Posted by: Kate | November 8, 2009

Grass is Greener

Saturday night, we hosted a dinner here: two friends from high school, and appropriate significant other.  I hadn’t seen the woman (which, so weird to think of her as anything other than 15 years old) since I was pregnant with Emily, and even then it was during the Halloween madness in Salem – not exactly a quiet time to sit down and chat.  And the man, I hadn’t seen since high school… 15 years ago, give or take.  Several lifetimes, as far as my circumstances and mindset are concerned.

Before the day, I carried around a low-grade intimidation about it.  Not unbearable or even uncomfortable, just an awareness.  The man is a former law professor, now enrolled in a higher-level legal doctorate program at Harvard.  The woman just defended her dissertation, thereby completing a Ph.D. in Computer Science.  I graduated next in line behind her, and yet here I am, a stay-home mommy with a handful of unused degrees and a school lunch menu on the fridge.  If we’re measuring success in a traditional, worldly sort of way, I’m not even in the running anymore.

But then, within a fairly short time after their arrival, that intimidation faded.  Because I’m not out there furthering my career or accumulating academic honors, but I have a nice home with handmade curtains and a full, from-scratch meal on the table.  I have well-behaved, engaging children and an intelligent, interesting husband – to whom I’ve been married long enough to feel settled and comfortable, far past the newlywed settling-in process.  I have hobbies I enjoy, and have long-term plans to look forward to.

It wasn’t that they were bowing down in awe of my fantastical life; I never sensed anything but respect and interest from them, yet I also detected no envy for what I have.  It was that my own mindset rotated a bit, just enough to relax and enjoy myself and remember to measure my life by my own yardstick.


  1. I know this willl be small comfort but your brain intimidates the hell out of me!!!!!!


  2. You are the most talented writer I have ever met. Your brain is full of important stuff, you have an enormous heart, and are the best wife and mother. Having those degrees unused just proves how important education is to you…which says a lot about who you are as a person. I think you have an awesome life….I do think the grass is always greener. But in this case you have every right to think your life is awesome..because it is.

  3. Amen! Love it!

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