Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I've written extensively about my childhood and its influence on my as an adult.

I've written so much about my childhood, that a friend once said, after reading my blog, "Your family reminds me so much of Jeanette Walls' family as described in The Glass Castle."

While I need to be mindful of hyperbole, I can say that my childhood was apparently wackier than most.

Yup, my siblings and I ran with scissors while sucking on lollipops throughout our unattended home. While my single mom worked multiple jobs to provide for her five kids, we populated the neighborhood like a band of English school boys following a deadly plane crash.

But we always did our chores first.

My mom knows she did a good job raising her kids. And she also knows she was lucky.

On those occasions when I've reminisced with my mom about the crazy that was my childhood, she has been reflective. "It is amazing that none of you got into more trouble. I am glad that none of you made such bad choices that you ended up in jail, with an addiction, a family before you were ready, or serious illness or injury." (My therapist has said the same thing.)

And recently, she has been adding the following, "I believe each of my kids has an extraordinary work ethic. This is part of what helped you become the people you are today. And I'm sorry that I taught you that work comes before pleasure, that you can't stop to smell the roses before you finish your chores, that getting things done is the goal of life."

Wha?! Recanting the primacy of the almighty list?!

She continues, "Getting things done is important. But it isn't the goal of life. The goal of life is to have fun, enjoy friends and family, seek out and appreciate beauty. I wish you - and your siblings - could unlearn just a little bit of that work ethic I instilled in you. Before its too late."

Carol has spoken. I'm going to cross "Write blog post" off my list of things to do and go have some fun.

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