I sit here amazed at how fast this year passed. Never has a year blown by as speedy as this one. Sometimes I wish there was a button you could push that would slow life down and allow you to really savor the best parts of it all.
There are a number of things I would have slowed down – my experience at the Chautauqua Writer’s Workshop, for one. I reread my notes regularly, especially those from Patti Gauch’s sessions. What an incredible teacher she is! I hope that someday I will have another opportunity to work on my writing with her guidance. What a lady!
The George Washington Teacher’s Institute was another experience that needed more time. It was a whirlwind of a week, but I learned so much. I’d like to go back to Mount Vernon, not as a student this time, but as a visitor. Then I could spend as much time as I want on the parts that interest me the most.
My week in Fort Meyers with my husband and without the kids was definitely too short! We’ve never been very good about carving out time that’s just ours, but this year we made a point of it. Tuesdays have become “out to dinner” night. Daughter has a ride to and from gymnastics. Son is now an adult. No one needs us, so why not? It was odd at first. It took some getting used to being able to have an uninterrupted conversation, or to talk about something besides gymnastics, video games, movies, pets, and school friends. It’s been good, and we plan to take more kid-less mini-vacations throughout next year.
Next year… I have such high hopes! It hasn’t even begun, yet it feels like it’s going to be a year of opportunities on several fronts. My middle grade novel is nearly ready to begin the submission process, and I’ve several ideas for new novels. I’m applying for an incredible writer’s workshop. It’s a small group –only seven people, but the editor/facilitator is someone I’d love to work with. Hopefully I will be one of the seven who get to attend.
Those of you who know me well know I love to sing. I’ve had very few opportunities to sing for nearly four years, but in the last six months, I’m suddenly getting requests to come perform again. I’ve got another invitation from a local orchestra for a concert this spring. It’s all fun, and I hope the opportunities keep coming.
Not everything in 2011 looks bright. The possibility is high that I might be a victim of a RIF (reduction in force) from my teaching position come June. The cuts in the budget are state wide, so there won’t be any teaching jobs anywhere else either. But I choose to look at this as another chance to turn lemons into lemonade. I’ll certainly have more time to devote to the creative endeavors in my life. It could be that a job loss is the button I long for that slows life down and allows me the time to savor the moments. I choose to make the most of whatever happens.
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season. May the New Year bring to each of you the opportunities that satisfy your dreams!