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Thursday, November 22, 2012


I've read the previous LOA entry but couldn't comment.
Here's my comment fwiw:

holy crap.

Wow! I've been out of the loop for a little while and lo and behold you've done the deed! Congrats on having the courage to take some time for yourself to figure out what the heck to do with the rest of your life. So difficult to walk the fine line between absolutely insane and reckless choices and doing what one is 'sposed to do. Sigh. I hope to retire soon, but funds don't warrant that quite yet. Every time I tune in to your little station here, you inspire me to strive toward making life rich and fulfilling where I can. Woo Hoo, Mary Ann!

how exciting! I am so happy for you, Mary Ann, that you're doing what you feel is necessary for your well-being.

I'm so so happy for you Mary Ann! Can't wait to see all the lovely art you make while away!

How very, very exciting to make such a big change for this phase of your life. May the force be with you!!!!!!!!! Yes!

You are such a good role model! Fearless with your art supplies, intrepidly traveling alone to countries where you do not speak the language, and now bravely seizing your time and making it your own.....

Thank you for being a beacon of courage for the rest of us!

"What would Mary Ann do?" She would splash paint; she would go to Budapest all by herself; she would remove herself from an untenable situation (be it airline uncertainty in Mexico or dreadful classroom certainty in LA)......................

I hope you can feel our presence, half a step behind but right with you, as you boldly go where your imagination leads............

If you do not take care of yourself you can not take care of anyone or thing else! Great news!

Wow, I go non electric for a while and you go off grid! Good for YOU! I did this when I turned 40...but I actually quit that job and walked away from my lifelong (at the time) career. While I miss it once in a blue moon, I am so much happier now. Good job. Taking care of your own inner self -- or whatever you call it-- is THE most important thing ever! I still have all my stuff packed to go with you...enjoy the freedom while you can.

Mary Ann, good for you....the quote that keeps running through my mind is: jump and the net will appear. You needed this. The classroom/teaching isn't what it used to be. It IS time for a much needed break. With that break will come new and exciting things, and relaxation for your mind. I'm thrilled for you and behind you l00%.

Oh how exciting Mary Ann! I wish you the best in this new adventure. (I just took early retirement at the end of September and I am loving it!) Let me know when you want to travel to Oregon, I have an extra room :)

I keep saying you're one courageous gal! I wish you all the creativity, wonder, beauty, adventure and clear vision you can cram into the next few months! Blessings, Mary Ann.

EXCITING!...and I want to do the same one day!!! I'm feeling withdrawals if your not blogging for that time period though. A strong courageous woman- I salute you!!!

You go girl. What a refreshing thing to do. Fill this time with whatever makes you happy. We only go around once in life.

You are brave, and I join the applause for you. I'm looking forward to see where your path takes you.

We are all standing and applauding for you can you feel it???

Tough decisions are not fun but I can already feel your shoulders lifting back up to where they belong... burden gone! Congrats and can't wait to hear what you're going to do with this new phase!

Well done Mary Ann! You will do great things I'm sure.

So exciting! Your new adventure starts on my birthday! It's sort of a rebirthday for you! Conratulations and Happy Thanksgiving!

This is great! Lisa said you had something big in the works. You must know how right this, is by the way you felt it go "Ka-ching!" when you did it. Wow - first Venice and then 8 months to just be you! Congratulations.
Erin in Morro Bay

Mary Ann, Congratulations on your graceful move into a new chapter of your colorful and very meaningful life!! You are brave and so inspiring... I cannot wait to see the things you do <3 <3 <3

Mary Ann, You are giving yourself the MOST wonderful gift......TIME. Leslie

So very happy for you. It takes bravery to accept and live with some of the challenges life throws at us but I think not accepting them and changing your life takes courage. You have that and more Mary Ann and I wish you the very best. And love that you are willing to go out and find it for yourself. Good for you!!

Mary Ann -- Good for you! Only one chance to live your life. You will be fine. Scary I know -- I left a great job at Wells Fargo to go back to my life's work in art and that was years and years ago -- never been sorry. Good luck to you and bonne courage!

Good for you, Mary Ann!

What a wonderful path you get to take! So full of opportunities. I can't wait to see what you discover on that path less traveled.

Good for you. After what it sounds like you were dealing with, it sounds like a good choice. And you never know where you will end up in those 8 months...which is scary but also exciting. I wish you lots of luck.

oh mary ann, sending you lots of love and light. you are so brave. and i look forward to hearing what you'll do during your 'off the grid' period. you are such an inspiration. xoxo

wow...sounds like great adventures ahead for you and more time to noodle class and crafting ideas. I purchased a scarf at Madewell today...since it had the map of Italy on it...for I shall wear it as I am traveling with you from my little disk.

Mary Ann, I am so happy for you and the new adventures ahead! New sunrises and sunsets will bring you peace as well as opening new doors for you! As I can attest to leaving my job a few years ago....it was the best medicine I could ever have received. My very best wishes for you! Now for me...on to signing up for another fabulous class of yours. Thank you for all that you do for us!

Twenty-three years ago, my husband and I quit our jobs and moved 1200 miles from our hometown, with $2,000 cash in our pockets and a few sticks of furniture, to a place where we had no connections and no foreseeable job prospects. In hindsight, it seems rather crazy! But we both felt freer and happier than we'd ever been in our lives. So I know just how you feel right now, Mary Ann...and I know it's all good! Things have a way of working out when you've made the decision, taken the plunge and have that great sense of a future with endless possibilities!

Scary but liberating news. You now have 8 months to think, reflect and come up with a plan that will make you happy and content. You have guts, so proud of you, this isa good thing. Like Tim Gunn says, MAKE IT WORK. project runway is my sinful pleasure, love the drama on the show.

I am so proud for you, and so happy for you! I think you had to do this - you HAD to. You're shouldered the burden for long enough, let somebody else do it for a while. Or forever! Somehow, I get the feeling that the adult learner world, particularly us over here in the mixed media environment, will appreciate your talents far more. You have a unique genius (you really do, you know). Time to let its light shine brightly - push away the boat and seek the far shore. You are my heroine.

Holy catfish! Awesome and empowering news! Way to take the reigns and control your own destiny. I wish you many deep, resounding breathes, lots of warmly-lit paper afternoons, adventures, adventures, adventures, and JOY. {keep blogging though--us craft monkeys would be bereft without your dispatches}. xo

What you are doing is so brave Mary Ann. It may or may not seem that way right now, but listening to what you really need is always the braver and harder option. Good luck, have fun, and I am super excited to see what blossoms from this!!!

YAY, YOU!! I am so happy for you, Mary Ann. Years ago I took an unpaid leave of absence, too. It was a great decision for me at that time. I am thrilled that you will have an opportunity to get out of the classroom for awhile. I am so proud of you for taking this step, for giving yourself this gift, and for giving yourself the space and time to see what will come next, what messages the universe will have for you now that you will have time to listen.

joan - wild horses couldnt keep me from my blogging!

Hooray for YOU!!! Glad you took a stand for yourself and survival of spirit. No job is worth that.

By "going off the grid" I hope you don't mean leaving your blog???? Alas, Whatever will we do if that's the case? Please say it isn't so.

Wow, Mary Ann, you are a brave woman, and I am so excited for you!

Congratulations and all that...does going "off the grid" mean you won't still be blogging? (I hope not because I look forward to your pictures and adventures - large and small - everyday)

Very courageous, and something will come along to fill the income void. Best wishes.

you know i say this all the time, so i dont want it to become cliche or trite, but your support and encouragement are felt deeply. thank you thank you thank you

Hooray Mary! I'm so glad you're able to take what seems like a much needed break. And I only only imagine the artsy mischief you'll get up to with a bit of extra time! Enjoy every minute of it!

Good for you Mary Ann, good for you. I'm happy for you in so many way. It's awesome news!!!!!

Yay! Congratulations on a great decision, hugs!

Mary Ann, your passion and bravery inspire me.

Excellent move. I'm glad you did this - did you communicate the intolerable situation as a factor? I know your administration has been unsupportive but I think they and your union should hear this. It is becoming too frequent for them to ignore it.
I had the feeling that my classes would suffer when I took extended medical leave but little kids, while attached and affectionate, are also blessedly heartless in forming new attachments. They'll survive just fine, although differently.
Cheers to you Mary Ann!

This must feel a bit like standing at the end of a really tall diving board. You stand there gazing down at the water for a long time, try counting, holding your nose, ...I'll go after I sing this song....then you JUMP. Part way under water you imagine you'll never come up, this is it....what have I done??? Then you surface, and you really are FINE. So happy for you that you took this leap. It can only mean bigger and better things to come for you. Congratulations and best of luck.

So pleased for you - you will definitely be fine - more than fine. As I said before although I do not have your brave sense of adventure I stepped off my particular stressful grid just over a year ago and although I am now back at work have taken a lower paid part-time job - it's the best thing I could have done. Good luck and I'm looking forward to vicarious travel through TTV.

Mary Ann, I am so happy for you. It takes a lot of courage to "go off the grid" ... and my experience is that those retreats are well worth the financial sacrifice. You'll have a great time filling up the well.

Wow, good for you! Wish I could do the same.

As a person who steps off the grid often, I highly recommend it. Ignore the nay-sayers. They know not of what they speak. Good for you for being brave and doing it.

CONGRATULATIONS!! I am over the top happy for you. Now, how about teaching at Art Is You? We need you!!!

Wow. Congratulations! And what a wonderful Thanksgiving announcement! I think you have made a brave and amazing decision. I look forward to seeing what you create when your mind is freed for 8 months.

yes yes! i do believe you made an awesome choice! enjoy every second of it. and you never know where this time off the grid will lead you and what doors will open by changing your course! wonderful news! xo

btw, I loved Bread and Tulips. A wonderful fairy tale of possibilities!

God bless Mary Ann! I'm so glad you listened to your body, mind and spirit. We can always make choices like you do if we are willing to pay the price. Not making such choices often has a much higher price that we don't recognize til it's too late. Julian of Norwich - "All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well." Mary Ann will be very well. I know.

That is so good news Mary Ann. So good for you and so very brave too.That will be some great 8 month and I´m sure you´ll do great - way to go.... :-)

you are sooo brave, I am so proud of you!! This is so awesome. I'm so jealous of the opportunity, the freedom, the possibilities. yes, you will dwell in possibility. Of course we all want to know how you can afford it and what will you be doing during a glorious 8 month sabbatical?? We'll all be along for the rise through blogland. Wishing you awesome joy!! Lots of love from Africa

Hah, guess we all saw that one coming. I just wondered when... Congrats. Very daring move I must say, but often the most daring moves are the best. You will feel so FREE in Venice. (I gave it all up ten years ago too to move abroad and marry a crazy american, gave up job, house, proximity of my family - and it turned out to BE THE BEST DARN DECISION I EVER TOOK). I can relate to the shivvers and the happiness you must feel both at the same time. Well done!

Mary Ann- you GO, girl!! So happy for you. Oh, the things you'll get up to- can't wait to go along for the ride!

I can't wait to see what creative endeavor you will come up with. So glad you're taking your readers along for a fun and inspiring ride! Also - VERY PROUD of your decision! Girl got guts!

I know you will make the most of this opportuntity Mary Ann. It's just a shame that it had to come to this. Bon chance!

Happy for you!!! Good trails in Venice and good trails these coming months. I'll be folllowing your whereabouts ;)))

I am so glad for you such a brave and wise decision. I am sure you will return as a new person. I quit my corporate job at the age of 40 and I remember thinking of going back after a year but never did that.Now I am living in a small Mediterranean town with my husband, my dog and my cat. I think 9 months off is a great opportunity to take a new look at your life and for new decisions.. Wishing you the best and dont forget to share tour experiences with us...

Wow! That is so exciting! And I'm only a little bit (read: 'a lot') jealous. I can see how it would be scary too, but still a wonderful opportunity to focus on other things for a while and who knows what it will lead to. Wishing you the best of time and hope you come out on top on the other end of your leave.

Also wishing you the best of luck with your new online class. It seems like so much fun and I wish I had the time right now to take it, I just know it will rock. Life is good and full here, but that means so little time for extra things like that. I wish I could split myself in two. ;-)

Hope you will keep us non classers happy with a little update from Venice from time to time anyway, so we can follow you on your adventures and not feel too left out. ;-)

Mary Ann, a wise person once told me that sometimes you just have to refill the reservoir. If you don't take care of you, then you can't give anything to others. Over the years teaching has become more and more difficult for many reasons and if you give it all you have, the time comes when you run low and as good as little trips to Norway are and trips to Venice are, it just takes more. So fill that reservoir,girl, with beauty and quirky and interesting and restful and spiritual and peers and then be ready to go back or take another path. We will be cheering for you all the way and buoying you with our good thoughts and love.
XOXOXO Caroline

I took a year off once (many years ago) when I was single with no one's income but mine. Most people thought I was crazy and irresponsible and pointed out all their fears to me. But without doubt, I created some of my favorite memories, made great friendships with people I never would had met under normal circumstances, and I am still proud of myself that I took that leap from my everyday life because it turned out even better than I ever imagined. Go for it, Mary Ann!

Happy Thanksgiving Mary Ann, and congratulatons on your leave. I am a high school teacher, working for the large uber district in L.A., just returning to work after a month of stress leave. I am {sort of} ready, although the work situation has not changed. I have had to change my perspective. The rubber neets the road on Monday...
Best to you,

Good. For. You!!!

Whoohooo! Congratulations to you! I am so doing the happy dance for you...and me because i just left... Quit... My job of 12 years. No unemployment insurance because I left. No job to go back to in 8 months either. Just couldnt do it (social work) anymore., or at least for awhile. It is a scary, brave and exciting decision! We are explorers in brave new country. My best to you.

I am so happy and excited for you. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I know that you. Will not waste it. Color me envious as well! You are one of the bravest women I have ever known. Wish I could afford to take an unpaid leave but since I can't, I plan on living vicariously through your journey. And to think, Venice is now only the beginning!!! Be safe and write home often for we are all your family as well.

bravo! That is just awesome. It will give you time and space to ponder or time and space not to ponder. Up to you. I'm very very happy for you!!


Mary Ann, I am so happy for you, and the possibilities that await you. You inspire us all! We will ALL be rooting for you! Leslie

I have made such a leap myself back at the end of 99. I knew I could not let 2000 come and my life remain the same soul killing experience. When I faced things I thought were stressful or problematic I remember that from which I escaped and felt the power to continue forward with ease.

This is the best gift you will ever give yourself.

Amazed and impressed. What courage! What joy! What....whatever :-)

You will stay in touch though, won't you? Off the grid does not mean....off the grid, does it?


Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes on taking this sabbatical! Sometimes you just have to venture into uncharted territory. May the force be with you! :D

Best wishes to you on this journey of self.

You don't kid around do you. That is awesome and so inspiring. I'm excited to see what happens during this time. You've got it going on! What a relief it must be.

Far fucking out, I am SO glad for you. Congratulations!

I seem to be throwing this phrase around like crazy today but "Eshet chayil!" I just learnt it and it means "woman of valor" in Hebrew. Go you for taking a big step toward changing an unhappy situation. I've been picking up hints here and there in reading your blog but I thought that was just you going to Venice ... you *are* coming back, right?

Wow! That is big news. Good on you for having the courage to take the risk and to take a stand for yourself. I really admire it. I hope that the next 9 months are full of absolute delight, new directions and all good things. Happy Thanksgiving.

Kudos to you Mary Ann! Great way to celebrate becoming 50--to take a huge sabbatical! Can't think of anything better; create a space and see what emerges. --Pam Dintaman

You are, after all that thinking - following your bliss. A huge hug of congratulations - it takes guts. It will be a fantastically interesting and exciting and scary eight months. Can't wait to come along for the ride. xoDonna

I meant "insisting" not "insiting" --- I know you can't incubate a turkey for dinner;)

Ride that horse fast and far...you rock! So happy that your plans have made a dream come true. Now, Giddyup!!!!!! And, Happy Thanksgiving. We had mahi mahi and shrimp and the boys did all the cooking. Why have I been insiting on turkey all these years -- it just keeps me in the kitchen.

Mary Ann, congratulations on your brave step. You will have a wonderful 8 months off from school and do amazing things.
I wish you the best and can't wait to read about what you discover. Xxoo taylor

What a courageous soul you are! I only wish you the best! Sincerely, Jessica

Blowing you a kiss from overhere to overthere.
Risk-acceptance for the sake of integrity is fine Tigress stuff.
Hurrrayy for your big brave Heart and
Hurrrayy for splendid adventuring.
And on we go.

Wow, good for you! I could never have afforded that when I was teaching but would have loved to have done it. What are your plans?

holymoly. way to go. does sound scary but what an EXCITING opportunity for you! Congrats!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Such bravery! If you need some extra cash calculus and history are kicking my tail, could use a tutor. I believe my mum would approve.

And I, if I do say so myself, am a wonderful afternoon filler... got a day you don't know what to do with you know where I am.

Congrats, Mary Ann, and Happy Thanksgiving!
I know this will be a very fertile time for you. You have much to be thankful for, and I'm happy for you!

Oh wow, Mary Ann, I'm SO excited for you!!! (And, I don't mind admitting, just a wee bit envious!) 9 months of freeedom! Gosh, what a treat that will be. And the best way to celebrate your first half century, for sure!! I hope "going off the grid" doesn't mean you'll be leaving the blogosphere as well?! I can't wait to see what new adventures you will get up to when left to your own devices, I hope you will be sharing them with us.

I wish you nothing but the best on this newest adventure. I'm sure it was a difficult decision to make but in the end, there are no wrong choices, just new paths to explore. And we will be right here to cheer you on!

yea! happy trails to you! you may never want to go back to work.....and after all, this is a great 50th birthday present to yourself. you will be fine. FINE, hear me? and we will all travel together on all of your adventures. you can come and have dinner with me if your pantry is empty! i am going to retire in May....so maybe we will finally meet.
happy thanksgiving. i am so thankful for your interesting blog and your exciting classes. happy 2013 to you MaryAnn!

Happy Thanksgiving Mary Ann! Kudos to you for having the courage to figure out what was best for you & follow through for your leave of absence! I hope the time gives you the clarity and space you need to determine how to best move forward toward the best life for you in all ways...professionally, mentally, physically! So many things can really take so much away from us & it's so difficult to have the courage to step back, step away & really figure out what is best instead of plugging along in the direction that is slowly deteriorating who we are and what we are truly meant to do. Very brave indeed. All best to you!

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