Creating a Change of Value

The holidays are such a crapshoot. Sometimes I’m really in the mood to sprinkle around town spreading merriment and taking in the joy and other years, I am completely slumped, ready to snap at any moment.

I’m experiencing the latter this year, but who isn’t? The economy, the weather, blah blah blah . . . But there’s something else that is rubbing me the wrong way this year and I’m feeling a bit blue about it.

B and I have had a fantastic year of fortunes. We were married! Hey, I’ve always wanted to do that with the right person. Check. We went on a fabulous honeymoon resplendent with great moments in such a unique part of the world. Check. We got a new dining room table. Check.

But I’m missing something. Dude, I need to strap on a pair.

Remember the Mighty List? I made this one in June:

1. See Alhambra
2. Scuba without hyperventilating
3. Make homemade jam
4. Drink a mint julep at the Kentucky Derby
5. Have a baby
6. Sing in a gospel choir
7. Grow vegetables and peonies
8. Write my family members and friends really meaningful letters
9. Learn how to sail
10. Run a 5-K
11. Teach my kids to swim
12. Learn the Tango
13. Play 10 Christmas carols on the piano and have a swinging holiday party
14. Open a pie shop
15. Pay off my credit cards
16. Learn how to play and score tennis
17. See all 50 states
18. Hold my drink
19. Chew yerba mate while hiking Machu Picchu
20. La Tomatina in Valencia wearing white.
21. Ride in a hot air balloon.
22. Skinny dip.
23. Wear a wig and dark sunglasses and red lipstick while sipping scotch on the rocks.
24. Chop off my hair.
25. Build a fire from scratch.
26. Go deep sea fishing.
27. Moguls.
28. Finish The Quincunx.
29. Throw a bonafide tea party.
30. Foxtrot.
31. ifly.
32. Retake my passport photo.
33. Visit the catacombs of Paris.
34. Erase this site. (I kind of quit it, but didn’t erase it).
35. Ice luge.
36. Move to the ocean and buy a Wagoneer.
37. Live in New Orleans.
38. Paint the table aqua when everyone says it should be black.

I did four of the things on my list (of only 38 things—I’m so unmotivated that I haven’t come up with another 62). But I think I wrote the list knowing that there was a pretty good chance that I would do at least one of those things (though the deep sea fishing was a complete surprise!). That’s a hell of a lazy way to approach a life list. I need to get serious about taking care of some things for me this year.

For a long time now, I’ve been considering going back to school to get my teaching certificate. I wanted to take the easy way out and finish with a concentration in history. I majored in history, so it made sense to teach secondary with a focus on social studies. Something kept holding me back from making an appointment to talk to anyone about it: I hate teenagers. Hate them.

After much consideration, I’ve finally discovered that I love, love, love small children who are eager to learn and start the day. I, with my sailor mouth, want to teach elementary school children how to read and write and do easy math problems. And I’m terrified to try it. I’m so scared to step up to the plate and do something about being unhappy with myself. I love my husband, but getting married didn’t do it for me; taking a trip of a lifetime didn’t do it for me. I suppose the only thing left is for me to do is to really do something for me.

Have any of you reached out of your comfort zone to take control of your life lately? If so, I’d love to hear your stories. I need a boost.

Life list for 2009:
Go back to school.
Get my left K-9 crown replaced
Get over myself



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4 responses to “Creating a Change of Value

  1. I’m sure there’s nothing quite like a full-time teaching job to cure you of that love, love, love for small children. You’ll be arm deep in vomit, whining and Ritalin before you know it. Huge vacations though…

    Maybe you should think more about that strap-on thing – that got my attention.

  2. homemadesin

    As always, thanks for putting things in perspective, Bison. 😉

  3. Joyce

    You can do it, Ashley! I would love to read blog posts about being armpit in vomit. You can complement Girl Erin’s “Chronicles of a Pediatrician” series. What would be better than a teacher’s take on these small, sticky-handed creatures? Also, we’ll have relatively the same vacation schedule!

  4. Love the new look. I’ll be keeping an eye on you, Missy! You know I made a Big Break, too. After 16 years teaching special ed, to culinary school to pastry chef to whatever it is I am now:) I had to swallow/master/ignore all sorts of fear about making THAT leap, let me tell you. Here I am on the other side, happily writing about food and combining chef stuff and teaching stuff. You’ll find your path, too. I know it!

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