I've spent the last few evenings sending out Christmas cards. Some years I print a "newsletter" and in others, I just include a handwritten note. This is a year when I'm doing a shorter, handwritten note, mainly because I just couldn't get it together to type up the longer letter. I have a long list of relatives to send to since my father came from a family of eleven. I've got a shorter list of high school and college friends and writing notes to them has caused a sort of mental exclamation mark.

Let me explain. I grew up in a very small town in Nebraska and went to a very small college near Omaha. The summer after I graduated from college, I got married and moved to Pennsylvania. First to the western part of the state and then shortly thereafter to the western suburbs of Philadelphia where I've lived for the past 35 years. So now when I'm writing to those Nebraska friends about my son in Brooklyn and my daughter in DC, I think about how my life has not been the way I imagined it would be when I was a teenager. Don't get me wrong--I love living near Philadelphia and having access to great restaurants, theaters and museums (not to mention living just three miles from the largest mall on the east coast), but it's just a different life than I thought I would have. I marvel that two of my three children are very comfortable finding their way around large cities and how they in turn have expanded my horizons.

So what about you? What "surprises" have you had in your life?


  1. I'm not sure I imagined my peripatetic lifestyle would continue into adulthood. I was an army brat with twelve schools under my belt but have continued to move quite frequently with my husband - we spent 22 years in 4 states in the US and are now back in England with a new job for him!

  2. I guess I'm surprised that my $5.00 an hour job doing files and key punch for a local car dealership over 30 years ago has turned into a career as a systems admin. I am blessed to be starting my 9th year with a fabulous family owned company in which the 4th generation just graduated from college and came to work for his family's company. Merry Christmas ! Melody

  3. I guess it would be I thought I'd have a couple kids or more - that I would be able to afford to stay home and be a mom child, a full-time job. But I love my life most of the time - it's just different that the 20 year old me thought it would be.


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