Musings from George

Politics, small companies and relationships
March 26, 2008, 8:12 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The latest news is basically “when will Hillary admit that she can’t win?” That’s where I started two years ago. I am pleasantly surprised that I like the alternative, Barack Obama — not a perfect candidate, but a very good one.
If you haven’t watched his YouTube video about racism and the effects of racial polarization in the US today, it’s worth your time. I’d include a link, but that would be insulting to the intelligent — if you want to view it, you can find it.

Relationships — fascinating to watch the evening news to hear that 25% of our high school kids are infected with sexually transmitted disease (okay, a common virus). Short of granting them all Mother Mary exemptions, and not believing that for 100% of them a single encounter resulted in a STD, you’d have to assume that more than half of them are … having sex. Can you even act surprised??

It is funny how much two small children can exhaust you, to be honest. I used to have time to update this blog, and to stay in touch with many people. Right now the only reason I have time to type is that my 2-year-old daughter cried in the middle of the night…which is gratefully a rare occurrence.

I’ve fallen out of contact with a few good friends — maybe they read this blog. It’s tough to trade emails every six months and think that’s good; it’s hard to schedule time to talk. The feel-good answering machine messages help (they at least have a sound), but they are still somewhat bodiless.

Enough? I really miss my dog, and love my kids and my wife and my friends. Life is complete, my job is interesting and challenging, but I still miss my dog.



Wow. Marriage, divorce, commitment
March 24, 2008, 8:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Weird world that we live in. Two people who are close to me have learned that they are going through divorces because someone served papers to them. Not a surprise, no wonderment for either of them … but still, a somewhat hostile attack by the people that they had committed their lives to. I’m a cameo appearance for both plays, but the script still stings.

I was married once before, divorced once before. My ex-wife is happier in her second marriage (two cute boys, clear focus on her passion on riding and raising horses), I’m much happier in my second marriage (two cute kids, killing myself in high-tech and married to someone who has all my same strengths).

People struggle with the American dilemma that half of all marriages end in divorce, and that all publicly viewable marriages are dysfunctional (truly $4000 for two hours? How does that work?) As part of that weird world, I have to explain it — we marry someone based on all that we know at the time, and things keep changing over time. The person you marry is NOT the person you wake up next to ten years later. And that’s okay.

Kids make relationships sticky. If my first wife and I had had kids, we’d still be together — she is a wonderful, intelligent, compassionate woman. But we didn’t, and our interests diverged — so we sought a divorce. It isn’t failure, it isn’t “sinful”, it isn’t even a bad thing — it represents the old Robert Frost poem and two people taking slightly different paths through that yellow wood.

My second wife is great — unequivocally great. She sometimes remarks that our partnership is too good to be true, and that really reflects on her — she’s great to our kids, great to me, great to her friends, great to my friends. I can look at the bigger picture, knowing that my life was very different in my first marriage, and can see the difference. My friends who are being served divorce papers cannot see that — and to be fair, they have kids that are affected by the process so it is much harder / much uglier.

Why is divorce such an ugly stigma and ugly topic in the US? Why is it that half of all kids in Europe are born out of wedlock? When did we become so selfish that it wasn’t important to have a life together, before we made a life together?

My advice: I feared the judgement, I feared the failure that a divorce represents — and I was not judged, and I did not fail. We all have to recognize that people change, and if you find that your current partner is not someone you would marry today then you have to decide whether the pain of leaving is greater than the misery of staying. Work to make today good — if nothing you do can help with that, get out.

We went to church today. Part of the message was that John (the apostle) was asked by Jesus to look after his mother — “Mary, this is your son; John, this is your mother”. As I sat with my 3.5 year-old son on my lap, I have to admit that it made me tear up — how miserable would it be to attend your own child’s execution? and how hard would it be to ask someone else to take care of your mother, as you accepted an unfair death?

My grandmother spoke at my father’s funeral, and said: “He always said he would take care of me. And now he is gone. You don’t know how hard it is to bury your children, and to accept the fact that they aren’t of this world anymore.” It hit me hard — I take care of my mother, and many other people. Who is going to speak at your funeral? and who is going to miss yo? and are you proud of all that you are going to leave behind?

How do we all commit to being better people, and to being better partners? It is a daily struggle.