Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Turning a Corner

As I wrote last night in my other blog, I have been accepted into the Masters program in Thanatology at Hood College.

Monday night I was on the phone with my best friend when another call came in, a call from the Dr. who is the department head of the program at Hood. He and I had a wonderful chat while I put some snow on the mountaintops in a little painting I'm working on . He answered some questions for me and talked to me about career opportunities in the field of thanatology. One thing I found out is that I will need even more education if I ever want to set up shop as an individual grief counselor. There's plenty of time to think about and explore that, though. With this degree I can work within an agency, which may be quite enough for me in the autumn of my life.

One thing that this means is that I will be giving up the other grad school to which I was accepted - American University - where I was set to be in their MFA/Creative Writing program. Through lots of meditation, prayer, and therapy, I've realized that I will never give up writing but that I don't necessarily need a higher degree to do what I want to do with it. My publications to date include two engineering reference books, an academic paper, and several poems. I have another engineering book in the works and a novel. Writing, when it bites you, takes hold like a terrapin.

Who knows? Perhaps my writing talents will merge solidly with my new path in life. Maybe I will write something so profound that it eclipses even the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Wouldn't that be something?

A thing I've discovered in life is that we don't have to choose just one thing and be that. We are blessed with good long lives that can include several careers. We are given many talents that we can use to enlighten, delight, and comfort others. In my 46 years I have been:
  • A receptionist in my father's building supply company
  • A fast food cashier
  • A punch-out worker, doing warranty work on homes
  • An ice cream truck driver (bilingual at that)
  • A box office cashier at a movie theater
  • A Tupperware lady (lousy at that!)
  • A wife (25 years and counting) and stay at home mom (for a time)
  • A pet mommy many times over
  • An accounting clerk (one assignment was in a forensic hospital)
  • A computer operator
  • A hardware specialist (networking hardware)
  • A medical information systems trainer/implementor
  • A network engineer
  • A customer service manager (still in networking)
  • A project manager
  • A project marketing manager
  • A document specialist
  • A technical writer
  • An author and mentor
And now it looks as though I'll go on to work with those who are dying or have lost someone. I will have the unique opportunity to offer my compassion to those in need, and I couldn't be more excited, though I admit that I've had a migraine lingering in the back of my head since the call. Suddenly I realize that I'll be starting grad school in the spring, embarking on a new chapter in my life. Even good stress can sometimes bring these on, but I'm so happy. :-)

May God use me to bring light into the lives of others and hope where there is none. May this next chapter in my life be more about others than about me. And may all of your lives take new and exciting paths, even when you least expect it.

Peace - D


Hilary said...

I'm SO impressed! That's just wonderful - your career choice, your being accepted, your compassion. You're one cool woman. Yay you! (Now get rid of that migraine!)

Lavinia said...

Wow, so much hope, promise and optimism in this post, along with a dazzling list of your accomplishments thus far. I could never have been an ice cream truck driver....cuz there wouldn't have been any ice cream left for the customers!!

the walking man said...

From your lips to God's ear.

Moannie said...

Phew! You leave me dizzy. You already do so much and now taking on more. Very worthwhile but so hard to do, feeling the grief of others without absorbing it into yourself.

You put me to shame.

RiverPoet said...

Hilary - Thank you so much for the kind words! And I'm hoping for a migraine-free day today!

Lavinia - Amazingly enough, I didn't want the ice cream while driving the truck. I think I was just sick of seeing it.

WM - Indeed! I hope He is good to me.

Moannie - Oh, I don't see it that way. I always wish I could do more! Seems like these physical limitations have made me have to work so much harder to get half as much done. Wish me luck!

Peace - D

Mental P Mama said...

What a profound and compassionate choice. I look forward to reading all about it;)

tysdaddy said...

thanatology . . . what an amazing field of study.

Congrats on your decision, and rest assured that I'll be around to encourage you along the way . . .

Marty said...

Doris, I am so happy to see that you are going in this direction. I think that you will be a wonderful support for those that you meet.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Congrats on getting accepted! That is huge! Can you hear the applause from down here in NoVa?

Daryl said...

Excellent .. now BREATHE and try to relax and tell that migraine to hit the road!


Akelamalu said...

That's a very impressive CV m'dear. May I wish you every success on your next venture. :)

Deb said...

Congrats on this new chapter in your life. I have to say though that when I look at the list of all that you have done so far in your life it seems to me that you often have given to others. I wish you only the best. Take care of yourself.

Mary Alice said...

What an exciting new chapter....and the list of careers? I gathered you are a military spouse too...I think an extensive career list goes right along with that role!