Monday, June 14, 2010

Toe-to-Toe with 40

career step
I don't know about the rest of you but summertime around here definitely doesn't qualify under the headline The Lazy Days of Summer! I've had plans to sit down here and do some catch-up entries on what we've been up to, complete with photos. However, all that's happening is I'm accumulating big file of unedited photos. A few new things in my life have made juggling everything in life challenging lately.

I turned 39 on Thursday. I know this is supposed to be a year of dread about the big one next year but I really don't feel that way. I have some great things going on in my life right now that make me feel really good about where I'll be when I crest that hill in a year. So I say bring it!

I can't remember if I've shared the full story here or not many of you know that I met Shawn when I was 17 going on 15. I had grandiose dreams of heading off to college a year later, my sights set on vet school which would allow me to eventually live a very posh life when I wasn't at work nursing cute little furry puppies. Within the next 6 months, I'd made some stark realizations about my ingenious plan.

1. A high school transcript showing a C average in Algebra, my most challenging math course, might be a hurdle to getting into vet school.

2. I'd never considered how I would react to removing a cat's eyeball. I'd never even considered that I might have to remove a cat's eyeball. I was going to be nursing cute little furry puppies. Shawn informed me that fainting, which is how I reacted to witnessing the removal of a cat's eyeball, is not an option in vet school.

3. Cute little furry puppies that come to a vet's office to be nursed quite often have very nasty, pungent diarrhea. Not so cute.

4. If you're assisting a surgery on a cat, just because it's been anesthetized doesn't mean it can't still bite through your hand. And if this happens, even if you lift your arm up off the surgery table, with the cat dangling by its jaws from your hand, it still may not let go.

5. A madly-in-love 18-year-old girl has a hard time with the idea of putting hundreds of miles between herself and her boyfriend who's in the wife-searching stage of his life.

Number 5 burned the bridge between me and college.

Looking back over the past 22 years, I have absolutely no regrets about my life. God couldn't have put me with a better man, one who's nurtured and encouraged my domestic instincts. I've been so fortunate to be able to witness every milestone of our boys' lives. I've had the privilege of teaching them both to read and write. (Don't worry about them. I left the arithmetic to Shawn!) I've had time to learn to garden and can and sew and become a decent photographer and do freelance work for great companies like Fiskars. While I have absolutely no regrets about how my adult life has played out, I do regret that I decided as a young woman to neglect doing the responsible thing, to plan for the possibility that I could one day need to have an education or skill that would allow me to find a job.

With Caelan in high school and Will quickly approaching the age when he will transition from school at home to our public school, with college years for both of them looming and, shockingly, retirement years for Shawn and me, I'm at a point in my life where it time for me to get a job. We've been discussing it for a little over a year now and explored different options. At one point, we even found ourselves shopping for bakery equipment and getting loans secured so I could open a donut shop. In the end, my desire to be at home and the lifestyle we've worked so hard to nurture, and have grown accustomed to, made us realize how taxing a business like that would be on our family.

Ultimately, we decided me training as a Medical Transcription Editor would allow us to meet both our financial and our lifestyle goals. It also takes the burden of a grueling school schedule to get me prepared for a decent paying job (pretty much non-existent in a small town for a woman with a high-school education) off the table. Looking back at 18-year-old me, I realize I should have been trade-school bound. Where I am now, I'm looking at my finish line in as little as 4 months down the road. All-the-while, because I can break up my training, and eventually my workload, to fit into blocks of time throughout my day, I can still garden and can and sew and work at becoming a better photographer and do freelance work for Fiskars! The down side is some things have had to get pushed to the back burner until I learn how to juggle everything and blogging has been one of those things. But I will find a way to work it back in on a more regular basis!

So this, and a few other things that are happening right now, leave me saying, "Look out 40! I'm not afraid of you!"
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Michelle said...

Fabulous Kendra ! Go for it. I think it sounds like a great idea.

tammy said...

Although we will miss your entries,
we understand that blogging is not a top priority as long as a real life is involved...and isn't that what you blog about anyway!!! You can do it! You are a self-motivated gal, and you can do anything when you put your mind to it....just look at all your past entries and your life!!! Thank you so much for sharing the photos of your have inspired me so much and I can't wait to get started on my has been a mess for so long but your photos have inspired me in so many ways! Sure hope with your shcooling that you will be able to find time to be creative as well...I know it makes me a better person when I am!! Blessings on all your new adventures! I will still keep checking on you regularly so I don't miss anything!!!

Kendra said...

Thank you Michelle and Tammy! And Tammy, I'd love to see photos of your studio when you get it finished!

jkhenson said...

Good luck with the next steps in your journey! :)) I always love your posts, few or frequent, as well as your fiskars tutorials. :) I appreciate you and your stories of being a mom, a wife, a learner and a follower of God. :)) Thank you!

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