

It was a different morning than we expected. And it turned into a different day than we could have imagined...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Expected Unexpected

Once again, a yearly trip for the car's state inspection has resulted in not the nominal inspection fee, but a not-so-nominal "the car won't pass inspection without this" repair fee. I would like to say this was unexpected, as was the lack of sleep created by the logistics of the repair, but sometimes, what we call "unexpected" is really just denial of "expected." Things may not always turn out the way we want, but often, they don't turn out that differently than we expect...

We want our homes to be neat, but do we really expect a neat apartment when we walk in at the end of each day?

We want every resume to get a response and every interview to yield an offer, but do we really expect to be noticed and wanted here, there, and everywhere?

We want our children to eat well, work hard, and play fair, but do we really expect all this to happen without any input from us?

We want there to be raises and discounts and streamers and balloons, but do we really expect every day to be our lucky day?

We want right to be rewarded and wrong to be punished, but do we really expect "justice" to be that clear?

We can go through our days being surprised, or we can learn a little along the way--whether about car inspections or about orderly apartments or about the people in our lives. It's not a question of giving in. It's simply a matter of expecting the "unexpected."

Friday, June 17, 2016

Do You Believe In Magic?

I used to believe that if you worked hard, and did the right things, not only would you accomplish your goals, you would, every so often, be privy to a little bit of magic--an event that went exactly your way, a surprise check in the mail, an unexpected moment, not just of greatness, but of glorious impossibility. Perhaps not too logical a thought for a well-schooled person like myself, but nonetheless, I believed.

As I make my way through life, it is not so simple to keep believing in magic. Hard work and persistence may still pay off, and I appreciate that. But those transcendent, beyond-cause-and-effect moments are fewer and farther between. Whether it's a heroic baseball play that never quite happened, or theater roles that never materialized, or exciting work calls that never came out of the blue, or no invention of chocolate cake that could be eaten without caloric ramifications, the magic just doesn't always happen. There may be plenty of cause and effect--working toward goals still matters--but that little extra, the effect of nothing in particular, is harder to come by.

So, in a world where the magic appears less often, can we still afford to believe in magic? Can we still hope for those events that surprise, those experiences that transcend?

Answering "no" seems like the wiser, safer choice. When we're not expecting magic, we are less likely to be disappointed when life is just, well, life. But answering "no" also means accepting "just," expecting no more than the expected. And I guess I just can't do that. I would rather keep believing, just a little. I would rather keep hoping that life is just a little more.

Do you believe in magic? I guess it's a decision we continue to make every day...

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I Am Responsible

Among the hardest things about parenting is making the transition from taking responsibility for your kids to making your kids responsible. After spending so many years doing for, and protecting, and paving the way for, it's not easy to ask of, expect from, and watch them walk away.

Most of my own transitions have been more from personal necessity than from any particular transition-making talent on my part. The changes in my jobs, work locations, and hours have led the way really--when work no longer took me in the direction of or at the time of school, we ushered in more independent transportation. When my hours made me unavailable to be the short order breakfast and lunch chef, people suddenly learned a bit of food prep. When I became unreachable because of bad cell phone reception or an all-quiet set, people learned to make decisions that always used to require my help.

Granted, had my own transitions been earlier in my career, the effects would have been different, as my kids would have been too young to adjust on their own. But I would like to think that the transitions that have sometimes battered me--battered us all--have also been my partner in teaching responsibility. Often, we rise to what we really can do only when we really have to, and we all have risen just a little when it has been necessary.

Transitions aren't easy, but when we allow them to make us rise, rather than stumble and fall, we can come out of them stronger, smarter, and more able to take the responsibility we we may never otherwise have intended. And for me and my kids, that responsibly is a step well-taken.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Order Of The Day

Back when I was working in soaps, the day was practically ruled by a one-page (and eventually, multi-page) document called the the Order of the Day. It listed scenes to be shot, including page numbers, actors involved, sets to be used, and fictional time of day. By the end of a production day, each department's copies of the document were marked up differently. The PAs indicated when set of scenes and actors were finished. The producers might have notes about why certain scenes had taken longer to do, production problems that lengthened the day, or actor notes to remember for future. The costume and wardrobe department would have indications about costume changes, while the stage managers might have information about blocking and actors to call in preparation for certain groups of scenes. So, while it was a document generated ahead of the day, it was a "work in progress" all day, to the point that it might even be rearranged to accommodate unexpected changes or delays. Even after the fact, the Order of the Day might provide insight useful for future production days.

It has been a long time since my day was governed by an Order of the Day. On some shoots, there has been a Call Sheet, a similar, but not identical, document. But most days, whether in life or at work, the order of my day is unscripted, a minute-to-minute process for which there is no roadmap and of which there is little after-the-fact documentation.

There are days when I revel in the lack of structure. My actions are not forced by a piece of paper generated by someone else. My day can flow as it does, without the feeling of always trying to keep up with "what should be." Some days, however, I long for an Order of the Day I can follow, one that will hold me accountable for accomplishing a certain number of things by a certain time. One that could help me to anticipate the people I'd be seeing and the locations and props I'd be needing. For me, this Order of the Day could even include the "nap item" about which we always joked (working at night makes a daytime nap not just a luxury, but a necessity).

For now, I manage my days without such a document. Do things fall through the cracks? Probably. Am I missing out on the perspective I might gain from analyzing them after the fact? Perhaps. Is my day-to-day life far less efficient than the production of a daytime soap? Practically without question. We can't always have a roadmap for our days--sometimes our Order of the Day is simply the steps we take as we take them, and the choices we make in the moment. And we just have to do the best we can scribbling, and anticipating, and knowing when to say "moving on." Because some things that used to be just don't live forever...yet, somehow, we live on without them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Eyes On The Tonys

I love the Tony Awards show. Not only is it a really entertaining broadcast, these days, it is a wacky combination of a glimpse of the shows I haven't had the time or money to see and a reminder that I actually live in the city where it is all happening.

This year, there were additional reasons to be excited, as two of the winners were people with whom I've worked. It's not that I'm looking to drop names, but it is worthy of note when someone whose work you've seen close up is recognized for work you've seen only from afar. It is inspiring to see that someone who came, at least partly, from the same place as you has gone so far. And, of course, it is nice to see good things happen to people you know from personal experience to be good people.

So, this year, I watched the Tonys with slightly different eyes. Though I don't work in the theater, and perhaps I never will, I felt oddly connected. Though I was sitting far from the theater (well, actually not that far), I felt close. Though I ended up editing news packages about the event, I felt more emotionally invested than ever. And, on top of it all, I was reminded of how lucky I've been to work with creative, talented people like these throughout my career.

The Tonys are over for another year, and I can't help but wonder where I'll be and what I'll be doing when they roll around again next year. Will I have made creative choices or worked on special projects? Will I still be right where it's all happening? Through what eyes will I watch the Tonys then...?

Monday, June 13, 2016

What I Did For Love

Do I enjoy baseball because I love the game or because I love the child who's playing it?

Do I consume the meals I do because I love the food or because I know it's good for me?

Do I love the snacks I do because they're good for me or because they help the stress?

Do I do the work I do because I love the work or because I love the paycheck?

Do I love a paycheck because it buys me things or because it buys me purpose?

Do I love purpose because I want to do something good for the world or because I just want to do something?

Do I love doing for the whole wide world, or do I just love doing for my own little world?

Do I love where I am in space and time, or do I love that I can just feel a bit landed in some space and time?

When they sing it in "A Chorus Line," it seems so simple. Not easy, perhaps, but simple. What do I, or any of us, do for love? It depends on the day. And upon how much of ourselves we are willing to give over to "doing for love."

Perhaps someday, I will know exactly what I do for love, perhaps so clearly that I will do only for love. In the meantime, I'd better keep kicking. Because even if don't "do it for love" every time, whatever "it" is still has to be done.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Venn We Look Closer

The hours of work and the hours of home may fill separate circles, but there is overlap in what the two give us.

The lists of what we want and what we need may fill separate circles, but if we are lucky, there is overlap between the two.

Our interests and the interests of our children may seem to exist in different circles, but if we are flexible, and have taught them to be flexible too, there is common space that we share.

Our favorite people may seem to exist in different spheres of our lives, but every so often, a few drift into more than one.

There can be so much disconnection, but when we look closer, it turns out there is a great deal of connection as well.

Sometimes, it seems hard to reconcile the pieces of our lives that just don't seem to fit together. But when, as in math classes from our youth, we lay them out in their separate places, we find that they overlap much more than we realize. In the Venn diagram of life, we find the pieces we share and those that we are not as different as we thought. It may sometimes feel like too many different plates to spin. But Venn we see them together, they make up the well-rounded people we really are.

Friday, June 10, 2016

On Task

From time to time, I have bemoaned the fact that in some of my kids' classes, if they showed up and were basically "on task," that was considered enough. Isn't it the school's job to look for more than just "on task"? Why should "on task" be enough?

I've been thinking about that phrase "on task" recently, particularly on the days when I am tired from an overnight shift or overwhelmed by the number of plates I seem to be spinning. After all the times I have railed against "on task" as a good measure of achievement, I find myself  wondering--is staying on task sometimes the only, if not the best--thing you can do?

When I come from an overnight, there are plenty of things to be accomplished, but perhaps "on task" really means sleeping and letting everything else go.

On days when one of my kids has a show or a game, there may be many directions that need to be followed, but perhaps "on task" really means showing up and cheering with abandon.

At times when someone in my life is stuck or struggling, there may be rooms to clean and bills to pay, but perhaps "on task" really means setting aside the rooms and the bills and offering my full attention to the stuck and the struggling.

I don't think I have completely changed my feeling that "on task" is just not enough. But sometimes, perhaps being "on task" is simply about focusing on what needs the focus right now. There is always time to do more. But in some moments, showing up and being "on task" is, perhaps, exactly what the situation needs.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

To Rewrite History

Some days, I wish nothing had ever changed. That ABC had never cancelled its soaps. That I was still traveling each day, like clockwork, to a familiar building on the Upper West Side. That I was making a salary I could count on. That I knew what my life would be like from day to day, week to week. It would be perfect, right? After all, it was perfect then, right? Right??

It is incredibly easy to rewrite history, to make the past better (or worse) than it really was. For me, that means glorifying the regularity and the friendships and the paycheck. Those things were great. But the rewriting that includes those tends to leave out the hours away from home, the long days, the second-guessing about room for advancement. Was it a wonderful time in my life? Sure. But have there been other wonderful times since that wouldn't have occurred had that situation stayed the same? Absolutely. That's how it is when we rewrite history. We spend so much energy on reliving what is past that we forget how much we actually owe to the present. For me, that is the home time I rarely had when I worked in soaps. For me, it is the scrappiness I have developed with the safety net gone, and the range of opportunities I never would have discovered if I'd never been forced to move. For me, it is the new chapters (and a daily blog) that never would have been written. 

I can rewrite history to make the "then" the best thing that ever happened, and the "now" the worst. But the truth is, it's somewhere in between. It is in that "in between," that we find the real story. It is in the combination of times that we find our real history. And it is by recognizing that our history keeps being written that we move on.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Social Graces

I sit in the Little League stands, where I have made a four-year career of watching the games, but never engaging too much with the crowd, of cheering for my child, but not so loudly and wildly as to offend. And so it is, when a parent tries to strike up a conversation with me, that I am at a loss. After all, I have, as my established four-year career record shows, come here to watch baseball. My eyes are on the field. My mind is on whether or not my child, or his team, will have a good day.

Yet, after I leave the game, I realize that I have missed an opportunity. My lack of social readiness in that moment could easily be written off to my lack of sleep from an overnight of work. Had I pushed through, however, I might have learned something new, made a new connection, come away with new knowledge.

Once upon a time, when I was a Booth PA bemoaning the fact that my estimate of the show's length didn't match the reality, a wise director told me that the real test of a PA actually had very little to do with estimating time. More important, he said, was whether you were the kind of person with whom people wanted to spend long days in the control room. You didn't have to be the best timer, or even tell the best jokes. But you had to feel and act like part of the group. And have the group feel that way about you.

I've heard it said that in much of life, half the battle is just showing up. Perhaps, then, the other half is in the "social graces"--not the ones having to do with the right fork and with not wearing white shoes after Labor Day, but the ones that make your time in the bleachers about more than just baseball. Lack of sleep aside, I can stand to do a little more with the social graces. Because, in the control room and in the bleachers, doing the job is about more than just getting the job done. It's about being a person with whom people like to share the space. And being that person is useful pretty much anyplace you go.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Small Fish, Big Ponds

With the tremendous school choice in New York City, it is mightily tempting to go for the biggest, the best, the places with the most to offer. After all, that choice gives you exposure and access to everything that might possibly interest you. Whatever it is, you can find it. Whatever it is, it is there, only awaiting your discovery.

As I watched my daughter receive a few of the many hundreds of awards given at her school, I was struck by how many directions the students there had explored. Though they had all attended the same school, it almost felt as though they had gone to many different ones, so varied were their interests and fields of expertise.

I could argue that this made for a building full of strangers, each pursuing his or her own individual passions, separate from the others pursuing other passions. Yet, as I heard the student cheers each time an award was announced, I realized that these are clearly not strangers. While they may travel in small groups based on their interests, these kids make up a school not so completely different than the school I attended. Sure, it is bigger. Okay, there were probably people with whom my daughter never even crossed paths. But it is also a place where she, and a whole lot of other kids, found a little bit of what would start their paths. As I stare at the giant auditorium, I am keenly aware of the idea of being a small fish in a big pond. It is easy to lose your way in that big pond, and to feel sometimes as though you will get eaten. It is also possible to experience things the little pond would never have allowed, and to grow in ways the small pond would have made impossible.

We all sometimes find ourselves feeling very small in that big pond. But if we are lucky, and persistent, our survival skills there can make us ready for the ponds--and oceans--to come. Would we choose again to be that little fish in that big pond? Hard to say. But having been there, we are now stronger swimmers and more interesting beings--a little more ready to approach our next big--or small--adventure.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Comfort Zones

It may be simpler to do what comes easily. But it may be more exciting to do what we've never done.

It may be easier to take on jobs we totally know how to do. But it may be more satisfying to take on ones that challenge us.

It may be more pleasant to make our own decisions about our days. But it may be more eye-opening to go with someone else's decisions once in a while.

It may be more comfortable to stick with what feels safe. But it may be more freeing to try what is a little scary.

We can live in our comfort zone, where we make the choices, stay with the safe, do that which we know. But when we step out of our comfort zone, we experience and learn in a whole different way--and we may end up being more comfortable for it.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Standardized Test

As we cart yet another child to yet another test, I wonder, how do all these pieces fit together for success? How is it that crammed in information and filled in bubbles paint a picture of the person who lives in my home? Perhaps they don't. Perhaps they are simply steps in a process, a process as much about learning one's own capabilities as about proving one's own capabilities. 

As I go through life, I rarely have to fill in bubbles, but I quite often have to make choices when I don't know the right answer. I rarely have to show up in a crowd of hundreds, armed with particular pencils, but I quite often have to come prepared and face a crowd of strangers. I rarely take tests that are scored, but I quite often feel tested by tasks I've never done before.

Each day, we face tests that seem far from standardized. How do we hold up? Do we learn the strategies? Do we make educated guesses when we need to and learn to say nothing when that is the better choice? And when we walk away from each test, are we able to clear our heads for the next one, and realize that each test is simply one small part of a much bigger process?

We are done with this test, and good results or bad, we move on. To the rest of life's standardized, and not so standardized, tests.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Creative Juices

Sometimes, it feels as though all of our creative juices have seeped away, into the daily tasks and the mundane responsibilities. We wonder what happened to the sparks we remember having, to the projects we recall creating, to the magic we're sure we once made.

Yet, every once in a while, we are called upon to do a little something, lend a little expertise, solve a little problem. And we agree, whether we have the time or not. We jump in, whether we feel completely confident or not. And, lo and behold, we find that not only have we done, leant, and solved, we have also restarted those creative juices. While we were paying attention to endeavors other than our own daily tasks, we allowed--even encouraged--our creative juices to flow. We took time that we may not even have had, and we emerged freer, stronger, and, most important, reminded that we still have the creative juices--we've just been forgetting to use them.

It's easy to think that our creative juices have dried up--the hard work of life can leave anyone a little dehydrated. But when we allow ourselves to reach a little, search a little, and drink in what we can, it's amazing how quickly those juices come flowing right back.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Following The Path

I walk the path from home to school, from the corner to the bus stop, from family to work and back again. I cover each path as though I know it like the back of my hand. I set the destination, and the legs just go. After all, following a path is easy, right? We lay out what we want, and then we just follow the path to get it.

Most of the time, however, our paths are not nearly so straightforward. We take a few steps ahead, and then find we have to turn back. We stray from the path, sometimes finding a better one, sometimes just finding ourselves lost. Or we just seem to keep walking and walking, never quite reaching out intended destination.

I start to walk, and I am not quite sure where my path today will take me. But I am walking, and discovering new paths each day. And sometimes, that is all we can do...

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Getting In, Part 11: Transitions

For so long, the college admissions process is about winning--picking the "right" school, and then waiting to see if you will be rewarded with the prize of admission. Our children, hopefully with our support, do so much to get to the win--they manage their grades and take tests and write essays. They audition and interview and spend months trying to prove to themselves and to others that they are worthy of the victory, only to find that the work that they have done only sometimes matters, that the "officials" who witness their race only sometimes judge in their favor. And then suddenly, after all the months of training and racing and judging, the whole thing is over. Visits are scheduled, and decisions are made. Deposits are paid, and a single destination, rather than many, becomes the focus of conversation. Where there was confusion and uncertainty, suddenly now there is clarity. Where there were questions to be answered, suddenly now there are plans to be made. Where there was the blur of too much to see all at once, suddenly now there is a point of focus. Where there was competition, suddenly now there is transition, almost as if the competition never really happened.

"Getting in" has happened--our family will be proudly sporting Ithaca College swag in no time. And, as with most things in life, it turns out that the "getting in" is just the beginning. Let the transitions begin...