We strolled and ate ice cream and drank coffee, and felt very smug about living in the tropics during winter. This is a photo of the water park near my house. It's on the waterfront, and is open and packed with children all year round.
The council must have spent a packet doing up 5km of the beach front, but it is now one of the nicest in Australia. Because so many people use it, and always for recreation, it's a really happy social place. I think in our society often people are hesitant to greet and interact with people they don't know outside of the standard social I've-met-you-through-someone-I-know-and-therefore-you-are-prescreened-and-must-be-ok network. The beachfront precinct is a bit of an exception, and I really enjoy spending time there. Usually.
This time the company was excellent but, as is usual when people are catching up after a long time, the conversation inevitably turned to people we know and what they have been doing.
Now, I have been pretty successful in my life so far. I have a great job which I enjoy and perform well, I have a drop dead gorgeous, smart, funny husband, and a beautiful daughter. We are in a strong position financially. We have a nice couch and a big TV. I had a stellar education. I wouldn't change a single decision that I have made so far. Even the ones I regretted at the time taught me things I needed to know and led me to my current position.
But somehow.... when I start hearing that the girls from my school have dashed off to Harvard / Oxford / Cambridge / Yale, completed their postgrad work, and are now highly successful doctors / lawyers / writing for the New York Times / brokering peace deals, it is REALLY HARD to avoid feeling like a major underachiever.
There is only one solution - I need to go hang out at the local mall, compare myself to the food court trolls and boost my self esteem!