Everything Changes

Change is the only thing that never changes. Just when I think I’ve got my life all planned out, a new phase ready to go, everything changes. Everything I thought I had figured out gets tested, and some of my plans go comically awry.

Like my plan, after I wrote my book, to quit teaching college and start doing more public speaking, maybe teach in my community. Ha! Maybe you don’t know…my husband works for Chrysler. He works in a truck plant that is discontinuing one of its bread and butter lines. Well, honestly, the whole company may be discontinued at any moment.

All of this took us totally by surprise. We knew the auto industry was changing, but the crisis hit so fast it stole our breath. We figured we’d have three to five more years to get our retirement picture in order. Ha.

So, since my job is not in jeopardy, it suddenly seems wise to keep teaching at the college, to teach more instead of less, and to tuck my idea of public speaking and teaching in my community into a drawer. Because really I don’t want to do both. It would take too much time and energy away from my own writing.

Already set in motion–a commitment I need to honor before I can completely close the book on the public speaking idea. I hardly got this idea off the ground before everything changed. I am fine with the changes. Actually I’m more comfortable teaching at the college. I was going to try to stretch myself, try something new. Ha.

Now that I’m back in my safety zone, I can hardly remember WHY I wanted the change. Oh yeah, I wanted to use my book more, use my real life writing experience, talk to and work with people who were excited about writing. I wanted to be done with grading essays for bored kids forced to take my classes.

There’s always a trade-off. I’m not really the public speaker type. So really, I’m happy to retreat back into academia. Except I can’t quite yet.

This week (and next) I have to figure out what to say about writing to a community group. It’s not like a class or a workshop. They’re just coming to hear me talk about how to get started with writing. The talk is for 90 minutes. I’m not 90 minutes interesting. I’m 20 minutes max, so I have to work out how to get everyone writing. I have a few ideas.

Not that I want Chrsyler to go out of business or my husband to lose his job, but the introvert in me is really glad things changed so I don’t have to gear up for public appearances anymore. And that’s the thing I love about change. Even when it seems like it’s the worst thing that could happen, it usually turns out to be just fine.


  1. I was asked to do a workshop next month on writing a blog. I could do a writing workshop on anything really because teaching writing is my background educationally and career-wise, but the blogging means I have to be a wee bit more tech explaining savvy than I am normally. I can do things that I haven’t had to explain coherently.

    Have you read Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft? She has some cool exercises that I think you could get people to do and talk about.


  2. Cindy,
    speaking from experience, I think you do a GREAT job speaking to community groups about writing. You did a fine job at the Royal Oak Public Library and I so appreciated your viewpoints! I would imagine you’re an amazing teacher as well. You have more skills in “public speaking” than you give yourself credit for. Don’t you find that, once you get rolling, the energy from the group lifts you up and makes it easier (and even fun)? Good luck to you, and let us know how it goes.

    And I will cross my fingers for Chrysler and your hubby. My in-laws and aunt rely on Chrysler pensions …. as do many friends in Detroit.


  3. …I wanted to be done with grading essays for bored kids forced to take my classes….

    We are not bored and we most assuredly are no longer a kid… 😉



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