Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Change is

I am a creature of habit. I am not a huge risk-taker. I like things simple and controlled and easy. I like for there to be routine and normalcy and predictability in my life.

Most of the time.

Then sometimes.... sometimes I just get this itch to bust out of the shell that has been made 100% by me, the shell that keeps my predictability predictable. Sometimes I wonder, "Okay, so what would happen if I did this?" or "Hmmm...that's just so insane that I think I'll try it." And sometimes I do break free and stray from my routine. Then there are the times - more often than not - that I just sit back and shake my head and say, "No. I won't try that. It's too scary, too confusing, too out of my zone, too much for me." I really think too much.

And while a life of complacency and normalcy and routine is very complacent, normal and routine......well, sometimes it's boring.

So that's why the week before Christmas I'm shutting Diva Daycare down. All of my little diva-ettes will be turned over to other moderately insane caring individuals who will begin caring for them. And those new caregivers will begin loving them - but never as much as their Kiki has. Did this decision come easily for me? Oh gosh no. I have worried, fretted, cried and prayed so hard over this decision that I've nearly given myself an ulcer. I can't tell you the evenings that I have gone to bed early just so I can be alone to think and to pray. And to cry. I feel like I have a personal stake in their little lives, whether that is reality or not. Someone told me that I was being ridiculous and that I was just another person in a long line of people in their lives that would eventually be forgotten. That person was wrong. I hope. I'd like to think that someday their parents will talk fondly about the crazy woman who loved them and sang to them and danced the cha-cha with them while wearing a feather boa and a pirate hat and who taught them the fishy song and read Go, Dog, Go! to them so many times that they eventually took the word to the extreme and began telling everyone to GO!

It was such a hard decision, but I know it's the right decision. It's right for me and my family right now. And that is my ultimate responsibility. Telling the parents was hard. One adamantly refused to believe it. One teasingly offered me more money. But everyone has been supportive, even in their initial panic and disappointment.

I'm going back to school. I'm going back to school!

As my dad says, "It's about time." And it is about time. I'm excited, nervous, and absolutely scared to death, but I'm ready. I haven't gone to school in nearly 16 years and that fact alone is daunting. I'm going for a Journalism degree and by all indications should be able to get both my Associates and my Bachelors mostly online with a few night classes scattered throughout. It's utterly non-traditional and from what I hear, very hard to pursue a degree online, but my family and friends are behind me all the way and that will help me on those nights that I find myself sitting at the computer wondering just what the heck I was thinking.

I'm also very seriously researching the ins and outs of publishing a book in the very near future. It's a huge task, but strangely it seems far less scary than going back to college.

My kids are ecstatic that I'm going back to school, but Sam's worried I won't fit in the desks. Thankfully my computer chair and the couch are comfortable and I assure him I won't have any trouble with that. I did explain, though, that if I do take an actual class in a classroom that the desks are just a little bit bigger than the one he sits at every day. Abby thinks that it's rather exciting that she and I will both be doing homework in "our" office. Kady's just glad that next semester I will be the one to take her and pick her up from Lab School. And they are all overjoyed that I will be able to attend class parties and field trips with them again. Paul is glad we're moving our bedroom back to the other end of the house into a room where our furniture actually fits.

Mom and Tater are my rocks. They were the two that received the countless phone calls and endured the conversations revolving solely around me and my exhausting need to overthink any decision. They are supporting me all the way. I couldn't love them more. They are saints. Very patient saints.

My dad and step mom are supportive as well about the prospective book and college. They both have been urging me for years now to write a book and Dad could hardly wait to get off the phone with me Sunday night so he could tell her.

Our debt with the one last credit card has been moved around and is now under a more manageable kind of control. I cannot wait to tell Sears to kiss my big toe when that check clears. I'm also dropping Caller ID because there is no longer a need to dodge phone calls from them wanting money I don't have.

We booked our January trip to Disney World today.

I might possibly be available on the shelves of a bookstore near you in the next year. Okay, well my book might. Not me. You'd experience one night of my whining and alphabetizing your pantry and you'd take me back to Barnes and Noble the next morning.

Oh my gosh. I'm going back to school.

Change is good.


Anonymous said...

I can't begin to tell you how happy I am for you. After reading your blogs, I told D and the Cap'n that you needed to be writing. You can do it. If you ever need any help at all, give me a call. If it is just for a little booster upper or for an English problem or whatever, I would be delighted to be of assistance. I love when my former students start working up to their potential and you have soooooooooo much. Trust me those children will remember you for a long time. Some day when they are reading one of your books, they will tell the person next to them all about you dancing and reading and taking good care of them. To for it darling. Be the success you were always meant to be. Make us all proud.

Mrs. E

RJ said...

going to school will be the best thing you have ever done (besides having your little critters!). The next ten years are gonna pass one way or another and yo u might as well get the schoolin' under your belt while you are moving that direction! Good luck and congrats on the Blog award win! My friend won in the most unusual blog award as well.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for some time... some nights sitting here laughing so hard i about fall off my desk chair and to have my husband walk by and give me that look of are you sure your sane??? YOU will do awesome going back to college.. i went back after 13 years or so... and at 31 it means more to me.. plus those online classes are great.!!! Jammies and big baggy tshirts and all are the most comfy things to wear when im studying or taking tests.. good luck and your family im sure is ecstatic at the prospect about having more family time

Stewed Hamm said...

Congratulations, Diva. Making the decision to actually *DO* something is usually the hardest part, I think. Probably because you have so much more time to worry about everything.

Don't forget all us little people when you start your fancy college-goin' book-sellin' life.

Melessa Gregg said...

I agree with jen t. that it means more to you when you've waited for it. You're right, it won't be easy, but I know you can do this and I know (from experience) that it will be worth it! I'm SO excited for you!

D said...

WOW! I bet that was a hard decision! I have read your blog for awhile now and I can tell how much you love the diva-ettes. I know going back to school is a scary proposition but like someone else said, you don't want to look back on your life in 10 yrs and regret NOT going. Save my place in line for the autographed copy of the book!

Queen Of Cheese said...

Damn you again! I was going to blog today about my decision to go back to college in the Spring. You beat me to it. I've already enrolled but didn't get to the campus in time to finalize my stuff before the semester began last month.

MamaKBear said...

I know just how you feel about the kiddos...I cried when I left my daycare job after working there 3 years. To this day I wonder if "my kids" remember me! I hope they do.

I'm so sorry I didn't make it to the Okie Round-up!! I really wanted to go, but we're dealing with a lot at home since my MIL has been diagnosed with brain cancer. She doesn't have much time left already. :(

I'm thrilled to see you won an award! I voted for you in all your catergories! :) Congratulations! You deserve it!

Kellyology said...

What a bunch of awesome & excellent decisions. Good luck with school, and I can't wait to hear about all of the your on-line school experiences.

Book...you have a reader here! I really enjoy your blog, and I think your writing would translate into a book really well.

Good luck!

Irish Divinity said...

Are you kidding me? Forget you, like I'm not going to be dragging him out there so that you can discipline is rotten little butt for me as he grows, because we both know that I'm hopeless and all I can do is laugh!!

GERBEN said...

Oh wow! Good luck and congrats!

Politically Homeless said...

Woohoo! You go girl. I don't think you'll regret it.

Anonymous said...

Back to school eh? Time to break out those huge glasses and the mall bangs. I may still have a Cosby sweater you can use, if you need it.

Anonymous said...

And, I hate to burst your bubble, but I beat you to it. I'm already a published author. I've had several short stories appear in such publications as Penthouse Forum and Hustler. I swear I never thought it would happen to me, but......

Hillbilly Mom said...

My kids still remember their daycare lady. #2 son used to name her in all the people he loved, right after the family and Grandma. They still want to drive to town to her house for trick-or-treating.

I must know more about the book. Essays? Fiction? Personal memoir? One of each? You rock! If you write it, we will read!

Collin said...

I hope it all works out wonderfully!

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Man, you forget to check a blog for a few days, and everything changes!

I did most of my Masters degree through online classes, and I didn't find it to be any more difficult than regular class; in fact, I often preferred it, since it meant I didn't have to worry about sitting through boring lectures where the professor just told me stuff I already knew because I'd been working in the field for almost ten years already . . . Anyway, as long as you can make yourself sit down and do the work (always a problem for easily distracted me), I know you'll do great.

Carrie said...

The kids will ALWAYS remember you! How could they forget you? You'll love the online class thing, too! I take most of my classes online, and it's so nice! They're not easy by any means, but at least you don't have to wear a bra to go to class!

Redneck Diva said...

Mrs. E, I printed out your comment and it's taped to the inside of my computer armoire where I see it daily. Thank you.

RJ, I'm still not entirely convinced that school is the best thing I'll ever do, but it might run in the top 10? :-)

Sally, you and your sister are wise, wise women. Thank you for your encouragement - I may need more over the next few days/months/years!

Jen T, it's always wonderful to hear of a long-time reader de-lurking! Thanks for coming out of the woodwork to encourage me! I'm glad I make you laugh and make your husband doubt your sanity!

Lessa, I've heard stories both ways - the online is harder and that it's easier. I guess I'll find out in January! Regardless of how hard or easy it is, it's the only way it will work for my family right now so I'm running with it!

Stewed Hamm, I tend to overthink every damn decision, so imagine how hard it was for me to make THIS one!

There is no possible way I could forget any of you faithful blog-readers and former BB2 housemates! Y'all are what got me started!

Melessa, remember that offer you made at the Round-up? The one where you offered me your attic room for a getaway? I hope you meant it - I might cross over to completely mad before it's all said and done and might end up on your doorstep one weekend!

Scrapper, it was a hard decision, but I know the right one. I do love those babies, but their parents have assured me that I'm not totally out of their lives - one asked today if she could plan play-dates from time to time! The line for autographed copies continues to grow....you might have to remind me....lol.

Mrs.Coach, I still think that you and I should start some kind of 30-Something Student's Club with an emphasis on the gratuitous overuse of alcoholic beverages!

MamaKBear, it's hard to let those little Diva-ettes go, but their parents assure me I can visit!

I still have some gold mouse ears for you! Email me with a mailing address and I'll send them your way. You need some gold mouse ears to put some shine in your life right now. ((hugs))

Kelly, I'm going to go from daycare/poopy diaper adventures to adventures in higher education! The transition is sure to be a doozie!

Irish Divinity, I am SO holding you to that promise of bringing him out! You dump him on my lap, head straight to my fridge for a beer and take a load off while we play. I'll spoil him rotten - I mean, discipline him real good for ya!

The Real Kidd, thanks!

Brian, I don't think I will either. There might be some days and nights of doubt here and there, but I think it's the right decision.

Cedric, MALL BANGS ROCK! I've been waiting patiently for big hair to come back, but it's taking so long I may have to bring it back single-handedly. There's only so much you can do with this mop of curly hair - it only does BIG really well.

Penthouse eh? I knew you had it in you, buddy.

Hillbilly Mom, I still see my old babysitting wards from time to time and so far everyone seems to remember me fondly. I hope this batch does the same!

The book will be essays, short stories, etc. Kind of like the blog, except you can actually turn the pages. No clicking required.

Collin, me too! Thanks!

Cap'n Neurotic, I tend to be easily distracted, too, but it's also been nearly 16 years since I've studied! If I can harness the nerdy energy I had back in high school I think I can focus and do the work. Of course, nerdy energy aside, I didn't have three kids and a husband back then!

Carrie, not having to wear a bra to class is what cinched the decision for me!

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...