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.

No time….no time at all

Like everyone who has a blog here, or in the world, there seems like there is no time at all to get everything done.  I feel like I don’t have time to breathe, much less fit in the the things that I want to do or enjoy doing.

Here’s a snapshot of my day:

0500 – wake up

0500-0600 – get showered, dressed, hair done, made up, accessorized, etc.

0600-0700 – get children up, dressed, fed, brushed teeth, comb hair, etc.

0700 – 0735 – leave house, take children to school

0735-0750 – travel from youngest son’s school to work

0800-1700 – work

Some nights, I work another job.  That means from 1700 – 1930 I’m at my other job.  On these nights, just remove the quiet time for me and the picking up the house times and that’ll be my night.

Other nights, the rest of my day goes something like this:

1700 – 1730 – pick up children, socialize with babysitter for a minute (seems rude to just pick up kids and run)

1730 – 1735 – get home and greet dog (she insists on at least 5 minutes of rubbin’ and cooin’ before she’s happy)

1735 – 1830 – dinner cooked, eaten, kitchen cleaned up

1830 – 1930 – help children with homework

1930 – 2030 – showers, spend time with kids/spend time unwinding

2030 – 2130  – kids watching TV while I pick up house, make lunches for the next day, thrown in a load of laundry

2130 – bedtime for the kids

2130 – 2200 – take some quiet time for myself

2200 – 2230 – do nightly face washing, etc., then bed

I wish I had time to watch television or crochet/knit (like I love to do), or craft at all.  I wish I had time to go to the gym or take the dog for a walk.

Where do I find this time without sacrificing the other things that need to be done around the house?

I really have to get to bed by 1030, at the latest, otherwise I’m not good for any damn thing the next day.  Gone are the days where I could stay up till 3 am and still be able to function the next day.

I feel like I manage my time pretty well.  I feel like I should be able to fit the workout/walk in there somewhere.  I really want to get to the gym and I would love to walk my dog again.  I used to walk her every evening for at least 4 miles. She loved it, she needed it, and I loved doing it with her.  Maybe, when the weather gets warmer, I’ll be able to swing by and pick her up before I pick up the kids and I’ll be able to walk her before I get home.

I knew that being a single mom would be hard, but damn.  I didn’t realize how hard it would be!

Guess it proves the maxim, “Freedom isn’t free.” 🙂