I met few old friends and colleagues last week and they got me thinking. When I was in my 20s, particularly when I was in grad school, everyone had similar in life situation and were all going to the same direction. Then we graduated and we started our “career”. Because we are all in Econ, our career path was not too different (academic vs. policymaking). Fast forward 10 years to the present, we could call ourselves mid-career, married, with kids, early 40s. Our prospects are still similar objectively. Yet, I find our thinking started to differ. I can’t understand some of their choices, even harder is to understand how they arrived to those choices.
If I was 10 years younger, I might either argue with them, give unsolicited advise, or cut them off my life as we think differently. Instead, I respect them as I know some of my choices are hard to understand too.
Few things I learned that surprised me:
- Save every penny to buy a house that is double her current house value to get to a better school district. The child hasn’t even started kindergarten and stayed at home during the pandemic, thus doesn’t even speak like a normal child.
- Be very discontent with the work environment but does nothing to change the situation. Just count the day until retirement, which is at least 5-10 years away.
- Paying private school tuition of 50k a year and expect to learn nothing. The only value of the private school is the status.
I am sure I do things that are odd in others eyes, so I don’t judge . Yet, I found them interesting, in a way that I haven’t realized before. I think life is full of choices, some big some small, but as we choose, we craft a path for us.
Saturday we met with a family friend for lunch and play time. It was a really hot day to be outdoor but they had fun.
Sunday we visited my best friend here again, girls had fun playing with their girls while I chatted with the couple. I was given a lesson about american school system. Not a very encouraging picture. It seems that it requires a full time mom to take care all the academics and extracurricular activities. Not sure I can be qualified to be a mom here.