OU graduation takes mom through 2-day experience
I have to apologize for dropping off the face of the earth these past few weeks, but there's just been too much going on, not the least of which has been my oldest girl graduating from college.
After going through this experience, I have concluded that college graduation is an extreme sport.
If you've been paying attention, you'll know that I have always grumbled that, just like December, May is a month where our society likes to cram everything in all at once. When the kids were little, that meant (two separate) school parties celebrated with pizza, soft drinks, candy and cupcakes (wonder why we have a high obesity rate in Oklahoma?), recitals, awards ceremonies other various promotions and miscellaneous festivities.
At 22, it means lunch and shopping, a mighty long and somewhat monotonous commencement ceremony, maneuvering people of all ages through traffic and crowds, much climbing and descending, sitting on a concrete block till you can't stand it anymore, and finding a nice place for dinner where finally you can relax.
The next day brings more of the same maneuvering for yet another 2-hours-plus-long ceremony, then comes the party, which was just a little bit of work and a lot of fun.
A word about out-of-town graduations. If you're staying in a hotel, book it six months in advance. The University of Oklahoma graduation was a two-day event with commencement on Friday night and the walk across the stage Saturday morning, so we had to stay about 20 miles away, which wasn't a huge problem, except for more running, time and money.
One of the moms asked me if I cried when my daughter received her diploma. You know, I am a sucker for an inspiring, motivational speech, and it just didn't happen. While the whole event is set up to be an anti-climatic experience, I could have used some injected emotion to cut into my frazzled and exhausted self.
What to tell them? To dream big, keep growing and learning, attempt to problem-solve rather than choose complacency, take time for loved ones, seek spiritual growth, incorporate public service into your life, learn to place value on the basic blessings such as family, health and happiness over material things, go forth and multiply ... I don't know.
I'd also like to add that, while money isn't everything, in our world it counts for a little. It's easy to take it for granted and say it's not important when you have it, but just wait till you don't. It's not pretty.
Anyway, that's the real world, I suppose. You can't always rely on someone to inspire you; at some point your motivation and inspiration needs to come from within.
These Millennials have their work cut out for them, and I am hopeful they will mature and grow into productive leaders of society. Heck, most of them already are; they just need to get out there and do it on their own time and their own dime.
And witnessing THAT just may make me cry!