Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Age and Priorities

Last week, I gave my Creative Writers an exercise that went something like this:

Describe what was important to you at age: 5? 10? 15? Now? (My students are mostly right at 20 years old). (<--source, What If)

The purpose was for them to remember. To look back and see that we, as humans, change and grow and mature as years progress. That what was super-important to us as a child has been replaced by something else. And that our characters, too, at certain ages, have very specific needs/desires/wants.

The results were wonderful -- the students seemed to embrace the exercises and got quite detailed in their analysis.

So, I thought I'd do mine, here, just as an exercise (hee, I had to "spread out" the ages to make it fit):

What was important to me at age:

5 - impressing my kindergarten teacher; obeying my parents (I was a "good girl," yep); reading; my dog Tibby; learning to roller skate and hoola-hoop; making new friends; carting my little sister around in a red wagon.

15 - learning to drive(!); doing well in school; listening to music (Van Halen, Wham!, Restless Heart, Whitney Houston) and making music (solos in church, band and choir at school); making/keeping friends (hard to do in high school!); wearing 80's bright colors and poofy hair; church; wishing and praying that my biggest crush (he later turned into a full-fledged first love the following year) would like me the way I liked him. *sigh* Those were heartbreaking years...

25 - trying to keep my new-ish marriage afloat (this wasn't my first love, btw); moving to yet another city, trying to find yet another job, decorating yet another tiny apartment; trying to find new friends, another new church; fighting loneliness and depression over all these new changes, seemingly out of my control; writing (<---my solace, my comfort, my escape!)

NOW (40-something) - being the best teacher I can be; being the best doggie-mama I can be (2 dogs, Sheltie, Corgi); writing (and hoping to be published); finding happiness in day-to-day challenges; fighting off the occasional wee mid-life crisis; accepting myself, even when my life doesn't "look like" my friends' lives (aka, married w/ kids); being SO grateful for things like healthy grandparents and parents, niece and nephews, good health for myself, a secure job, health insurance, etc (all the practical things seem to matter more, now).

Really interesting, to see priorities change over the years -- usually from the materialistic to the realistic and more mature...

1 comment:

  1. Ok, here's mine:
    Age 5 - playing outside, watching the first-ever TV at our neighbor's house (That was a BIG DEAL back then).
    Age 10 - Girl Scouts
    Age 15 - SO in love with a football player, Wearing "Going Steady" shirts, marching in the band, Daddy and boyfriend teaching me to drive in the pasture, summers in Colorado.
    Age 21-30 - Marriage to my "real" Love of my College romance (not to first love), Teaching school, Moving, Baby #1, Moving, Baby #2, Moving, Baby #3, Moving.
    Age 50 - Parent's and husband's health problems, Son's serious problems (drugs), Daughter's serious marriage problems, Moving.
    Age 66 - (my age now) Reflective on past years, loss of one parent, caring for aging parent,enjoying grandkids, joyful for good health, getting closer to husband's retirement, concern for our nation and our future, close relationship to the Lord.