Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Professional vs. Personal - No Bermuda Holiday This Year

· My father called this evening. He is 93 years old, but amazingly fit, physically, and intellectually incisive. Tomorrow morning, he is leaving to spend 2 weeks in Bermuda, which has been a traditional vacation for my family for many years. We stayed at the Lantana Colony Club, a quiet venue, rich in Bermuda traditions, until an inter-generational family feud closed it down. For four years it has sat abandoned, surrounded by chain link fence, but still maintained by its owners, presumably while lawyers snarl at one another, to no good end for anyone.
· Now we stay at Cambridge Beaches, a spectacularly beautiful cottage colony near Mangrove Bay, where I first stayed as a college student with my family, more than 40 years ago.
· We will be doing a major software upgrade at American University, so I won’t be getting off the plane tomorrow with my father, in balmy tropical Bermuda breezes. I will be right here, either providing positive Karma if things go well or helping to solve problems if they don’t. Mostly, I will be communicating to the staff who work with me that I take their work seriously and that if they are expected to make sacrifices, I am prepared to make them as well. This makes a difference to individuals though it means nothing to the institution., American University, because an institution has no heart – no feelings. It only comprises individuals, a small number of whom do.
· I should be in a better mood tonight. I left the office at seven thirty, long before my usual departure time; came home and had a good dinner. But my father’s call unnerved me a bit as I thought about Bermuda.
· Anyhow, I will be able to join my wife tomorrow, joining my her horseback riding friends and the Leeds Church community for the holidays, with many social events. That will not be Bermuda, but certainly a gift and a privilege, given the privations many of my fellow human beings will be experiencing this holiday season. How dare I complain – or be sad. I should be ashamed of myself. If anything, I need to work harder, with greater self-discipline, and be glad of the opportunity to do so.


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