Life … in Session

thermoThe first time I heard the saying, Life is in Session, was about 24 years ago in a 12-Step meeting for families and friends of alcoholics.   Someone was going through a crisis and after they shared about it, they closed with, I guess life is just in session.   I’ve probably heard the phrase thousands of times since then and it has never been used in reference to a pleasant or exciting event in life.   It has always been associated with a difficult stretch of time, probably because families and friends of alcoholics seem to have more than their share of those.   It is not so much a complaint as an acceptance that life is not always easy and that we are probably best off trying to learn something from what we are going through instead of just complaining.  The notion that life is a classroom offering lessons we are intended to learn appeals to me philosophically … it even fits with what my Mom taught me about life … that it’s for growing.   As somewhat of a lifelong student, it’s a notion that helps keep me going if I can see the value of the lessons I’m learning.   But I’ve never done well in required course if I can’t see their purpose.

When I was a junior in college, the University of Connecticut required that I take thermodynamics, a branch of physics concerned with heat and temperature and their relation to energy and work.   The professor was both boring and demanding, the material difficult and I could see no use in thermodynamics’ four laws in my future career.   Besides, I had just pledged a fraternity and was dating my wife-to-be, frequently skipping thermodynamics class to walk her to hers.  I learned virtually nothing and was awarded my first D in college, which was embarrassing because I had just been accepted into the engineering honor fraternity, Tau Beta Pi.   Fifty-two years later, I have yet to find a single use for entropy and enthalpy.

Life is in session again in the Older Eyes home.   My wife and I imagined that at this point in life we would be enjoying retirement together, growing old together without drama.  But courtesy of our son, we are dealing with issues and corners of life that we never imagined would be part of our senior years.   The course material is difficult and it is wearing us out.  And though we are learning from the experience, we can’t imagine why Life … or a Higher Power, if you will … would add this to our curriculum.   I feel like I’m back in Thermodynamics again.  But perhaps with fifty-two more years to make me more mindful, I can do better than a D.  We’ll see.

life in session


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2 Comments on “Life … in Session”

  1. Barry Says:

    Maybe you can find some meaning in your Moliere diagram.

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