I Become Curmudgeonly and Introspective Simultaneously.

What is so bloody special about digital TV? Honestly. Tell me! I live in country Victoria and our digital signal is constantly interrupted by whatever vagaries are happening that day, or not, because there’s no rhyme nor reason for good or bad signal.

One day ABC works fine and channel 7 is awful, full of hicks and trips and fading in and out and lines across the screen. This only happens when there is something I want to watch on said channel (like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), next the ABC is foul and all the turgid commercial channels are crisp and clear.

Even good signal days have bad moments. Just at the crucial denouement the crackle starts, the picture jumps, the dialogue fades out. Luckily I don’t want to watch much telly, I don’t have time, but bloody hell when I do it’s annoying.

I’m trying to prepare for the new uni year. You know, doing the reading beforehand, hassling the lecturer for the full course guide, talking to other students online and setting up a study group. I know, I know, I’m behaving like a mature-age student. I barely recognise myself. This maturing business is quite astounding. I take responsibility for my own actions and prepare for a number of eventualities. I try to follow through with my commitments and I write my essays before the due date.

It’s a long way from my first foray into university. I went there as a ‘mature-age’ student then as well. I was all of 21. I look at the pup now and, although I’m convinced I was more mature than she is (the illusion of age, I’m sure) I certainly did not reach any of my potentials during my time there. In fact, I excelled only in making friends and drinking beer. I loved the study but I neglected to write the essays or hand them in (on time or at all).

The difference is 25 years and a sense of purpose. I really know what I want to be doing and this Masters will advance me in my work and life journey. I used to defensively announce that I didn’t need a piece of paper to prove I could do my job. Now I know the value of a piece of paper.

When I asked my lovely wife to marry me I did it because I wanted to declare to her that I thought our love could be eternal. It’s still not legal here but nonetheless we hired a celebrant and invited friends and did the whole marriage thing.

We have a piece of paper.

It states that we made a commitment to each other, the date and the signatures of us, our witnesses and the celebrant.

I promised this woman my love and support and compassion and strength for all of our lives together and that we would be together for all our lives. If things get a little hard the reminder of that piece if paper isn’t that I must do this; it is that it imbues my existence within this relationship with a solemnity that might not be replicable without it. It enlivens my relationship. It puts it on the same footing as my parents’ marriage and her parents’ marriage. Sure, calling it marriage would be better, making it legal would be great, but I have declared before the world my commitment and that gives it a greater value proposition.

With that other piece of paper (that degree) I will declare my knowledge of and commitment to working with people in a way that gives them power and skills and purpose and autonomy. It’s a similar thing.

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