The Rough Road

I started graduate school in February with my alma mater UMUC. All the classes are online, which is how I did most of my Bachelor’s Degree, so I knew that it wouldn’t be an issue.

The way that the graduate program for education at this university is set up you take one class at a time. The classes are 6 credits and run for three months. I’m currently in week 8.

When I started the class, I was thinking to myself that this was going to be a piece of cake! I was taking 4, FOUR, English classes at the end of my undergrad, going through a divorce and finding a place to live and I still passed all of them. One class will be a breeze!

Instead:

See how the room looked around him? That’s my house.

Between class, hunting for a job, dealing with my youngest son’s horrible behavior and a myriad of house problems (like leaky pipes), I’m that guy that just went nuts.

On the upside, I’m pulling an A.

On the downside, it’s 10:22 pm and I’m writing this as I take a short break from working on my next project which is due in a week and for which I have no idea what I’m doing.

Yes, just like them - fabulous, but Clueless

Yes, just like them – fabulous, but Clueless

Yeah, it’s going to be a long week!

But even with all of the challenges and hurdles I have to jump, I’m in graduate school. That’s nuts to me. I never, truly, thought I would get here. I never thought that I would be on the road to earning my Masters in Education. I never thought that I would be able, for various reasons, to take the first step of achieving the dream that I have held since I was 12.

Yet, here I am.

Despite the divorce, three layoffs in the past two years, the fact that my trailer seems intent on falling apart around my ears, my son’s lackluster performance in school and his attitude issues, I am still on the road to my dreams.

reaching for dreamsI could have thrown in the towel, walked away from the kids and gone my own way in life because it was the easy thing to do. People do that all the time (i.e., my ex). But I didn’t. Sure I have had days where I just have curled up in a ball and bawled until my eyes felt like they were going to fall out.

I have had days where I just wanted to walk out the door and never come back. Who doesn’t?

But that’s the cowards way.

I’m a lot of things, many of them not favorable, but I’m not a coward. I’m not afraid of hard work and hard times to reach my goals. I’m not afraid of rolling up my sleeves and doing what needs to be done to make things work out the way I want them to.

socks Except for laundry. That’s why God created laundry baskets, so you wouldn’t have to fold the socks and they could still be considered clean and out of the way.

Where was I? Oh, that’s right. The rough road.

The easy road will seem so perfect. It will be filled with sunshine and light, and unicorns pooping rainbows overunicorn pooping your head. Angels will sing and all will be good.

Until you hit the bump in the road.

Because, it’s a fact, folks. You will always hit the bump in the road, no matter which road you take: easy or rough.

The difference between the easy road and the rough? On the rough road, you will learn to overcome and even greet your fears and your problems. You will develop coping skills that will allow you to not curl up in a ball and cry every single time something goes wrong.

rough roadThe rough road teaches you how to put on your big person britches and move on. It teaches you that a hurdle is just a hurdle and not the end of the road. It teaches you that you have the strength to move forward, even when all seems hopeless.

The easy road may get you to where you THINK you want to be with minimum challenges and everything coming up roses.

The rough road will allow you to prove to yourself, and everyone else, that you are worthy of the goal that you have reached.

And after a trip down a rough road, nothing in the world is sweeter than reaching the star that you had the audacity and courage to reach for.

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Sometimes they can still surprise me

Before I start, I wanted to welcome everyone that has recently come to my blog.  I have enjoyed exploring your blogs and I truly hope that you will continue to enjoy mine.

Last night was a late night for us.  I seasonally scorekeep for an intramural sports program on base and last night was the first day of softball season for me.  YEA!  Of course, that morning it rained (and thundered!!) and I didn’t have time between getting off work and having to go keep score to change clothes.  So I was out there, in the mud, in high heels, slacks and a nice top.  I got some weird looks, especially from the Ump. 

But it’s all good cause softball season has begun!

 Now because I was having so much fun working the game, this meant that I didn’t get over to pick my kids up till 830.  They were more than ready to go and I was more than ready to get the hell out of my thigh highs which were, honestly, starting to pinch just a little bit. Love me some thigh highs, but they aren’t necessarily 16 hour worthy.

We got home around 9, ate a very, very late dinner (my friend offered them dinner, but they didn’t like it), and I was relaxing for just a minute before I started wrangling the kids into the shower.  They were playing XBox in the living room, enjoying each other’s company (for once) and I was sitting on my bed, listening to my James Blunt CD and cruising some of the amazing blogs here on WP.  Just as I was in the middle of reading a blog that was not family friendly, my youngest walked into my room.

He says, “Mom, I need to tell you something and it’s serious.”

Me, setting aside my computer, “Alright.  What is it?”

Him: “Mom, me and my friends went to the shoppette (a 7-11 like store on base) today and we saw an open bag of Jolly Ranchers.  We thought that someone had paid for them and then forgot them so we ate them.  But now, as I think about it, I don’t think that anyone bought them.  I think we stole them and I feel really guilty!”

At this point, he was trying to hold back the tears.  My heart just melted as I watched my son try to be brave and do the right thing. 

I called him over and gave him a huge hug.  Then I tugged him down into my lap, and he let me.  I held him and told him that I was very proud of him for doing the right thing, that it was very brave.  That I wasn’t horribly mad at him, but that this was the only bye he got on this kind of thing.  I told him that if he ever did it again, I’d skin his hinney.  I told him that we would take care of this tomorrow by going to the store and paying for a bag of the candy and he would have to apologize.  He doesn’t want to do this, but I will make him.  I asked him if he wanted to make it right and he said, “Yes.”  I told him part of making it right was to go apologize and pay for the candy.  He’ll do it today, because he’s actually a stand up kid and wants to do the right thing.

I’m sure that there are many folks out there that think I wasn’t hard enough on him for stealing this candy.  And you may be right.  There are numerous reasons why I wasn’t harder on him.  For one, he was so upset by it, by realizing what he had done, that he didn’t need me coming down on him like a hammer.  He needed support and understanding.  My youngest has not been very good for the last few months, what with the divorce and everything, and he has been acting up pretty badly.  I was so happy to have him come to me and admit this.  Meant that he still trusted me.  Big thing, right?

Secondly, I dare anyone to look into the face of my youngest son when he is trying to hold back tears and not want to just hug him as hard as you can till the tears stop.  You will  lose that dare without question.

We’re going to go take care of this this afternoon.  I know from his reaction that he will never do it again.

No matter how badly he behaves, I’m pretty proud of my son today. 

I guess I’ve done alright. 🙂