I'm feeling a bit odd these days. It's like I've planned a big trip, but I'm still tying up loose ends, haven't started packing. Have you ever had a big trip coming up, but it's still a while off? The excitement grips you immediately once the decision is made; but then the time elapses, other things distract you, and somehow the big trip becomes just another thing you expect to take place.
I'm not dismissing the changes that have been going on my career thinking. I'm just... nervous, uncertain... and mostly, just waiting. I fly to [Industry Conference] next Tuesday night, returning on Friday night. I fly to Europe for a [Field 2] conference that Monday following.
Yesterday I went to the campus of a local community college. I've been thinking of enrolling in a Statistics class and a C++ programming class. Little cogs. Both require prerequisites, which I'm assuming I could get waived, but that requires a face to face meeting with the Dean of Counseling, and on... Part of the "and on" is that I'll be gone the first two weeks of the term, due to my conference trips. Nonetheless, I purchased the textbooks from their bookstore, figuring: 1) I could return them; 2) I could work through them on my own. This latter option is something I have often contemplated, but never done. I have several textbooks on my shelves whose content I'd like to have mastered, but never found the time or motivation to work through. What would make this different? Well, for one the content of these texts is not simply something I'd like to know something about, but perhaps something that will help me get a job I'd be happy with. We'll see.
I'm also feeling a bit of the weight of my financial burden to the family. To add to this sense, I misplaced my wedding band over the weekend. I take my rings off (I've got a silver "engagement ring" on my right hand, designed and commissioned, as a matching set, by the Rocket Scientist and me before we were married) on very rare occasions. The cause this time was that I was making bagels for our out-of-town guests. (My wife's aunts and paternal grandmother flew in for a weekend visit, which was nice). I put them in my pocket, where I normally keep my keys, but forgot they were there.
The wedding ring must have dropped one time when I took out my keys... but it's not shown up at home or my office. I even called some pawn shops, thinking if someone found it, they might have hawked it. No luck so far. I emailed the shop where we bought the rings a decade ago, and they have a record of the style number, and the price is surprisingly about the same as it was then. I'll wait another week or so to see if it shows up. It's just another expense. One after the other.
We're doing alright, but we've begun tapping our non-retirement savings. The wedding ring. The computer. The office. The coaching. The trips to conferences, and registration fees. It's all an investment, right? But when will it end?