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
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