I haven't yet finished Whitney Johnson's book Dare, Dream, Do yet. I think if it is to serve its purpose then it is important to digest it in small chunks. Also, this semester is doing the proverbial, "kicking my butt" and time for anything as wonderful as dreaming or reading about dreaming is back-burner stuff right now.
And yet . . . when we have dreams that are such a part of us, it is hard to just STOP dreaming. To stop thinking about them. To not allow our minds to wander to that what-if place.
So today I'm going to take a few minutes to do dream-inventory. I am publishing another piece on Dare to Dream later this summer in which I talk about my belief that it is time to take "my turn" and that a re-evaluation and shake up of my life feels much-needed at the moment. August is the month for that: the next six weeks will just be too busy. But in preparation for the shake up, I think taking a few minutes to chronicle my dreams is useful. These dreams here are, for the sake of brevity and staying on the subject, dreams related to me personally. Of course I have dreams and hopes for my family as well.
Writing: Some mini-publishing opportunities have presented themselves this year. Besides Dare to Dream I will publish on The Power of Moms blog. Some of you will have read the piece, at least in part. I wrote it a few years ago about my father and posted it here for Father's Day (or his birthday?). It will appear with some tweaks on the site on Sunday. My academic writing has improved immensely and any of my college courses with a heavy emphasis on writing have been very fulfilling. I need to spend some serious time on my fairy tale, using so many excellent suggestions for revisions and improvement. By serious time I mean probably 100 hours. It doesn't seem like much if I could just find a way to write full time! In addition, I have another novel in my head--not plotted out--but mostly written. Another story that with a couple hundred hours could make it to page, complete. It might not be a marketable story, but I really love it and think it deserves to be told. So the common thread here is clearly time. I am still not sure that I have pursued this writing goal to its limit. Some cursory failed efforts at publishing don't seem like quite enough. I think I can do better. When is the question? I sometimes wonder if I should have put school off for a year and spent the past year just writing.
School: Up to now, school has mostly been time consuming. In other words, if you put in the time you get the A's. It has been interesting and enjoyable though not particularly difficult. This semester is proving to be very different. Two of my three classes are very hard, involving concepts and skills that are by turns abstract, difficult, time-consuming and just plain challenging. I know the purpose of school is to stretch yourself, and for that I am glad, but 9 credits may have been overly ambitious this term. I have dreamed of a master's degree for so many years: in less than a year I will walk across that stage.
Employment: My final school project will be some major volunteer work in my sons' school next year, working with fourth grade teachers to provide better and more personalized science instruction for children in classes of 35 kids. I will probably be involved upwards of 10 hours each week. Oregon schools (maybe especially in our area) are in a rather big mess at the moment. Lay-offs, growing classrooms, fewer days--apocalyptic stuff really from an education standpoint. The thought that I might actually get hired a year from now is starting to seem a bit laughable in light of the latest round of lay-offs. The thought of subbing for a year or few (like many do) before getting hired makes me feel a bit nauseated. The thought of not working in the field at all after the sacrifices I've made to get where I am (not to mention that student loan piling up) is disappointing on more levels than I care to think about. Reading Dare, Dream, Do has made me think again that what I really want is to start a school.
I find it odd that at nearly 40 years old I'm still wondering what path, exactly, my life will take. Of course, the point of this blog (if there is one) is that the journey is what matters; at the end of it all, perhaps it is more about traveling than arriving. Or perhaps that the puts and downs of traveling makes the destination more sweet.