Thursday, September 29, 2011


the butterfly calls the beginning. Martin Luther King said to take a first step even if you couldn't see the whole staircase. Somebody said you don't have to be great to start but you have to start to be great. I don't know who said it first but I've heard it all my life. "Don't wait until conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes conditions perfect." Same with that one - no clue who said it first but I know who said it to me every day for a year. Good thing too - it led to becoming parents. "You can't make a new start but you have the power to make a different ending." I thought I knew who said that one but no. It was some Roman warrior I think. Here's my favorite quote on the subject:

"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it. "

I confess I have no big fat clue who Thucydides is but I saw that quote a long time ago at a bungee jumping place and started thinking about the things in my life most worthwhile and most extraordinary and recognized they had come about in that fashion. They didn't fall into my lap or happen to me randomly, but steps were taken towards accomplishing a goal regardless of the peril possible in the undertaking. I think that's a lot of words for what amounts to "faith". In my case certainly it isn't clear vision or bravery; maybe instead blind faith and a bad case of the Birdbrained Dopeys about the possibility of monumental failure. At any rate, the upshot is that at the age of 51, I'm going back to school.

YAY!! (Yikes)

Not only am I going back to school but going back and grabbing hold of a long lost high school dream. I lost it while I was in college, forgot about it as I pursued my degree and then career, pushed it aside and gave up on it as I made a home and a family. It began to resurface in my peabrain as I was raising my babies. When you stay at home to raise your own children you dream of working and when you work you dream of staying home with your babies I guess. I was right where I wanted to be, staying at home with my boys, but still daydreaming all the while. Daydreaming is a good thing.

Now that my little men-in-training are older and pulling away from the dependence of young childhood, my life is once again becoming more and more my own. It happens in such small increments you don't really notice it until one day a light bulb comes on and it occurs that you aren't any longer in demand every moment of every day. For some it's a sad moment, a poignant realization. Not me baby. Ready for the next phase. Bring it on.

I have enjoyed every phase of my kids' lives (some more than others) and continuing in that respect I am currently enjoying how our relationships are changing, how the dynamic is so fluid. I'm enjoying having thoughtful discussions with my fourteen year old that are not dissimilar to conversations with adults, and as he speaks, recalling how our conversations went and what he looked like when he was four. I'm enjoying listening to my nine year old explain the concise details and engineering concepts of his latest Lego build, and as he speaks, remembering when I found out he was appropriating Lego men from his preschool classroom and telling me he found them on the playground. Great story for another post.

Even more, I am enjoying that when they are hungry they're able to fix themselves something. I'm enjoying that they can do their own homework, get themselves up in the mornings, bring their laundry down when the hamper's full and take it all back upstairs again and put it up when it's clean; wash it themselves if they're in a bind. I'm enjoying that I can send my fourteen year old in to the store to quickly return a video or buy a bunch of bananas while I sit in the car outside waiting for him. I am not thrilled about not having anyone to read to at bedtime, but my hunky hubby has graciously volunteered to be the victim I mean recipient of my attentions in that area. I can't wait to see what he chooses for me to read to him. I'm kinda skeert.

So all in all, going back to school seems like a natural progression. I want to do something new. Something lighthearted. Something fun. Something I can walk away from at the end of a work day and not consider again until I walk in to begin another one. Something I look forward to each morning. I don't want another bachelors' degree and I don't want a post-grad degree in my B.S. major. Now is not the time for me to again delve into criminal justice, to rejoin the corporate world or the education field. I. want. uncomplicated. undemanding. uninvolved. I want to be able to express creativity and cleverness, design and individuality.

Caren's goin' to beauty school. If all goes according to planned, this time next year I'll be finished with school and on the way to doing what I wanted to do when I was in high school. Hair.

So here's the thing. Goals can be lofty, or they can be sweet. They can be complicated or they can be simple. They can accomplish many purposes or one big one. In my case, I'm following my heart. That makes it sweet and simple. Uncomplicated and unpretentious. What will be accomplished is yet to be seen but I'm looking forward to the ride.

I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

Allie and Pattie said...

AWESOME! This dream is all those things and can't wait to see it come true for you