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.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Day 3 Decision Day

I decided on a Communications major.

I'm excited!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Day 2 - 30 Days to Make a Change

Confession: While I did sign and prepare the FAFSA for mailing, it is still in my purse waiting to be mailed. So half a check for Day 1.

Day 2

I am leaning toward obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Communications. I believe this is a great entry for teaching, writing, even moving up in the healthcare industry. Today I researched job opportunities for this type of major. I think this may be the way to go.

The school I am seriously considering is CSU-global, completely online programs. There is a Communications degree available. Pretty sure this is what I should do. Pretty sure. This degree covers training, writing, leadership, a lot of areas that overlap my interests.

It's hard not to be nervous! I don't want to commit to a program and then find out it is useless. Is any degree useful? Could I make a huge mistake?

Friday, August 21, 2015

30 Days to Make a Change

I'm at a crossroads.

I am starting to be very unhappy at work. I love my job, interacting with patients and light administrative work, but new pressures are coming and new help is not coming. So here I am on the edge of burn out with no real relief anywhere. Do I stay or do I go now?

I can't quit. The pay and benefits are an amazing combination. But, I don't want to spend the rest of my working life in this same position. I still have time to go back to school and earn the rest of my degree. My dilemma is what to focus on, my current industry or something else?

What would I love to do? I love being home and available to my family, writing, teaching, going to the bathroom when I want. Ideally, my job would be more on schedule with my kids school schedule. Teaching? I would love to work at home. Medical billing? Should I write?

When I worked at home, we were so financially poor. Now, we are comfortable, not well off, but good enough. I don't want to lose that money. I need a guaranteed income.

So, what do I return to school to achieve?

30 days to make a decision. Today I will sign and mail the FAFSA form to complete my financial aid packet. Tomorrow I will do something else. My goal is to have a decision made by the end of 30 days.

Monday, May 25, 2015

One Goal

Can a woman be successful at home at work? A resounding no is my reply. At least I'm not. It's one or the other, never both. I'm still trying to find my flow.

This week I have one goal: make dinner every night, or at least prep it so someone else, probably my daughter, can finish it. That's it. If I can do this one thing all week, I'll be satisfied.

I have other goals, more personal ones like shave my legs, do a facial, go run, all things that are important only to me. God forbid I turn into a backwoods hillbilly! It's not easy to keep the focus on myself, though. If I'm home, I want to focus on my family. It's hard. I feel like I'm shrinking. My needs are a distant third or fourth.

It can't stay this way.