Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Four Year Plan

A few weeks ago, my daughter told me the idea of committing to one college for four years is scary - it's too long to commit to anything.  She's sixteen.  Four years is 1/4 of her life.  I advised her to think of it as only one year-long commitment.  At the end of every school year before you sign that housing contract, you have to make another decision that really only lasts one more year.  If she lives at home, she can take it 12 or 16 weeks at a time, semester by semester. 

For me, four years is nothing.  I had a baby four years ago - and he's not a baby anymore.  I hurt my foot three years ago - it seems like yesterday.  I'm forty-four years old.  I've done four years eleven times. 

Yesterday, I set a four year plan for myself that I'm very happy with.  I applied to graduate school, something I've been wanting to do since I was twenty-one.  I've been looking for a program on and off over the years, but never found one that I could work into my life.  Two years ago, I was accepted into a program, but I had to drop out when it turned out my foot wasn't going to heal that quickly.  I couldn't drive to campus - and I couldn't walk up the hill to class or up the stairs. 

Now I'm walking better.  I found a program that has classes in the evenings - the one-night-a-week variety.  I can (and need to) leave my house one night a week. 

I'm only going to go part-time (maybe only one night a week) at first and see how my body reacts.  The campus is cement - literally - even the walls of all the buildings are cement.  I don't walk well on cement - my sciatic nerve starts spazzing.  I'm hoping I can tolerate it one night a week.  I have nine months to get myself in shape, which I think will help my foot. 

In four years - just four years - I could have all of my previous novels edited (I have a need to do this NOW before I start classes) and maybe even published, have my next five historical novels completed or near-completion with historical accuracy, and have a part-time teaching gig at a local community college doing work I know I will love. 

I'm so happy! 


  1. Good for you...and good luck!!! :)

  2. I'm convinced that the older we get the faster time moves. Four years probably sounds like forever to your daughter. But, yeah, it goes by so fast.

    Congrats on finding a program you can work into your schedule!

  3. It's good to have a plan! Sounds like you're excited about it - the best way to be!

  4. It's all relative, Tonja, to each individual's perception. Our kids have grown up with faster expectations, and they have different perceptions of time.

    I still make 2 and sometimes 4 or 5 year plans. It's the way to accomplish things. And you're so right, looking at it a different way, can make the comparison less intimidating. I also took did some of my education in the evening while working full-time. It can be done if you want it. (As they said in the 'Magic Christian'movie, 'if you want it, here it is, come and get it')
    Bravo for you!

  5. Fantastic! I love a plan and I'm glad yours has made you happy! I'm also 44 and have decided on a five-year plan to write and publish a novel. I may do it sooner, but I like having a generous time-scale, especially as I have a day-job too! :-)

  6. That is amazing Tonja! I am so happy for you, as it is always great to be able to achieve things on your wish list.

  7. Awesome -- good luck with the edits! I need to carve out some major time for those myself...

  8. Wishing you the best of luck with it all! :)

  9. DL - Thanks

    Luanne - Are you switching from LG? I think the world is spinning more quickly for sure.

    Ash - I think it's right for me - usually when I come up with a plan I second guess myself immediately. I kind of can't wait until next September.

    DG - My biggest issue up until now was the thing where I couldn't drive or walk very well, which is kind of a deal-breaker for college. They all say they welcome the disabled, but it's not really that easy. Also my husband travels for his job with little advanced notice. Next year my little guy will be bigger, so it will be easier. Or not. We'll see.

    Linda - I'm sure it's difficult to write a novel while working full-time. Good luck!

    Murees - Thanks. I didn't get accepted yet, but I'm hopeful.

    Milo - Thank you. It's good to have a hard deadline for edits.

    Work of Heart - Thanks.

  10. Yay, you! Congrats and good luck with your grad school application! I'm wishing you the very best of luck with it all!

    Also, if you need a beta reader, I'm your man! to speak! :-)
    Some Dark Romantic