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!