Friday, September 9, 2011

Ticket to Ride

For anyone who has not played "Ticket to Ride" it's a really fun board game where you have to get your train from one city to another.  Sometimes the way you want to go is blocked and you have to find another route.  Sometimes the long detours turn out for the best because you get more points or because they include another route you need.  Sometimes you just can't find the cards you need to progress and the whole things seems hopeless.  I don't really want to explain the details of the whole game, I only want to say it's very appropriate that I learned how to play the game this month when I already had trains on my mind.

For about the past year I've envisioned my life as a train going full speed down a track toward a cliff, the cliff being the time when my kids leave for college.  I couldn't turn away because of course the train was stuck on the track.  (And I don't think a derailment would be good under any circumstances!)  The faster the end of August approached, the closer I got to the cliff.  I wasn't scared, but I was curious about how the whole scene would play out.  Would I suddenly have a parachute and drift safely to the bottom of the mountain?  Would the train sprout wings and take off into the sky?  Well the cliff came and went, and I'm still here.  It turns out there was a sharp corner and switchbacks along the side of the mountain, and I'm still going full speed, not sure where I'm headed next but enjoying the ride.

Ok, time to turn off my weird imagination.  Really, my life hasn't changed that much in the last couple weeks.  Sure, the house is a little quieter and I have to buy fewer groceries and do fewer loads of laundry, but I'm still so busy that I often feel overwhelmed with all I have to do.  I keep close enough tabs on my kids to know they're doing well.  I keep making lists of things I want to do whenever I have some free time.  I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be now that I'm technically not a full-time mom, but mostly I'm busy thinking about the paperwork piled on my desk, the floor that needs mopped, the emails I have to send and the bills I have to pay.  I don't have much time to worry about the future, I just need to take care of today.

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