What I’ve been up to since graduation.

What I’ve been up to since graduation is making a life. By Nancy Schatz Alton

I want so much more than that:

For the crowd to cheer when I wander up to the microphone.

To have learned how to wow the crowd with my words and intonation.

To not care so much that I make my mark in the world.

I clean and tidy and scrub the toilet for my daughter’s party tonight.

I run the vacuum over the stairs.

There is so much pleasure in making a house ready for my loves.

No one tells you this.

Or one person told you this:

The male college professor who split a tenured position with his wife.

He talked of making a life, mentioned how he set things up

So he and his wife can be/could be/were with the kids.

He’s the one that let me write my essays in poetry form

Who laughed at my lines and told me they were wonderful.

His full zest for life, for his kids, for the shared, tenure-track position

I did not know what it meant then.

I want to cry as I think what it means now:

To be fully present in our lives.

To give up what doesn’t work in order to capture the joy.

To run the vacuum up the stairs in anticipation of my daughter’s party.

To hell with history that never has enjoyed writing so many of the world’s stories.

I am making a life.


2 thoughts on “What I’ve been up to since graduation.

  1. Hey Nancy….nice life lesson here. All those things we chase…when the most important things/people are right before us. Soon your teenager will leave the nest, create her own, vacuum her own steps, making her house ready for a visit from her mom. Your priorities are priceless, and they are yours alone – they aren’t mine – they’re yours – so do what you may and may you remain in joy as you do them. These are memories I do not have, but ones I dream about from time to time. I was always so jealous of “normal” people and their lives with other people who love them.

    1. Thanks Suezy. I’m continually reminding myself lately that it’s my life I’m choosing to live and other people’s lives are not my measuring sticks. It’s a lesson I continue to learn again and again. The best news: life is good. Lots of it.

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