Wheat from Chaff… or figuring out what’s most important in life…

That’s tough, BTW, and I know only because I’ve been working hard on it lately.  Week 1 for school is over, and it is a bloodbath this semester kids.


This might be the hardest semester yet, filled with the hardest classes, and I may or may not lose my mind trying to simply survive it.

(True story – I sat in my car last Thursday night after Financial Accounting and ugly-cried for 5 min. because it’s seriously that bad.)

And, of course, because my day job seriously sucks, it’s doing it’s best to finish me off the rest of the way.  With no hesitation.  Because it’s work.  And I know this means I need to choose.  I know there’s a reason why younger, more mentally agile people do not try to work full-time and go to school full-time.  I know something needs to give.  And I know that the job I’m in, while very well-paid, is not my future path.  It’s merely a job.  With a paycheck.  And right now it’s also an obstacle.  But as I’m trying to make the right decision as to what to do about it, I keep coming back to that whole “we enjoy living indoors” thing, and then I sit down in the corner and rock.

And cry.

And then I dry my eyes and I go back to my homework.  That’s my life, here in this circle of hell.  And I daydream of a future… coming very soon… when all this will be over.

But not yet.

This is hard.  Doing the right thing is hard.  Knowing what that thing to do is hard.  There are no easy answers.  I need easy.  I need done.  But it’s not showing up.  Instead 3am rolls around every day, and every day I get a little more tired, a little more frustrated…

A little more.

Just know this one thing.  I will finish this.  And I will finish the way I want to finish it too.  This fight will not stop.  I am stronger than this thing.  I will do the right thing.  As soon as I figure out what it is.  As soon as I know when it is enough.


The Back to School Update – Part “The Last”

So, yeah, got all my books for Fall 1, and never before has there been seen a more boring looking collection of excruciation.  These books are friends I tell you, they hang out on the same shelf, go on vacations together, they’re buddies.  Oh, gotta insert a caveat here, I’ve got all of them except for that hellishly expensive Financial Management book, which to me is supreme irony.  Seriously?  The point of financial management is to conserve funds, but I can’t very well do that when I’m spending all my funds buying the damned book, now can I?  Anyway, I won’t be buying that one until after first class when I find out which version the Professor recommends.  And, of course, if her name is included in any way, her answer will be “buy all of the books!”

Grumble, grumble, shyster charlatans, grumble.

But I’m not bitter… not after several semesters of this… no, not at all (wink, wink).

Anyway, I’ve also got my new, shiny school supplies, complete with Ink Joy Pens, and liquid lead pencils… because you know I’m the nerdiest about this stuff.  And, yes, everything is color coordinated.  Also not a surprise.  But accessorizing is what separates us from the animals, right?

Yeah, er, right.

This semester is 18 credit hours – divided between 12 in Fall 1 and 6 in Fall 2.  Piece of cake, no?  Well, no.  It’s not.  Financial Management, Financial Accounting, Human Resources, and Strategic Management are Fall 1… yay.  No really, yay.  If I survive that it will be a miracle.  Truly a miracle.  Color me nervous.  then Fall 2 has another management class combined with my Capstone class where I have to run a $30,000,000 company – with a team.  Don’t worry, I’ve already inquired as to whether I can fire my team and go it alone.

Oh come on, you know you aren’t surprised by that.  Neither was the faculty member I asked.  However, he did tell me that I was the first ever to ask that particular question. Such a trendsetter I am.  That right there is the reason I’m on that President’s List.  No other reason necessary.  I think I’m already a distinguished Alumnus, and I haven’t even graduated yet!

Anyway, yeah, I’m ready to do this thing and finish this journey… sort of.  But I’ve really enjoyed being in the classroom and I feel like I’ve taken years off my age by going to the trouble of actually learning.  And I did, learn that is, lots of stuff in fact, and for that alone I think this was worth it.

But I’m not through.  Not by a long shot.

Yep, I know it’s crazy, but I’m taking a year or two off and then I’m starting my Masters.  In what?  Oh, I haven’t decided yet, but it’s next.  Of that you can be sure.  And if you’re like me, and you haven’t done this, DO IT!  It’s so worth it.  Really.  It is.  Even if it does me no good at all, it’s still worth it.  After all, as the saying goes “No matter how slow you are you’re still lapping everybody on the couch”.

I’m ready.  Let’s SOAR!

Just a little…

sad, melancholy, whatever… you know what I mean.  Well, okay, maybe not.  So I’ll explain.

I bought my last school supplies today.

I know, I know… the “white people problems” I come up with to kvetch about.  Right?  Yeah, right.  But still, this is the last semester.  The last time I have to pick out folders.  The last time I have to prepare to go back to class for this go-round.

The end.

And it’s really hard to look backward and figure out where the two years have gone.  This time in 2010 I hadn’t even reapplied to start back.  I wasn’t even thinking about it.  It wasn’t even on my radar.  I didn’t make the decision until August 2010, the day I applied, and the day I told Bob I was doing this.

Yeah… he got no notice either.  I’m communicative like that.  You’ve been warned.

But anyway, yeah, I came home in early August, with the application complete and the acceptance already done, and I announced that I was going back to school.  And now I’m one degree done and the second nearly in the bag.


No, make that double wow.  Or triple.  And add in a chorus of “time flies…” because it really does.  And who knows where two more years will take us.  How our lives will look then.

Who knows?

If you had told me ten years ago that I would be here, in Lakeland, married to someone else, with children, and living this life… well, first I wouldn’t have believed you.  And second, there’s likely quite a bit I would have done differently.  Or not.

Probably not.

But for now, when I look backward, I see so many changes, so much that is gone, and so much that is new.  I don’t even recognize this life.  Even though I love it.  Even though it’s mine.  Even though I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

I really wouldn’t.

Without this life I would not be who I am today.  I would not be so different.  I like me now.  Better than I liked me then.  Really.  I do.  And I think everyone who has left me would like me today as well.  More comfortable.  More secure.

Me, only more me than I was before.

But today, it’s folders and notebooks and pencils, for the last time for this adventure, and I’m just a little sad.  But I’m truly more curious…

What’s next?

Moving forward…

and not back.

I consider that my biggest accomplishment these days.  Of course forward movement is to be applauded anytime.  But now?  Now it’s an Oscar-worthy performance.

I’d like to thank the Academy… blah blah blah… yeah, that.

But I am moving forward.  Mostly.  With two more classes finished this week.  Yay.  No really, it’s more like YAY!  Because I’m really glad to be done with both of them.  And I only have three weeks left of my other two Summer classes.  Also, YAY!  But at the same time there’s a little sadness because this is my last Summer in school. And when I started this crazy adventure back in ’10 it felt like 2012 was years away.


Light years.

And now we’re over half way through that far-off year and I’m five months away from Graduation.  Wait, let me type that again… five months.  That’s such a small amount of time.  Five months.  I couldn’t have a baby in that time.  But I will finish a degree.


And already I’m plotting and planning the best possible course for my Masters.  And to all of you who just went “SMH”  I reply “YOLO”.  So there.  Oh, and really, was there ever any doubt?  No, not so much.  Not if you know me anyway.  But, yes, it’s next on my bucket list.  And right behind that is finding someone else to pay for it… LOL.  We’ve already got student debt… don’t need more.

But that’s the future.  Today, right now, I’m living this moment.  This goal accomplished.  This achievement.  Because that’s how you do this.  One step at a time.  One class at a time.  One day at a time.  One moment at a time.

One foot in front of the other as I live my Life.

So live your life too.  Celebrate your accomplishments.  Even if they’re small.  Because small leads to large.  Life is made of both.  The little and the big moments.  That we live as we move forward.  Forward into the future.  Which is terribly uncertain and certainly not guaranteed, but it is the future.  And that’s where we’re going.

Whether we like it or not.

Hard Decisions… I can haz?

And I can make too.  But for the record, we’re not talking thin vs. thick crust.  Although thin always wins out, always.  And in boxers vs briefs, after a whole first marriage of boxers now the second time around it’s briefs FTW.  Likewise, in the battle over paper vs. plastic, it’s plastic, although I’d feel less guilt if I went with paper but those plastic bags get recycled for several lifetimes so maybe that balances out?  And in the most important decision – Godzilla vs. Mothra – everybody with two braincells knows it’s Godzilla.  Because, really, what other choice is there?  It has to be Giant Radioactive Lizard FTW!!!  But these aren’t the decisions I’m making.  Sadly enough.  Although I wish so much they were.

So. Much.

No, this decision is much harder.  With an additional six month commitment attached.  And I’m struggling.  Boy am I struggling.  Like a fat kid in the Kitchen, with a slice of cake on one side, and a pile of vegetables on the other.  And although that might not seem like a tough decision, the missing fact is that the fat kid’s Mom told him right before she left that she raised him to make good decisions… oh, and that the cake might or might not have been accidentally sprayed with bug spray.

Just like that.

But the decision for me isn’t cake.  Or vegetables.  Or boxers.  Or briefs.  It’s far harder.  It’s school.  You see I am currently 30 hours away from Graduation.  30 hours.  10 classes.  And the original plan was for me to finish in two semesters, Summer and Fall, going full-out 15 hours each.  Ambitious? Yes.  Aggressive?  Yes.  Doable?  Yes… that is if having a life wasn’t a real priority, and it’s not really so yes, it was doable.


Until last week.  Until my world fell apart.  Until the other reason why I embarked on this crazy midlife education adventure left me for good.


And now I’m really struggling with focus and I’m really worrying about the idea of 15 hours of classes.  I’m no longer feeling invincible.  I’m feeling very human.  And I’m feeling stuck in a decision I didn’t want to make.  You see, I know the vegetables are best for me.  And I know I should eat them fast, get it over with, and move forward.  But I don’t know whether I can.

I just don’t know.

So right now I’m going to eat the vegetables, not the cake, but I’m going to eat them slower.  Stretch them out.  And that makes me hate vegetables even worse than before.  Have you ever eaten the same Rutabaga – one bite at a time – over the space of a year?


I just want the vegetables gone.  That’s what’s in my head and my heart.  I just want this school thing to end.  Give me the paper, tell me I did good, then let’s forget I was ever here.  That’s what I’m feeling.  But I’m also pragmatic enough to think that if I start the original plan and then fall apart I’ll have to retake those classes that I bombed in.  And my GPA is sacred… I’ve worked so hard to repair it… I will be eaten up with teh failures if I don’t finish with a 3.5.  Go ahead, laugh at me, but I am literally having nightmares at the thought of getting a C.


So with that thought looming in my head, I’m likely going to scale back and slow down a little bit this summer.  In order to allow myself to deal with what has happened.  Because if I don’t it will not turn out well.  Not well at all.  I need time.  Time is my best friend.  But I have to be patient enough to allow time to pass.

Newsflash: I am not a patient person.

And that slow down means that I’ll be adding on a full Semester in the Spring.  And I won’t graduate until May, 2013.  Can I just say that here, honestly, that I really don’t want that.  But I don’t see many choices.

I need choices.

But I don’t see them.  I see this.  Loss.  Failure.  Missing her all of the time.  Psst… these are not good choices.  These are far worse than those vegetables.  These are the cake.  Frosted with buttercream and the possible hint of DDT.  Oh so attractive on the outside.  But it will kill you.


So please hold my hand as I make this decision.  Because there’s no way to go backward once it’s made.  I hope I choose correctly.  But I’ve learned in the last ten days that there are no sure bets.  No way other than the passage of time to know you’re doing the right thing.  It’s all guesswork.  All part of a celestial game of Darts, where you’re blindfolded and you pitch the dart, but only after you’ve been spun around about a million times.  All you can do is hope for the best.

I’m hoping… as I make this decision.

I hope.