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There are so many things I want to do! So many lives I want to experience. I had recently decided I wanted to go back to school, finish my bachelor’s degree (hopefully in no more than a year and a half), and then see if I couldn’t get into the MFA program in writing. I have been pretty excited about this idea for several days. I’ve mulled over what the classroom experience might be like for me, now that I’m so much older, and whether or not my aging brain could keep up in a classroom full of 18 year olds, fresh from high school (I will definitely have a few introductory classes to take, particularly in the sciences). I decided I was all in.

 

This morning, however, driving out along the old river road, I began thinking about my life as part of my family, as the wife of my husband. We struggle financially, in large part because we have a very large mortgage on a house that’s about a third larger than we need. But if I were working full-time, we wouldn’t be struggling. If I made twice what I make now, if I were to bring home even $1k per month, it would make all the difference. We’d have enough money and then some. We could take care of all the things we have to put off now. And I began to wonder if this has been a big disappointment to my husband, in his life with me.

 

I remember when we were dating, rather than actually proposing to me, he said that he thought we both wanted a lot of things out of life that we couldn’t attain alone, on our single salaries. Romantic, yes, I know. But he was right. Yet out of the thirteen years we’ve been married, I think I have worked outside the home, not including comedy (which, financially, didn’t count at all) for maybe five years. And that’s being generous. I doubt that’s what he signed up for. When I brought up school, he said he thought it was a great idea. But when did he agree that his purpose in life was to enable me to make my dreams come true? What part of the deal was that?

 

But I am who I am, and I would/will be angry if I have to work full-time at something I hate, or worse, something I deem pointless. B is definitely a better person than I am, and he doesn’t indulge in resentment or jealousy, whereas I virtually make them my religion. What would I like to do, if I have to work full-time (which, again, no one is asking me to do, except me)? I guess I’d like to do something that involves travel. My children are old enough that I could be away for several days at a time without causing them much hardship. On the other hand, there is so little time until S is off into the world, and by the time she graduates from high school, the last one, the baby, will only have two more years to go, too. Both of which could ostensibly keep me at home until I’m fifty years old. Thank God fifty is the new forty, or I’d be worried . . . .

 

I don’t know many jobs that I could do that would have me traveling.  I’d like to go to Shanghai, and Nepal, and Romania. I’d like to go back to Ireland and Italy, but I’d like to see Morocco, too, and Africa. I’d like to go to Australia, and New Zealand. Hell, I’d like to see Hawaii and Alaska, for that matter. I keep wondering if I could do it in some travel agent capacity, or as a writer of travel books. Write honest travelogues about what happens when you take a mildly traveled middle-aged woman and drop her in Morocco, or Romania, or Nepal, bad back, bad knees, diabetes and all. Travel books for the rest of us – not the twenty-somethings, or the well-heeled thirty-somethings, or even the sixty-somethings who are fit and retired, but a real-life mom and wife who longs to see the world. I’d have a budget and my physical issues, limited language resources, etc. Hmmm. Wonder if it’s worth writing that up and shipping it off – maybe someone would buy into the idea. I’d need a catchy title. “My Mom Wants to See the World,” and have my youngest daughter do the forewords. “Third Age, Third World.” “The Aching Back Guides.” Maybe “Lazy Travel” and find the balance between the quickest, least physically taxing way to get someplace and the most financially feasible. It wouldn’t just be budget travel, it would keep in mind that a lot of we middle-agers (by the way, I despise referring to or thinking of myself that way) don’t have young backs and knees, and we do better with a nap in the afternoon, too. Too much heat doesn’t sit well with us, nor does too much cold. Maybe “Limited Travel Unlimited.” “See the World – Without Missing Your Afternoon Nap.”   “Long Naps and Bad Knees – World Travel for the Rest of Us.” Maybe that’s it. The “Long Naps and Bad Knees” series. “Shanghai – with Long Naps and Bad Knees.” “Morocco – Travel for Used People.” That’s not it, but I feel like I’m close!

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