It's been a long week of socializing. Highlights:
An iced mocha earlier today--I'm still learning not to risk these things--put me in this mood, so I was doing that whole reflective thing again, especially with my parents' multi-decade wedding anniversary coming up: when they were my age, they'd been married ten years. It's not like my life could have been radically different, given who I am: I could have gotten married as I thought in 2000, and I would have been miserable for longer, and divorced by now. I don't regret any of my choices, because at each step, I just do the best I can with who I am and what's available. I sometimes envy people whose lives have gone differently; it seems like if you're married (and especially with children), adventure will hunt you down and club you over the head, while I tend to have to go out looking for it. Except I know, from the number of bored and unhappy married people I've known, that it's not even remotely that simple. I think the adventure comes from staying engaged and involved in your world and the people in it.
Here's something bizarre to think about. In a lot of ways parenthood is just another challenge for people, and parents come to that challenge with the resources they have as people. They do the best they can with who they are, what they believe, what they want and what they're capable of. They fail, they stumble, they succeed. They have stuff they like doing besides being parents; sometimes their other dreams get put on hold while raising kids, and different people have different emotional reactions to that (acceptance, resentment, sadness). Right?
It seems so odd to me, and somehow so magical, that so much of my experience of life has been shaped just by how my parents have gone through their lives, and managed all their challenges of work and parenting and marriage and just being human. And they were shaped by the same things in their parents. Neat, no?