Things to do with the second half of my lifeI'm feeling bored, bored, bored by my life. This is a pattern for me; I used to move frequently, and then by the time I made new friends and got truly settled in, I'd be off to try something new and someplace new (but not too new--always an academic program and a restaurant job!). My father has told me about the AA truism, which goes something like this: "You get off the bus, and there you are." It's true; I follow me every where I go. But as it grows ever more impossible to delude even myself into thinking that if I'm sad, angry, and desperate enough my husband will come back, or that the universe will decide to take care of me with no effort on my part, I am thinking about what I want to do for ME in the next phase(s). With no time limits or commitment, here are the things I want to do:
1. Move back to SF/live in a "real" city again. I often wonder if the sheer joy of being in SF (which, for me, is tangible and genuine) could possibly offset the very real benefits of my life now: a nice, big house; a fabulous job that I love; good friends who support me and my daughter; a "community" that includes her Chinese program, ballet, and school; a lower cost of living that makes it *almost* possible for me to afford these things for her; a nice, small, easy city where the daily workings of life create minimal stress. Very few of these things would be remotely possible in an expensive city where even procuring housing--let alone finding a remotely suitable academic job--would be pretty much beyond my means.
2. Take an extended research trip. I'd like to take a semester, or summer, or whatever, and live in Boston, Philadelphia, D.C., or New York. I'd like to work in the archives and libraries during the day, and explore the city with my daughter the rest of the time. There are fellowships for this, but they don't cover child care. If we went during the year, of course, she could go to school...
3. Travel. The top of my list: Iceland, Scotland, Ireland; Macchu Picchu; Eastern Europe--especially Istanbul and the coast of the former Yugoslavia. Budapest.
4. Live/teach in China. There are exchange programs. Once I get tenure (if?) I am going to check these out in earnest; apparently, and somewhat oddly, my academic specialty is in demand in their universities.
5. Write a mystery novel. I'm considering taking an on-line course, just for the structure, practice, and feedback it would provide. And no, of course I don't have time.
6. Arrest my physical decline. I want to have a regular exercise program of swimming and yoga, at least, so I can be one of those women who feel and look better at 50 than at 35.
7. Find a second soul-mate who adores my daughter. I'd love to get married again, but even more, I'd like someone to go to movies with, to hang out with on Sunday mornings, and to travel to some of those places in number 3.
8. Live in a modernist dwelling and get RID of some of the stuff that weighs me down.
10. Sort my photos and put together my wedding scrapbook. Finally.