Looking ahead…..

Instead of looking back on 2016, a year that was busy for our family and definitely had its ups and downs, I want to look ahead to how I can make my 2017 better. Sure, some things are out of my control. Life happens and we can’t control it all, as much as we’d like to.

I’ve been inspired by a Facebook friend who chooses a word each year instead of making resolutions. She’s shared her words for a few years and I decided it’s a more positive way to go. I struggled to pick a word because there are so many things I want to accomplish this year. After much thought, I decided on DISCOVER. I was also inspired by a recent TED talk I saw on how to gain control of your free time. The point that stuck out the most to me is that sometimes there is a difference between “I don’t have time” and “It’s not a priority.”

So this year, I want to make certain things a priority in my life. I want to DISCOVER new places. I want to DISCOVER new books. I want to DISCOVER new things. I want to DISCOVER new ways to take care of me.

discover

Last week, while contemplating the new year, I made a quick list on my phone of things I want to do in 2017:

  • More yoga, meditation and exercise
  • Watch less TV. Seriously, it’s a time suck and hindering me doing other things.
  • More reading. I’ll have time for this if I watch less TV. Duh.
  • More fun times with friends
  • More date nights with my husband. We do get out—it’s great having older kids who can stay home for a few hours so we can spontaneously grab dinner together—but we don’t make it a priority and don’t plan to do different things.
  • Visit more new places, both local and further away.
  • Teach my kids to cook.
  • Spend more time outdoors (in nicer weather—this New Englander hates the cold, even though I’ve dealt with it all my life).
  • Blog more.

These were the first things that came to mind. I want to make some changes, prioritize my time differently and DISCOVER things I haven’t prioritized before. Maybe it’s the fact that 2016 brought my 40th birthday with it, but it’s time to start thinking differently. And writing more, even if no one else ever reads this blog. 🙂

Happy 2017! What changes are you planning to make?

 

Time to “rock” 2013!

(I couldn’t resist the title of this post–go ahead, have a laugh at my expense and call me a dork. I know you want to if you have an idea where this is going.)

First things first: last semester was kind of miserable.  It was a huge challenge for me and also for my family.

I’ve mentioned frequently that I am not a fan of science courses. I struggle with them.  Science is not my thing. I don’t get it. Unfortunately for me, two lab science courses are required at my university, so I had to deal and try to make it my thing, at least for the semester.

Last semester’s science course, geology, kicked my butt. I won’t bore you with the gory details, but suffice it to say that leaving my house at 6:45 a.m. for tutoring sessions twice a week was not fun. It was hard for me, it was hard for my husband and it was hard for my kids. I worked harder for that course than any other course I’ve ever taken. There was a ton of homework for the class AND a paper AND a group project. There were times my husband said he forgot that I was taking other courses because all he ever heard about or saw me working on was geology.

In the end, I got a B+. You might be wondering, “Why did she kill herself for a B+?”  I did horribly on all the exams except for the final. I got C-/Ds on them. However, there was so much additional work that, in the end, my average came up to an 83 and then the professor curved up to a B+. I also ended up with an 86 on the final, but that was because the professor changed the format of the exam and I didn’t have to do the dreaded (for me, anyway) multiple choice questions.  That was where I’d lose the most points.

The rock kit my son got for Christmas.  He decided "rocks were cool" this semester, of all semesters.

The rock kit my son got for Christmas. He decided “rocks were cool” this semester, of all semesters.

Because of this class, I really neglected a lot–my family, myself, my health–and struggled with “balance”. I’ve really put a lot into perspective and while this journey of being a full-time college student and having a family is difficult, I need to find a way to focus on eating better, fitting in exercise, lowering my cholesterol, and getting a better night’s sleep. I’ve started some habits that I hope to continue. I have a better schedule for the spring semester and I hope that will help me accomplish these goals.  I don’t expect any of this to be easy, but I hope I can find a way to make it all come together.  I can’t live on cafeteria food and coffee or my health will decline.

Last year was a great year.  I’ve accomplished a lot, but now it’s on to bigger and better things!  Make 2013 a great year!

A look back at 2011

This year has been an interesting one for our family.  It’s been a year of a lot of changes and I feel like I have accomplished a lot this year.  Let’s start from the beginning.

Last January, I wanted to run a 5K race.  I began training with the Couch to 5K training routine and was determined to meet this goal on Mother’s Day.  A Mother’s Day race is held every year in Portland, Maine and I wanted to participate with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law.  My goal was to finish in under 40 minutes and I did it.  My time was 39 minutes and some odd seconds, but I met the goal.  Sadly, I realized that running really aggravates my lower back and hips and I stopped running over the summer.  I wish I could start up again, but since I went back to school, my back has been bothering me a lot and I think some of it has been the walking I do on campus, and my mattress, as well as the bag I was carrying.  It’s gotten better since I switched to a backpack, but I still experience back pain.  So no running for me right now.  I really need to start doing yoga again to help these issues.  Still, I accomplished a goal that was on my radar for about four years and that felt awesome!  I still love looking at the pictures from the race!

In the spring, right before this race, I realized I needed to do something besides be a stay-at-home mom.  Should I go back to work?  Should I go to school for Medical Assisting?  What should I do?  I remember the day my husband and I talked about this and I said, “What if I went back to college full time for my bachelor’s degree?”  It seemed crazy.  How would we pay for it?  Would I be able to get loans?  What about childcare when the kids are not in school and I am home?  How would we make this work?  Would the school even accept me with my grades from 17 years ago?

I remember the day I went for a meeting with an Admissions Counselor.  I hadn’t even formally applied yet, but I brought my transcripts and wanted the truth.  It was a painful meeting and it was embarrassing.  My overall GPA was pitiful and I had many classes that were not able to be transferred, but she said my GPA was acceptable, plus I had some classes from a local community college that helped my GPA immensely because I did well in them.  She told me on the spot that I would be accepted and to go home and celebrate with a glass of wine that night!

I got my financial aid in order and mentally prepared myself for the changes ahead.  I enjoyed the summer with my children and looked ahead to new challenges.

It has been an adjustment, but I have a new sense of personal satisfaction in my life that hadn’t been present for a while.  I am working on a case study competition with my Public Relations group and the planning of it all is my cup of tea.  It’s a lot of work, but it’s something I love to do.  I also realize that the love of writing I had as a teenager is still there.  I love to write and be creative in that way.

Realizing that I can do things that seem like a reach has been very satisfying this year.  I ran a 5K. I went back to school.  I earned a 3.575 GPA in my first semester back to school.  I am busier than I have ever been, yet I am accomplishing more than I could have imagined.

My goal for 2012 is to keep challenging myself in new ways (and lose a few pounds, exercise more, be more organized…..the usual).  If I keep pushing myself to be a better mother, wife, and student, I will be a better overall me!

Happy New Year to all!