Going through our archives, we came across this great post by Dr. AnnMaria De Mars from October 20, 2016 “Seeing Further Down the Road: Why Your Parents Think Different From You” that we wanted to share in case you missed it the first time around.
At the National Indian Education Association conference this month, I was presenting our research on 7 Generation Games with Bruce Gillette, who I met in 1990 when he was a student at Minot State University and I was a brand new assistant professor right out of graduate school. After 8 years in southern California, I had moved to North Dakota, bought a house in the country and started a new career. It was a whole lot of changes.
The conference was held in Reno, NV and the last time I was in Reno was also for a conference, on SAS statistical software in 1985. After 6 years of marriage, 5 years working in aerospace, 3 of those years in San Diego, I was getting divorced, moving to Riverside and going back to graduate school. After 14 years competing in judo, I’d just retired from competition, having won the world championships a few months earlier. It was a whole lot of changes.
Bruce is an addiction counselor, and he spends a lot of his time giving advice to young people. He made a really good point,
“Sometimes, you tell young people that their choices are going to cause them problems, but they won’t listen to you. They don’t have your experience. They don’t always realize that, from where you are standing, you can see further down the road.”
My other friend named Bruce, when I get down on myself about something I did stupid when I was young (it’s a long list), will always cheer me up by reminding me,
And look how far you have come.
The point is that some things that loom large when you are young can be seen from the perspective of years as not nearly as big as you thought.
Yes, getting divorced was awful and fighting over custody was worse, but no one died, I went on to get married again (twice!), my daughter turned out to be a wonderful human being.
It was a huge shift from international competitor and industrial engineer to graduate student and researcher. There was a big cut in pay, a complete change in hours from a 9-5 job to classes and labs in the evenings and studying or working around those, plus having three children age five and under.
Moving to North Dakota living out in the country was a lot like Green Acres (everyone under 50 will have to click this link to find out what Green Acres was).
My point is, there were a whole lot of changes from point A to where we are now. There were many times when I thought,
“I can’t leave this job/ man/ city / school/ club because …. “
and, yet, I did. Sometimes, I wasted time when I could have moved on to a better school, relationship, job, etc. because it seemed like it was SUCH A BIG DEAL to change. When I look back, though, many of those times, whether they were amazing or quite the opposite, were just a small part of my life. Whether it was getting a grant funded, a raise or winning a tournament, at the time I might have been furious, ecstatic or heartbroken – but a few years later, I could barely remember it and all the details that made such a difference at the time had completely slipped my mind.
So, the next time you and your children (or parents) cannot see eye to eye, think about whether maybe it is because one of you can see further down the road.
Speaking of which, you can actually walk down the pages of this map (virtually) if you play Forgotten Trail. Runs on Mac, Windows and Chromebook.
What’s that you say? I only have an iPad? Well, then, get our free Making Camp app here.