This summer has been an experiment for me. I knew I needed to have a plan to avoid repeating last summer, with its days that inched along, slow minute by slower minute, on a campus devoid of its purpose and vitality – its students. To have something, anything, to do last year, I had volunteered my services to offices all over campus and ended up with work worthy of an orphan in a Dickens novel. I had to make a change, to protect not only my sanity but also my husband’s (the guy who had to listen to me every night).
And so I decided to take a class. Which meant enrolling in a graduate writing program. Maybe I’ll actually finish the degree, or maybe this was all just a fun diversion. I don’t know yet which it’ll be.
I’m taking it one class at a time. This first one ends this week. And I loved it (especially the first-time-ever public performance of one of the plays I wrote at Malaprop’s Bookstore last weekend). Loved it enough to enroll in a second class for the last half of the summer.
But can I do this eleven more times? That’s how many classes remain for me to obtain a Master of Arts in Writing degree.
I realize that, like everything good in life, it comes at a cost. A trade-off. Continually, I’ll need to evaluate if it’s still worth the price. Since the tuition is a huge perk of working at a university, the cost for me comes in other areas. Is the payback of motivation and creativity worth the investment of time and energy? (For instance, this blog has had to suffer.) Does it negatively – or positively – affect my significant people (i.e., Steve)?
Isn’t that what we all have to do, all the time? Who doesn’t want to make wise choices with our limited number of hours in each day? How do we make the finite days we have on earth count?
We evaluate. Decide. Eliminate some things. Concentrate on others. Make mid-course corrections.
For now, my writing classes seem to be worth it for me, and for Steve. The first half of my summer has soared by. I’ve been fulfilled. I’ve been stretched. And I’ve complained less during our dinner conversations.
What do you need to evaluate?
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)