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Spring Break

Last week was my first “spring break” in over 15 years. I was looking most forward to getting back in bed for an hour after taking Graham to school. So each day I came back home and dashed to bed, burrowing deep into my blankets only to lay wide awake thinking of everything I needed to do. I forced my eyes shut hoping I would surprisingly fall asleep but it never happened. By Wednesday I didn’t even bother trying. I came back home and had coffee while reading a daily meditation and got busy with cleaning, homework, errands, etc. On Tuesday I had lunch with Graham at his school (Pre-K). Those kids are something else! Their lunchtime conversations are ones I wish I could partake in everyday. The week was flowing just fine, it felt great not to be on a schedule and actually be alone. Thursday morning I sat down to start this blog and AS SOON AS I logged in, my phone rang. It was Graham’s school saying he had a temperature of 102 and was miserable. They said strep was all over the place. So off we dashed to the pediatrician and sure enough he had it. The poor guy felt awful so I spent the next 48 hours on duty as a nurse. Tending to a sick child is hard work! You’d think they just lay quietly with their ginger ale and movie. It seemed I was on the go for him more than when he’s feeling fine. By Friday night, he was his old self just in time for the weekend. I took him and my nephew to the zoo Saturday where they rode the train and had a blast. So that was my grown-up Spring Break. Sleepless mornings, strep throat, and Mill Mountain Zoo. Oh, and I even stayed up until 10pm watching a movie one night!

Now it’s midterm time. I have one today consisting of all essay questions. I’ve reviewed all I can and hoping for the best. I can only pray I didn’t spend my time studying things that won’t even be mentioned (isn’t that how it always goes?). One of my other classes (history) is pushing me in uncomfortable directions. The papers I have to write are difficult for me because I’m used to creative writing, journaling, etc., which is a whole different world from history papers. I’m struggling to get through each assignment. My mantra “it’s just temporary” is helping, as it always does with my obstacles. I’ll be back soon. For now I have one hour to look over notes for this midterm….fingers crossed!

ImageZoo

ImageSchool Lunch

New Year, New Everything!

I need to play catch up here. I finished my first semester as a college student — and with two A’s and two B’s at that! This is a huge deal to me, as I struggled throughout the semester trying to find balance between motherhood & student life. I can’t say I found it. I’m not sure balance exists when you are one person juggling everything by yourself. Maybe there is a magic formula I will stumble across as I become an experienced student. For me, the key is just get “it” done. Whatever it takes, just do it. Although I have a long road ahead, completing my first semester felt gratifying. It took away the ever-looming question “can I really do this?”

Now it’s J-term and yesterday I started my internship at TAP-Sabrina’s Place (a safe-house exchange & visitation program for children/parents). The program is  for families of domestic abuse/violence, etc.  I’m very excited about this opportunity. Yesterday alone I learned so much about how such a program works (funding, purpose, criteria, etc.). I even got to observe a parental intake during my first hour. I’ll be doing a few of those on my own once I’m familiar with the process. It was a bit of an eye-opener to remember that on days I think life is overwhelming and depressing, there are people in terribly extreme situations that make mine look like cupcakes & tulips. I’m so thankful for a roof over my head, food to eat, family, friends, my son, and the opportunity for an education. None of us are entitled to these things we take for granted so easily. I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions but if I were, it would be to take five minutes each day and reflect on what I’m thankful for.

With this new year comes new everything. New classes, professors, schedules, knowledge, and experiences. My first goal is to be easier on myself while still giving my best effort as a student  & mother. If I could go back and tell myself one thing at the beginning of  last semester, it would be to relax more. Yes, it is stressful to have assignments due the same day your child is home sick. Yes, I will have to sacrifice sleep for studying. Yes, I will be all-consumed and feel like breaking down. But it’s all part of this process and everything will be okay.  My second goal is to end this semester with the same grades (or higher) as first semester.  The best Christmas present I received was when my final grade posted late on Christmas Eve.

I’m ready for all things new in the upcoming months. No turning back now! Good luck & much happiness everyone…

2013

Holidays & Such…

Time flies regardless of the fact we want to grab it, sit on it, and leave it still! Since my last post we’ve had Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, next week my son turns 5, and then Christmas. Whew, that’s a lot going on in combination with a 15-page research paper,  project of 3 PSA’s for sociology, quizzes, exams, poems, and short stories. How does a person keep up with all this? I’m not really sure. It just magically happens and before you know it, it’s all done.

I enjoyed Thanksgiving break immensely. It was a breather just when I needed it. I was able to slow down the days and enjoy time with my son. No rushing in the mornings to get breakfast, bookbags, and both of us to school on time. I even had two days all to myself before his school let out for break. It felt amazing! Now break is over and work is piled on, but at least there is an end in sight. Only 12 days of this semester left (plus exams)! And then Christmas. I have to admit Christmas shopping hasn’t been as fun this year. Disposable income as a student is about as tight as Santa’s belt. But I’ve learned it’s quality over quantity and Graham will be ecstatic that he’s getting the remote control helicopter he’s been asking for all year. I’ve even managed to get my tree up already.

Aside from all the holiday fun, I’m most looking forward to my internship during Short Term. I’ll be assisting at a Supervised Visitation and Safe-House Exchange Center  (for those who have been involved in domestic violence situations). I’m so thankful to have this opportunity, as it goes right along with what I want to do with my degree (counseling, social work, etc..).

That’s it in a nutshell. Until next time….Happy Holidays!

Moving Forward

I can’t believe my eyes when I look at the calendar. More than halfway through my first semester as a college student. Time is flying, weeks are rolling by faster than I can keep up with. Some weeks are a struggle to get through and consist of me telling myself more than once “I can’t do this.” Those weeks are usually followed by calmer ones where I catch my breath and confirm that everything is and will be okay. As an adult student, this world of assigments, due dates, quizzes, exams, papers, and group projects is new to me since high school was 15 years ago. But I’m adjusting and taking it one thing at a time. I only have one set of arms and eyes to do the work, so why think ahead? ONE THING AT A TIME. That’s my mantra. Speaking of one set of arms…in one of my classes we had to create an invention & make a short commercial about it. My partner & I decided on Superarms, which was literally an extra set of arms for busy women. The arms did the dishes, laundry, & homework. It ended up being a hit and a good laugh. For only $19.99 you too can have an extra set of arms!

At this point, I’m most proud of my work in English class (Fundamentals of Poetry) I was so intimidated to open up and write from my heart but I jumped right in. It felt amazing & empowering. It was pretty awesome to read my classmates work as well. Such sharp, strong minds they have. The rest of the semester is Fiction Writing. I’m curious to see where that takes me.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention how my dear son fits into all this. My number #1 priority is his well-being and making sure he gets enough quality attention from me. So far it has all worked itself out just fine. I’ve only had to beg him for quiet time once or twice. He’s been to campus with me several times and loves to tell people “mommy goes to Hollins college.” Though he’s only 4, it means the world to me that he seems so very proud. He started Pre-K the same week classes began for me, so we’ve adjusted together. The way we always will in life.

I feel at home at Hollins. Everything is the way it is meant to be. I find myself walking around campus and telling myself that life really is good. For many years, I’ve been in a negative place telling myself things will never change. What did I expect? I kept negative people close and pushed my dreams away out of fear, yet expected to find happiness. I’m so thankful my inner strength never died and I pushed my way to where I’ve always wanted to be.

Until next time…One Thing at a Time.

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