Thursday, July 7, 2016

This and That

My two week summer vacation is coming to an end. I can feel myself getting restless so I'm glad the new school term starts soon. I took a full break from my usual routine for everything, schoolwork, running, all of it. I was approaching burnout. I guess it worked because now I am ready to return!

I should finish my degree program next year, but I don't know what I will pursue. A big part of me regrets leaving Starbucks and with this degree I have a great chance at achieving management. If I stay in healthcare I do not know how happy I will be if I'm in an office for the rest of my life. Maybe a casual, fun office, nothing like where I currently work. My job is a major struggle right now.

My short term plan is to pack this last weekend full of movies and activities with the kids. My #workingmomsummer tag is an outward show of an inward desire to make summer great while I work full-time and they are stuck at home. But that's how I grew up, too! Motherhood remains an exercise in guilt, especially in summer.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hello, PowerPoint

I have never had a reason to learn how to use PowerPoint. Until I went back to school. Usually my teachers offer an option to create a slide presentation instead of writing a 5-page paper. I write the paper because I don't know how to make slides and add an audio track to it all. Sigh. I have one class starting next week that requires a PowerPoint presentation. So here I go.

First, buy a book. Check. Thank you Barnes & Noble coupon. Next, read the book and make some slides. This is the part I'm working on now. Seriously, my kids use this program at school all the time. How hard can it be? I'm going to find out.

On another note, we went to Goodwill today. The store was way too busy for me to really dig in and shop. How do you shop at thrift stores? I always go in with a mission. I know what I'm looking for, work clothes and shoes. Today when I went in I realized that the Spring fashions are rolling out and I didn't know what the hot colors are! Clothes shopping here is completely different than in SoCal. I have to research the trends. I googled Pantone Spring colors. It's not my favorite palette,  but at least I had a guide. I found one item a lined, peach, Liz Claiborne skirt for $5. Score!

As I'm writing this, I keep thinking about how much I have to prep for the new school term starting Monday. I've looked over the syllabus for each class and I'm a little nervous. One class has three chapters of reading each week. The other has at least one. In addition to discussion board posts, critical thinking papers, and quizzes, this term will be a challenge.

Friday, March 4, 2016

On My Break

This weekend I will be judging a Destination Imagination competition. My youngest participates in this program and loves it. Basically, it's a kid-run, problem-solving, improv group. He has stayed after school for the past 12 Fridays preparing and I really hope his group does well.

Other weekend plans: run 6 miles, watch The Intern, knit a little, prepare for the school term that starts Monday.

I've been so in the mood for Harry Potter this week. Maybe it's because a lot of my passwords are Potter-related. I haven't watched any of the movies since seeing the final movie last month. And then Alan Rickman died. So. Maybe it's time to put on a fire, grab some maroon and gold yarn, and knit with the Deathly Hallows.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Working Sucks

It was just another one of those days at work. I am unhappy at work. I won't use my blog to complain. I need a positive personal outlet and this will be it.

This week I am in between school terms.  My nights have been spent watching Netflix and eating snacks. It has been wonderful. I'm currently addicted to Filthy Riches, a reality series about people who make money out in nature by getting dirty. I love watching the worm diggers fighting turf wars and raking mud for worms. I'm jealous that they are completely in charge of their hours to work. I'm sure the mud probably stinks, but these guys look so happy. A big thumbs up for the series!

My taste in coffee has changed. I cannot stand drinking lattes and mochas with all that milk. My standard order is an American, usually iced. I crave espresso. I want it strong and dark! I may add a shot of cream, but that's it. Does coffee preference mature? I order the seasonal drinks at Starbucks, but they're usually too sweet. I feel like an old lady.

The last thing I want to do is live a life full of regrets. I need to focus more on life outside work. I can't let work hours outnumber personal hours. How do you balance work and personal life?

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Countdown to the First Term

I start school at CSU-Global online in 9 days. Woo hoo!

Nothing is ever as easy as I hope it will be. There was the inevitable financial confusion. Will I get financial aid? (yes, but only after you fill out numerous forms and deal with tax return info) How much will I get? Enough to cover all my costs? (yes, no, maybe so...wait, we need another form). I had additional costs to cover after the financial aid went through. How do I afford this?! I applied for and received tuition reimbursement through my employer. Ahh. Done. But I missed the start of the September term. I was fine with that, though. It was better to wait for the employer approval and be patient for a few more weeks than sacrifice the financial benefit of having the tuition reimbursed. Definitely a great lesson in patience.

I rented my textbook already, just to be a little ahead of the game. I've gone all through the Student Portal and familiarized myself with the library and many other resources available. I even have the syllabi printed out for my first two classes, thoroughly read and partially memorized.

I experienced some panic the first week I made the ultimate decision and signed the registration form. While watching a movie with my family, I suddenly had a flash of "I won't be able to do this anymore once I go to school". I had a lump in my throat and a vision of myself locked away studying for the next two years while my family had fun without me. What have I done?! Sure, this will help us financially and open the door for college for the kids, but what have I done?!

The next couple days after that were tough. I had to remind myself that I am a good student. I'm no dummy! I always made good grades. I did online schooling for my transcription training and graduated with honors. My family is supporting me. This degree will benefit us all. I can do this! I can do this. Deep breath. I can do this.

I spent last Saturday researching time management for online students. I made notes and lists galore. I felt better. I bought a $10 desk at Goodwill and set up my study area. I arranged my electronics with their chargers and added a couple plants. Today I am going to put up some motivational pictures. It's an ideal location in my bedroom in front of the big window. It's almost perfect.

Nine days. Deep breath. I can do this.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Busy and Waiting

Turn in application to CSU Global, check.
Turn in FAFSA to CSU Global, check.
Request transcripts for CSU Global, check.

Now I'm waiting for an admissions letter of acceptance or denial. More waiting. I'm getting pretty good at this so it doesn't bother me at all! (no, that's not sarcasm.)

I finished knitting the Seahawks hand warmers. I'm wearing them to work tomorrow for Blue Friday. I'm not a hard core fan, but you can't live here and resist the excitement for long. People up here are passionate about the Hawks! I know the patients will get a kick out of my hand warmers. At least I hope they will.

I walked 45 minutes on the treadmill today. I miss running with all my heart and soul. My knees definitely do not miss running. I had a long day of sitting at work, so I grabbed my book (The Devil Wears Prada) and hit the  machine. At 15 minutes in, I felt like I was surely halfway. When I looked at the timer and saw 15 minutes, I was discouraged. I heard myself think, I'm so tired maybe I'll stop at 20. Then I very sternly said NO! Go all the way! You'll be so proud of yourself. So I did and I was.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Do the Next Thing

It's not easy to blog for 30 days straight. I can hardly find the time to do all the things I Have To Do, much less work in all I Want To Do. Here's where I am on my 30 Days Goal for returning to school.

I am settled on CSU-global and the healthcare management degree. It is decided. I spoke to my advisor on Wednesday and everything is moving forward. I am going to apply to the college have all my transcripts sent next week. My FAFSA is processed and approved. The next school session begins 9/28 and I am hoping to be in class. What a huge accomplishment that will be! I won't believe it until it happens.

I'm busy knitting my new Seahawks items. I plan to have a pair of fingerless Seahawks mitts ready for work by next Friday, or "Blue Friday" as it is called up here. I'm happy with the design. There is felt and bling involved, which is a unique touch. I haven't seen anything like this design yet and I'm hoping to sell some on my Etsy shop, stinkRknits.

I finished reading The Martian today, one of my weekend goals. I cried at the end, after pages of suspense and action sequences. I'm curious to see how the movie is handled with so much science involved. I got a bit bored with the lengthy scientific explanations. Science is not my strong point and I only took the very basic classes in relation to physics and earth science. A lot of the book went way over my head, way way over. Once I saw Matt Damon in the preview, I pictured him as Mark Watney. I guess that's not so bad. I'm at a loss for what to read next. I want something light and quick. Maybe chick lit, I don't know. I want to read 30 books this year and this one puts me at 15. It's going to be close!

Exercise goals need to be reset. I don't have the energy to hit the treadmill after a long day of work and making dinner and homework with the kids and and ongoing list of post-work activities. I know I feel better when I exercise, but it's hard to stay motivated. I blame my thyroid.

Keep moving forward. Do the next thing. Tomorrow I should post a set of goals for the week ahead.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

It's Funny How...

Last month, I was stressed out and feeling trapped at work. I had nothing going on outside of work, except my kid's activities. It's Funny How gradually that happens, one day you realize you're doing everything for everyone and nothing for yourself.

I knew I needed to make a move, make a change, get something going to change my circumstances. I decided to finish my degree. Then I decided to get my knit shop running for the holidays. Then I found the writing contest. Today, I got back on the treadmill, my first heavy sweat in months.

It feels so good! It's Funny How a simple decision can start such an amazing chain reaction. I feel like I'm finding my new self. I am becoming Full-Time Job Me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Day 5 - Other Projects

Going back to school isn't my only project right now. I'm a master multitasker and always have many ideas in the works.

I'm writing a short story to enter into a contest. I don't know what my chances are of winning, but it's definitely motivating me to write regularly again. I keep asking myself, "what does 1500 words look like?" No idea until I actually do it. I'm using a draft I wrote in creative writing class eons ago in college. I'm hopeful. That's always a good thing!

I'm also getting ready to launch a massive Seahawks knitting project. I believe a knit shop will do very well if it focuses on one high-quality, unique item. My idea is bling and Seahawks. More to come.

I mailed the FAFSA yesterday. I'm waiting for that to finish processing before I move forward and call the school. This helps me work on patience and peace in this season of wait. I know class sessions start every 8 weeks so when it's my time, I'll know.

One final project I'm working I is getting up earlier. My goal is 5am with writing or workout time before leaving for work. I'm at 5:30am right now, 15 minutes earlier than last month. I love having time to shower and get ready in the morning without feeling rushed. By the end of the year, I hope this will be my new routine.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Day 4 - Just Thinking

In the midst of preparing my kids to go back to school, my own plans have to take a backseat sometimes. Yesterday was spent shopping for clothes and shoes and backpacks for them. We were actively shopping for about 5 hours. I was exhausted!

Next week begins the school year and I think they're ready.

My school starts new sessions every 8 weeks. I'm not in a rush. I need to move purposefully, not quickly. Tomorrow I will mail the FAFSA from work. I didn't make it to the post office today. I'm okay with that.

In addition to my school plans, I have other ideas in the works. I'm entering a writing contest. I'm going to reopen my Etsy shop. I am putting my focus on getting back home and being well paid.