Every few years, I get really anxious for a big change. I start wanting to move to another country, learn a new language, get a new career. I fantasize about my new life, and even start to make plans about how to make it come to pass. Once, I planned a whole life for us in Hawaii, where Derek would be a renewable energy engineer (with a specialty in wind turbines), and I would travel the islands, doing hikes and runs, and maybe the odd triathlon. I knew my kids would grow up weird, since every haole I’ve ever known was weird, and had a secret language. Kind of like kids who were home-schooled.

Sometimes I just fantasize about moving across town, or one state over (to be closer to family, or my best friend, or course). I try to come up with ways to pay the bills. I think Derek would make a fine professor, but that sort of depends on availability of positions. I think I would make a fine professor, but I’d have to find something to profess, first. My fantastic and wildly successful art career is still many imaginations away, and when I become an opera singer at the Met, it will be in that other life where I started taking singing lessons when I was three. I will never start my own business, having an innate distrust of small businesses started by myself, and, unfortunately, there’s not really a market for snooty menu editors (though any number of chainy, fake-Italian restaurants could undoubtedly benefit from my services).

Last year, I went back to school. I am completely in love with my school, a local community college. Every teacher I’ve had has been wonderful, and encouraging, and friendly. They all treat me like I have something to share with the world. This is a wildly different experience than the one I had at the large university where I got my BA, and I sometimes wonder how my course of life would have gone if I’d had that kind of care and respect the first time around. I’m probably just a sissy, but I’m definitely the kind of person who does better with kind encouragement than with yelling or meanness. Yes, I did have a teacher or two at BYU who were unaccountably mean.

So now what should I do? I’m still going to school, my kids are still in school, Derek still has the same job, we live in the same town we have lived in for 3 whole years. Any suggestions on a new hobby? One that is cheap? And requires learning a new skill?