Posts Tagged ‘Careers’

The sudden, loud creak startled me. I was alone in the house, save for my dog and 2 cats. The dog lying prone on the floor, feet running, chasing some elusive creature in her dreams I guess. One cat happily ensconced on the back of the recliner and the other on the floor attending to her nightly ablutions. They hadn’t moved or even lifted a head to investigate the sound. Surely they heard it. Not much escapes an animal’s keen senses, especially their hearing.

Oh well, I consoled myself. It’s probably just the floorboards creaking in our old nineteenth century farmhouse. But there! There it is again. I hear it with almost every move. Strangely there is still no reaction from the dog and cats. And it definitely is not the floorboards.

As I reach down to pick up Miss Kitty who has now finished her grooming ritual, I hear it again. This time the painful truth slaps me upside my head. This is no ordinary creaking sound. These are not floorboards creaking. Truth be known, the noise isn’t even that loud. (more…)

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As it approached, the thought struck terror in my heart, right up there with marriage and parenthood. Time of ease? Smell the roses? Read? Learn an instrument? Doing everything I always wanted to do but could never find the time? Well, not so, actually.

I have led a very privileged life. Never wealthy or famous, never envied or acclaimed, but a charmed life nevertheless. I loved to travel. We traveled a lot –with our children from the time they were infants. Every year a big trip, often by government or university invitation –at someone else’s expense. I have always tended –and smelled– the roses in my suburban garden. Always was a big reader. Played lots of tennis. Desperate to learn to play the clarinet. Practiced and failed confirming (again) my lack of talent. Painting classes? Same result. Wanted a career? Back to school for a doctorate. Immersed myself in study and a dissertation. Got faculty jobs. Got tenure. Got grants. Loved to teach but hated university politics. Never mind, I wasn’t forced by material need to claw my way up the academic ladder. I managed to satisfy my do-gooder needs by bringing academic programs into the community. When I felt I could do this with one hand tied behind my back I knew it was time for me to bow out and make room for new people with fresh perspectives. I was approaching seventy and ready for something else. My life had been wonderful so far and there was nothing I wanted to trade away. (more…)

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