I feel as though I could continue with a completely useless morning by trying to write new lyrics to U2’s “Elevation” but using the word “Procrastination” instead.  I simply do not want to do anything useful today after my three week travel adventure.  I have still not started the laundry, have not unpacked, but of course I have managed to upload my photos from Italy onto the internet including descriptive captions of all the places I saw…  sigh.

Why doesn’t anyone warn you as a teenager that life truly is best then?  To stop and enjoy your freedom and lack of responsibility while you have the chance?  Or do they try to tell you this and you are simply incapable of believing it?  Maybe it’s because of my midwestern roots, my being raised with a Scandinavian/Protestant work ethic, but I sometimes wonder if I did not enjoy my late childhood enough.  The acceleration towards adulthood drove a rush into work, both baby-sitting in the early days and part-time jobs in the later days (especially to fund a car that was sadly a necessity in the American midwest).  Such value was placed on being serious instead of frivolous.  I was in such a hurry to grow up and now it’s hard to see why that seemed so important.

I had a fascinating discussion, on the way home from Italy, with an English colleague who will not allow his teenagers to have jobs or to otherwise miss out on the enjoyment of pre-adult life while they have the chance.   I was completely shocked as he explained how he gave them pocket money without the expectation of their doing chores in return.  I can assure you that my parents would not approve of this sort of behavior!  (Please, Dad, no  responses necessary about learning the value of the dollar.)   I admit to being envious; I hope his children really enjoy this part of their lives and appreciate the gift that they are being given.  Again I feel grateful for the education I am getting in taking a different view of the pleasures of life simply by being out of the (midwestern) US.  Although I really wish this appreciation would translate to magically clean laundry…

One response to “Procrastination

  1. Of course they tell you this – don’t you remember hearing that “high school years are the best years of your life” over and over again? We didn’t believe it then, and frankly, I still don’t, though I have my own fair share of complaints about adulthood. If the best years of your life are from age 15 to 18, what’s the point of all the rest of it?

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