If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.-—Joseph Campbell

Accepting Life’s Plan

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. Joseph Campbell

Thirty years ago I was working on my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin.  After ten years of public school teaching, I wanted to teach teachers.  There was information I wished I had been given in my undergraduate work and my plan was to change that.  But it seemed a PhD was a prerequisite.

Long story short…I was advanced to candidacy, which means I completed my coursework and passed all the qualifying exams.  The only thing left was the dissertation.  However I needed to return to my district to pay back the year’s sabbatical they so graciously had offered.

OK…a little more background…I was a single parent with an adorable six year old son that went to Austin with me.  His father, my first husband, had little to do with him, and I had raised him to be a rather independent youngster.  (which could be why he and a little friend decided to ride the white UT bus one morning rather than the yellow bus that would take him to his school…and then also rode in the campus police car:))

But I digress…Here I am, so close to my dream, with a six year old and a commitment to my employer.  I was scared.  Unsure whether or not I could pull this off, I decided what I really wanted was a little family.  So rather than finish the Ph.D., I remarried.

Fast forward…My marriage lasted for a rocky 15 years, I continued to teach in my school district until I had accumulated thirty years, and my son committed suicide.

Present day…I work part time at the local university…teaching teachers.  And I write.  As November approaches I ready myself for the big NaNo push.  This year my novel is about a teacher and what she has learned about kids, school, how we learn…and herself.

The dissertation I was not ready to write in 1982…

Thanks for listening.


Comments on: "Accepting Life’s Plan" (12)

  1. OMG, I am so sorry to read about the loss of your son. My heart dropped, that is just awful! But on a more positive congratulations on finally being able to write the book you were meant to. Lots of luck to you.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the depth of that pain. I am inspired by your ability to move forward in your life. Life is a bumpy ride, to say the least. God be with you.

  3. Sending you love & light. I love my children more than words can express and they are simply a figment of my imagination, hopes & dreams right now. I can’t begin to imagine the pain you experienced at the loss of your son. KUDOS to you for returning to and fulfilling your dream!!!

  4. Welcome to spirlaw … also sorry to hear of your son’s death. I have worked with people in the law who struggle with thoughts of suicide, depression and addictions … This is a huge problem among the professionals and highly-educated in our secular culture.

    God bless,


  5. What to say…the quote itself is an amazing one, gave me shivers, and the rest…may I offer my admiration and gratitude, for sharing this and for being one that comes through and thereby offering very meaningful inspiration. Indeed we never know what life has in store and I’m so glad that you ended up doing what you always wanted to – teaching the teachers, even if the route life took you there through was so very much not the one you planned. I think our destination is a little fated…how we get there is a little up to us and a little up to chance and…to mystery. Again, blessings of a flowing and inspiring NaNo month:-)

  6. Good luck on the writing. It’s funny, how putting things in words is a kind of therapy at times. We learn about the world, others, ourselves, and I’m glad you’ve realised that.

    Thanks for letting us share in your life, your story.

  7. Love and light on your journey.

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Listening to Learn

Learning to Listen

Listening for Lessons

A Teacher and her Writing Practice

Writing Is My Drink

slake your thirst; find your voice


~ creative ideas for making a difference ~

...the house I live in...

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