I think I've changed my mind. I'm not going to take the ESL class until after I retire on June 25. I've been reminded by my friend Sharon that I'm practicing slowing down, and taking a 120-hour class while I'm still working isn't doing that. She asked if I was afraid of not having enough to do when I'm no longer working. She's only partly right.
Because I heard from our friend Jim in Nicaragua - you know, the guy who was looking for ESL teachers for the remote Solentiname community, a chain of islands in the southern end of Lake Nicaragua. He wanted to know our timeframe to come down and volunteer there. This will be a winter destination for us, escaping from our dismal Pacific Northwest January. But I've already got a trip planned to Hawaii for January. Doesn't it seem irresponsible to come home from the Big Island, take a week to read the mail and do the laundry and spend time with the cat, and then fly off to Central America? Even if it's to a destination where the hot water is merely warm and the nearest medical clinic is two hours away by boat?
And it's one thing to say, "Well, we'd like to volunteer to teach English in Solentiname." It's another to have Jim write and say, "When are you coming?" My BA is in English, and I've done some training in my work, but ESL is a new area, and so is real-life teaching. How will I know I can do this unless I register for the class tonight and knock myself out for my last three months of work, so I can tell Jim in plenty of time whether we're going to be there in January?
"Well," you could say, "You don't have to go to Nicaragua this January. You could go next year." I'd give you a blank look, because it hasn't sunk in yet that I could do that.
My husband Art's first reduced paycheck arrived yesterday. I've got spreadsheets that say this is what we should be expecting, but seeing the reality of a short-term disability paycheck - with all the old deductions still being taken out - made me reopen the spreadsheet to take another look. With that tiny paycheck, how can we possibly travel? And then I remember. We've planned for this. It's not the paycheck any more. Duh.