UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

NEW SPECIMENS OLD SPECIMENS THE SCIENTIST MY LOG CONTACT ME
01/19/2007 - 1:12 p.m.

CONTROL IN THE FACE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE

Day and FogieKnight are off to Massachusetts for a college visit and interview for Day. I believe they are in Massachusetts although that was not a foregone conclusion last night. Their plane to O'Hare was two hours late so they missed the connecting flight. They were on stand-by for a later flight and then were told that they would get on it. That was the good news. The bad news was that the plan was taking off late, first by one hour, then by an hour and ten minutes, then by an hour and fifteen minutes. The real irony is the reason the airline gave for the delay: "schedule change for customer service." I don't think the two knew that part. I learned it by checking the status online.

Okay, so I'm turning into a control freak (as I told The Queen last night. Thank you, Queen for your support.). Honestly, what I really mean is that I am turning into more of a control freak than usual. I must really be feeling like life is out of control—and in a sense it is. My kids are leaving (and Kat already has left) and I have little control over their lives. I should stop obsessing on the little stuff and start living my own life. But I'm not sure exactly what direction to go.

I have realized in the past year or so how much of what I have done recently is linked to my children in some way. I coach mock trial at the high school Day goes to (although neither child has ever been on my team.) I used to volunteer at the schools when they were in elementary and middle school and was on that school board. I attended school board meetings there, first as the PTO liaison and then as a member of the board. I started attending them once a month in 1991 and attended until two years ago when I left the board. I've thought of dropping in but it is different. Only one person I really knew is left on the board and the others think very, very differently than I did and do. I don't think it would be a satisfying activity.

I was a girl scout leader. The troop met every other week and, at the end and occasionally in the middle, provided social time with other mothers. I thought I would stay in touch with some of those mothers but Day has gone a different route than many of them. I see them once in a while but I now know the truth. We were linked by our kids and our need and not something more permanent.

Then there was the middle school play. It was a community event. FogieKnight and I might still be working on it but the generation below us thought it too much work for them and too much pressure for the kids. They did not want a stage crew. It was easier for the adults to handle it (and, I believe, a mistake but it's there mistake to make.) There is no community there. Not any more.

So what I need is to take control of me and this midlife malaise and go a new direction. I need a schedule change for customer service---and the customer is me. I just hope I'll manage my changes better than the airline did theirs last night.

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