Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm 40 . . How is that possible?

I turned 40 last week. By my request there was not much fanfare, no big party or anything. Good thing we didn't spend a lot on that kind of stuff, because as of this week we have a leaky 27 old kitchen faucet and the air conditioner in my car just died. Sigh.

As one of my Facebook friends said . . "40! How is it possible? Wasn't it like just a couple of weeks ago that we were standing in line for [our favorite college bar] with fake ID's?"


Turning 40 is not really a huge deal for me. I'm actually grateful to have made it this far.

But, marking my 40 years on this earth has got me thinking about a bunch of things, which have boiled down to the following questions:
  • What do I want to be when I grow up? (Yes, I still don't know)
  • What can I do to make my rather ordinary life extraordinary?
  • What would best help me to live another 40 years with just as much fun (if not more!) as I've had in the past 40?

As I mull over the answers to these questions (maybe once I figure out some coherent thoughts on that, I'll answer them in another post), I decided that rather than envy my daughter in all the things she's learning, like photography, I should join her and take strides to learn something new myself.

So, for my 40th birthday, I asked to take photography classes. I start one of two classes next Monday.

Yes, each Monday evening until December 13th, I will have two hours to myself to get over to our local community college for photography courses. The first course I registered for is Basic Photography, then I move right on to Advanced Photography after Basic ends. In the spring I hope to take more classes - there are Commercial Photography and Photoshop classes that look interesting.

These are non-credit courses that don't count towards anything, but that's OK. They are affordable, and the course description is right down my alley.

Now I did look into a photography certificate program at our local art and design college, but the classes were $500-$700 each, require a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera and it would have taken a couple of years.

So I decided to start small. The classes I'm taking are $128 each, and I can use my point and shoot camera.

Yes, of course, I do want to buy a DSLR, but I'm not there yet (and neither is my bank account) I decided I should master the camera I have (which is fairly new) before I am ready to move on.

So why photography, you ask? I love to take pictures - I always have. I take a ton of them. And typically I do a whole lot of nothing with them. Whenever I go to a wedding, I take 100+ pictures to send to the bride. I figure I can get some shots that her photographer is too busy to get. Plus, it's fun!

Sometimes I get lucky and take a great one. I would like to take more great ones.

And someday, if I stick with it and show some promise, maybe I can make a little money doing it (and thus maybe answering question #1 above). . and if not, at a minimum, my skills should improve enough in order to create plenty of lasting memories for our family.

It feels great to do something for myself. Pre-kids, I used to take tennis lessons, cooking classes, all kinds of stuff. Haven't done anything like that in years, and I miss having some time to work on something for myself.

Hunter has many hobbies - hunting, fishing, poker night, etc. My hobbies consist of reading for 20 minutes before I go to bed and cleaning my house (which I suck at, my house is always a mess). And an occasional exercise class here and there (on my lunch break!).

It was surprisingly easy to coordinate - Hunter graciously agreed to be home from work every Monday by 6:30 so I can go to class.

Hopefully it will remain this easy. So far the kids have no activities on Monday nights, so we are clear!!!

I will continue thinking about the questions posed in this post and will follow up with my Next-40-Year plan soon!


Nikki B. said...

Happy belated birthday! I was checking out your blog, and when I heard the music, I scrolled down to shut it off. Music on blogs usually makes me crazy...

Not yours! I love that song...the first one played by Greg Laswell? was that it?

Anyway...I dig it the most! Off to download!!!

Overwhelmed Mom said...

THANKS! I love the first song too. . .I listen to it over and over! I understand your concern about the music on blogs though . . as I think about it . . yes it probably would annoy some people, esp if they were checking it out at work or something. :) Maybe I'll try to find some other way to display the music for people to listen if they want to without it coming blasting on as soon as you load the site. Thanks again!