I left my job at Mystic Seaport Museum almost a month ago, and I am still adjusting. Even though it was a part-time job, it helped set the rhythm of my week, getting me out of my jeans and out of the house every Tuesday and Thursday. Plus the work itself, fundraising for the Museum through grant writing, was fulfilling. And my colleagues were smart and fun – a nice combination. I learned that the non-profit world is not that different from the corporate world, well, except for the pay. But you knew that already.
And so I am in transition, an uneasy, Jell-O like place. I want to get out, of course, everyone does; no one likes being in transition. But as someone writing an essay about transition might say, you have to go through it; it’s part of the process of getting to the other side, the new place. I suspect that I will eventually walk out of the mist and into the daylight of being a full-time fiction writer.
This particular transition in my life is making me think about my three boys, all in their twenties. They are in transition, too – only they are in the midst of a much longer foggy period than I am. They are in the process of becoming financially independent adults - seeking emotionally and intellectually satisfying employment; a life partner; a viable living arrangement in a desirable city or town; and perhaps an affable pet. Oh, and they are also seeking cultural enlightenment, social responsibility, political clarity, and, whether they know it or not, downtime in their fast-paced lives that present to them a maelstrom of choices with what to do every second of the day.
I love my boys, as most mothers love their children, but I also admire them, for the choices they’ve made, for the adults they are becoming. I can’t make the way easier for them, but I can stand on the sidelines and cheer them on as they run the race. Along the way, they may need to walk a while to catch their breath, or reach out for a cup of water from a stranger, or run at a slower pace to encourage a fellow racer – but they will reach the finish line, and, until the next time, find peace.