In 1980, we had a child, pushing asteroids down to the high 90's. That was almost 29 years ago. The child is now an independent man. This has reduced the number of my worries, but has not eliminated them. I’ve found it to be true that a parent eventually loses all control over the outcome of a child’s life, but never loses the sense of high anxiety about it.
My anxiety level has fluctuated wildly since he moved to Portland to attend Reed College and majored in Art history. This, I feared, might not lead to the secure (read prosperous) life I wished for him. When, after graduation, he stayed in Portland, formed an Indie Pop band with high school chums, worked as a waiter in a dessert shop, and spent seemingly huge chunks of energy on his laptop computer making and disseminating music, creating art, blogging, and other activities that didn’t fit my definition of "productive" (that is, producing income), my worry list occasionally expanded beyond 100.
As he explains, his interest in creating and disseminating his music led him to create websites which required that he learn and master computing languages, particularly "Rails" on which he has lectured at several conferences. This interest led him to try his hand at physical computing, writing programs that make bells ring and mixes drinks (at last, something useful).
Now, something has happened that has alleviated many of my worries. Greg was recently accepted into the NYU ITP a two year post graduate program focusing on interactive telecommunications.
Turns out there is an entire area of study on the cutting edge that synthesizes many of Greg’s interests. His apparently meandering journey seems to have found a guidepost.
I see now that whether this will lead to "security" as defined by my paper chase generation is very much beside the point. Peace of mind is far more likely through allowing one’s interests to lead wherever they lead. The artificial clocks that ticked so urgently to my generation have been abandoned. While my own winds down, with midnight approaching, I can at least check off items from my list.
Now I have to find new worries to fill out the top 100. Wait, Greg will be in New York for two years ... uh, where’s my list?