The Way I See It...
Robin Rogers, Ed.D.
There are seasons of our lives for a reason. As I look at the profiles of the wonderful 40 people who were nominated and selected as the “Fabulous 40 and Under” this year, I realize how much these folks have going on, shuffling between work, family, church, children’s activities, and more. They are in their blooming season.
I remember distinctly how busy I felt in my thirties. Something or someone was always pulling at my skirt, needing attention, and there seemed to be a million things to get done each week. It was go time from early in the morning until late at night. On weekends, my ex (wonderful) husband and I were tearing up the local circuit of volunteer dinners and parties. When there were free weekends, we did family getaways, barbecues, school projects, and ball games. Somehow, we managed to be involved in local nonprofit organizations, and that was fulfilling, too. I thank God that our house was always filled with kids, many of them not our own, laughing, playing games, and being kids. My grandmother used to tell me that her thirties were her best years; with some space now between my thirties and me, I probably agree with her. Indelibly written in my soul are the happiest of memories from that season.
Now, the forties have been great, too. As my kids have grown up, the noise factor has decreased, and the conversations have greater depth. Today, there are no humans to wake; they set their own alarms. There’s no more chauffeuring to dances, football games, or meet ups at the movie theater. Strangely enough, I rarely have to clean up after anyone but myself. There are no lost Legos or doll arms to step on in the dark. You know the feeling: tiptoeing quietly around at night past sleeping kids’ bedrooms only to bang a toe on a nightstand or be pierced by some random plastic toy? There’s that intense, shooting pain, yet you must remain silent, so the kids won’t awaken. Well, that’s a huge plus for kids getting older. Only the dog bites at my heels now, and I’m pretty okay with that, as long as she stays away from my shoes.
My youngest, Briley, just started his senior year of high school, so I know that within a year, when he leaves for college, my seasons will change yet again.
Several weeks ago, we welcomed a beautiful young woman from Rwanda into our home to live with us while she gets her MBA at Texas A&M-Texarkana. We have had students in the past do high school exchange years with us, and let me tell you, you know right away whether the decision will be good for everyone. I am so thankful to report that Gabie is a caring and kind person, and the fit with her is perfect. When an international student “fits” within your family, you and your children learn more about big parts of the world that you could never experience in a vacation or a documentary. There is an interchange of customs, ideas, foods, and world views. And, as a family, we get to introduce Gabie to our favorite holidays, restaurants, and traditions. It’s a fun experience for all.
I have ideas about the future, but one thing is certain. Retirement is not in my vocabulary. I have always wanted to work and be involved. There is fulfillment in setting goals and accomplishing them, working with other people to make things better. I can’t imagine ever really retiring from anything. Maybe my feelings will change in 10 years or so (Ellen is 24) when I get a grandchild. My mom says that there’s no better thing to be than “Grandma.” I guess that could be called a promotion someday!
Life’s various stages keep life exciting. I admire the people we feature this month for their talents, tenacity, and contributions to Texarkana. Some of them sound like they are juggling many balls and doing it well. Every generation hopes that future generations will do bigger and better things for the community. I’m counting on the people in this issue to make Texarkana, U.S.A., an even better place to call home!
Have a great September, and as always, thanks for reading FSLM.