10 years ago this summer, my husband Stuart and I undertook a major, life-changing event. i kept journals and actually put together an entire book on this event. it was a compilation of my journal entries, poetry, email updates to friends, and photos. i even submitted it once to be published because i thought others may have an interest in doing what we did and may want to read about it. alas; i got no response and promptly gave up on the idea.
anyway, ten years later, i’m going to have to super-condense all those words i wrote and try to summarize a little story for you. it will take a few posts and i’ll string them out a bit, but to start with, i need to go back even farther, to 1988. that’s when we found this piece of raw land and decided to build a house on it. we had been wanting to own some land and live away from the city. this was the perfect spot – close to everything, yet at the end of a dirt road with a “miles away” feel to it.
we designed much of the house ourselves, positioning it to take full advantage of the view. it was a thrilling experience to see our vision become translated into reality. although the project took longer and cost more than expected (don’t they always??), the house exceeded our expectations and was a joy to live in. we had trees, trails, boulders, lots of growing things and seasonal creeks. paradise!
i’m only telling you this background so that you can understand that it was not easy to leave. honestly, most of the time i felt i wanted to live there forever….. why would we ever want to leave??
fast forward to 2001….. still love the house, but my job was feeling sooooo overwhelming and constantly stressful.
journal entry from 3/31/01:
I have to vent a bit I think – Things I’m sick and tired of:
· Being responsible for every problem kid in the school
· Being expected at every meeting ever held
· Being expected to write every last IEP in the world
· Never having time to plan
· Never having enough actual hands-on time with the kids
· Being approached daily by teachers who have another kid for me
· Having to spend every last free minute writing IEP’s
Do I sound burned out??
I’ll tell you what – I’m sick and tired of it – I’ve been doing it for 25 years (!) and I’m not going to take it any more! I feel so strongly about this that I can’t imagine changing my mind. It’s not only the burnout, it’s the sameness. I’ve never been one to do the conventional thing – surely no one thought I would keep the same comfortable little job for 30 years and then retire from it?? (least of all me!) I’m more and more convinced – I want to go!!
in addition to all of that, the thought of exploring the country while we were still young enough to hike and appreciate it was starting to be really appealing. having our cake and eating it too (keeping the house and still traveling) would have been nice, but turned out to be impossible, sooooo.... after much conflict and many sleepless nights, we put the house on the market and – bingo – it sold to the first lookers. meant to be, right?
(to be continued…)