- Leonardo da Vinci
Got to have lunch with one of my oldest and dearest friends on Saturday - just 90 minutes together as we don't live in the same city, and that was as long as we had to meet halfway and attempt to catch up, before returning to our busy/over-committed lives.
There are low-maintenance friends and then there are zero maintenance friends, like this one. We could (and do) go months without e-mails/calls/visits and then one of us contacts the other and we pick up right where we left off. Have been doing that for 33 years, fully expect another 33+ years of the same thing.
She is, and I mean this as the ultimate compliment, just the same since the day I met her, which is to say: simple. She has no ego whatsoever. Is never confused. Never in crisis. Never "going through a hard time." Never at a crossroads. Nothing. That is not to say that her life is not complicated, but she? She, is simple.
She will retire in ten more years from teaching first grade to very low income students. She takes kids from families with very little support or means, and teaches them to read. Teaches them to believe in themselves. Teaches them to fly. Year after year after year after year. I asked her what she'll do when her kids are both gone and out of college (eight more years until then), and then when she retires. "We'll simplify our lives," she said.
It was always their priority that there be a full-time, at home parent, and she was the one trained for a career with the passion and talent, so her husband has only worked very part time and at very low paying jobs, and only when their girls are in school. They have made it work. Not only have they made it work, they have one daughter ready to head off to college in the fall, and another one not too far behind. Their girls are impressive in every way imaginable.
And in large part, because they've kept it simple.
* Photo from http://citysimplicity.blogspot.com