The Sometimes Unspoken…..

Words of another single full time working, student & parent

Archive for the ‘Reflection’ Category

Effects of College on My Mind

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I find my mind twisted these past days.  I am painfully influenced by all of the various reading required in school.  While I can not push my mind past the images that float within it, I still try to dismiss the poetic songs that are left intertwined with my everyday thoughts.

It is like babble floating within the very cells of my brain.  I wonder, often, if this is how one experiences changes.  I know that each piece of knowledge, each piece of reading, every segment of every lecture is somehow being categorized, recorded and stored in the dark recesses of various areas of my brain.  The sad thing, is this is the true actual reality and I fully understand it.  I do not mean that to sound badly.  It is just, that is actually what is happening on a deeply cellular level and this is something I truly do understand.  The curse of being overly curious about the way to increase intelligence brought me to a few books that intentionally described the very process of learning.  It was strangely interesting and completely unforgettable.

Having spent the last few weeks rushing about with the start of the semester, trying to grasp the subject matter, which in some cases is a struggle, I am buckling under the physical call of tiredness.  Each semester seems to be easier on some points and harder on others.  I think I need to stop looking at the long road, that has seven more years of dancing with this college lifestyle and break it down into more agreeable portions.  Still, I can not help but to look down the road.  My goal is taunting me like one teases a dog with a treat.

I have three semesters left to claim the two Associates degrees that I have been working on.  I would have finished with this semester, had I not realized the lack of classes that would transfer to the four year college.  It is a smart decision and I do not feel sorrow for chasing down the Paralegal Studies.  The lawyers that had warned me that it was useless to do at this point, understood the base requirements for getting to the final goal quickly.  Instead, because of work, I chose to chase down the Paralegal side of life.  It does not really gather me much in prestige, nor will the degree grant me much in a way of a promotion.  In fact, the irony is, if they change my title to a paralegal, it is in fact a demotion from what I am currently titled.  Hopefully, that does not happen.

Even still, even if it does add an extra year to get to the law degree, I think that it is worth it.  I have come to realize the subject matter sets a solid foundation for those years to come.  Practically speaking, I will know the law from two sides of the equation.  One of the working class laborer, who assists the lawyers with various tasks as required and one of the lawyer,  brand new and inept at the very practice of law.  Many do not realize baby lawyers actually have little experience in the application of law.  They have plenty of practice in the theory of law.

It is a long road.  My youngest will have graduated from high school before I finish.  My oldest will more than likely graduate with her Associates Degree before I do.  My middle one will be part way through establishing her own independence as she traverses the college scene.  I wonder at the impact that my dance with education will have on them.  Is it a good influence upon them for their mother to entertain this level of education right now?  I am not sure at times.  It takes me out of the home for classes three nights during the week.  That is less attention and observation that I can provide to them.

We have already discovered that too much independence wreaks havoc with my two youngest.  Buckling under the pressure, they redefined the rules of the house to pretty much do whatever pleases themselves.  It was very displeasing to me.  I actually spent the last month getting the house back to a decent sense of stability.  Parent jail if you will call it.  Probably a topic for its very own blog.  Nevertheless, it was a very time consuming and tedious process that I truly wish was not necessary.  My two youngest are thriving again, but miserable that they lost the wondrous freedom they have enjoyed over the past three semesters.  The first two they were reasonable.  For some reason, this last one, they strayed a little too far.  It was not comfortable and has created havoc with their very beings, though they would attempt to convince you differently.

Now that things are back to an orderly way, I can start progressing on the goals I had established for myself.  A month late, but sometimes it is worth it to stop and deal with the items that can grow into insurmountable obstacles before they truly take root.  I am excited, but totally exhausted.

I apologize for the difference in writing style.  I, unfortunately, am easily influenced by the things I have to read in school.  My English Literature class is sending my senses buzzing and dancing in ways it had not, since I was a teenager in high school.  Old dreams are flashing in front of me and I am tempted to grab them as I travel this educational voyage, but I have to weigh the effects of such a choice.  Philosophy is fighting against the practical everyday portion of my being.  I am processing the information, understanding it and amazed, but kicking and screaming every step of the way.  Sociology is painful, almost like a salt filled wound.  My mind eases when I am privileged to read and go to the Probate Law and Litigation classes.  They appeal to my senses, are practical, useful and real.

All of it together gets mixed and I can not help but be influenced.  This semester ends in May, so just hang in there with me.  The poetic and dramatic styling that seems to have awakened is actually the way I used to write years ago, before life beat me with experience and time was used as a throttle.  I have no idea if it will stay or if I will bounce between the two.  Maybe they will merge and become something completely unique.  This, in and of itself, is a curious adventure.  At any rate, I am back and I hoped you missed me.

Written by neomav

February 4, 2012 at 12:52 am

And So It Starts

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The first morning of the new year has rolled in, expected and ready to provide adventures. Today is a new day, just like everyday we wake up to see, but today is one of 12 firsts during the year and it’s the first of the firsts.

All over people are holding a bit of inspiration to make changes to a something or a series of somethings in their lives. They will start with all the determination and motivation they can muster. Within a month, they fall back to their old patterns, simply because they fully believe they can make these changes on their own power. While it is true that you are not going to change unless you are ready, it is also true that you are not going to do it alone. See something substantial in your life has to change. There has to be a reason that means more to you than you do that drives you. For some it is the fear of death. For others the fear of God. Still there are even some that respond to the unexplainable compassion they find within someone that gives them the last opportunity when everyone else has long given up. Or it may be as simple as another person giving one permission to choose to be different. That may sound silly, but in some cases it is the hold up.

I am not an expert at anything really. Maybe an expert at making poor choices and learning to live with and do something with them. It has been a hard and difficult life. My adult life is thousands times better than those years of my teens. While I appreciate the people in my life from my past sometimes it can be a struggle, because they are reminders of those things that happened that we’re not right. The silent abuse that my sister and I were enduring at my fathers hand constantly pops into those memories. Yet it is a few of my friends from that time period that have kept me accountable to the goals that I have set for myself. They believe that I can do what my heart desires.

This past year has brought me in touch with a decent size group of friends from my childhood that are cheering me on with my education. They do not care what the obstacles are in front of me, the demons I contend with as I walk the journey or how impossible it seems to be. They simply believe that I can achieve.

My church family will pray for me, that if it’s God’s will, then those doors are open and I will accomplish the task at hand. They do not worry about my personal abilities. In fact, they do not care if I can or can not. They know that if God desires it and I am willing, it will be so. No science degree needed.

Thus I am reminded as we start the first day of this new year, that on my own, alone, I can accomplish very little. Each person praying and each person believing is walking with me. Every friend that tells me to get back to studying, that gives me something to push for and that has given me permission is holding my hand. God is holding all of our hands together.

I can not say where everything will end up or what the outcome will be. I know the journey itself is as much importance as the end of the journey. All this to simply say, realize today that you are not going to do it alone. Your motivation has to be bigger than yourself and more important than you. Even simple changes have large effects at their end. A one degree change may not seem like much at the beginning, but keep walking down the road and you soon find yourself miles away from where you were, not even on the same road you used to walk.

Different roads have different rules. The old you no longer applies, the old thinking has to fade away, otherwise you stop walking and end up running back to where you started from. Those around you help to keep you focused, help to keep you on the right path and constantly uplifted. Even if you seemingly stand alone each day, anything with God’s hand in it guarantees you that you are not alone. Regardless if there is a person placed there or God alone, you are not doing it by yourself, on your own strength or determination.

And so it starts, the new day. The light has draped the lands, exposing a new Sunday. How appropriate that it is the start of a new week, the start of a new year and a new month all in one. I hope this year is the year of accomplishments, that the impossible becomes possible and everyone is filled with awe and excitement each step of the way. I look forward to the day. Off I go to take a shower, wake the girls and get ready for the first church day of the year. There are treasures waiting for me today and I intend to collect them all. I am going to be greedy and will take every blessing that God allows me to have and to take those that were given to my family long ago. No stone will be left untouched. I am greedy for those treasure for they hold what I need most to walk the journey, accomplish the things required and desired. Today is an awesome adventure and I am blessed that my family and friend are with me. Let’s do it!

And Here is 2012!

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Giggling girls, over tired from waiting for the new year to roll in are sitting on my floor.  One started the new year by sliding, slipping and landing on her back on the floor.  CRASH!  We all jumped.  She starts laughing and it gets contagious.  The youngest had ran off to bed just a few seconds before.  The two oldest giggling and laughing.

This followed by a BANG outside.  No storm is brewing.  It is nice outside.  Just a tad bit nippy, but nice nevertheless.  Someone is setting off fireworks.  You can say our home is filled with joy.  The first moments of our new year were celebrated with prayer, cheers, laughter, washing dishes and the first fall of the family.  If we can go through this year able to laugh when we fall, able to joyfully learn the lessons presented before us and in awe of the blessings that come our way – life will be more than good.  It will be awesome.

The clock starts now.  My oldest is starting an attempt at vegan.  I am starting an attempt at training towards a 5K.  The new year dances in and I am excitedly ready for bed.  Not to sleep, but to get started.  To take a new beginning and run with it!

So off I run to sleep, wishing you a happy new year filled with blessings and treasures.  May this be the best year we have lived so far.

Written by neomav

January 1, 2012 at 12:22 am

Posturing

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I was driving home from my Mom’s house tonight, my body tired and my mental state excited. As I was driving home, I had developed a pain in the back of my neck. It really hurt! My mind was wandering from one topic to another while trying to figure out where and why I had developed this pain. All I knew was that it had to stop.

I had taken one of the corners and passed a gas station. I sat up nice and straight. I am not sure why I chose to sit up straight. There was nothing in particular to see or do. At that moment I was a bit shocked. My neck was hurting because my posture was terrible. I let my body curl over itself. I had to lift my head up high to see. Driving in that position was not doing me favors. The worst of it was that I had not realized I had this incredibly bad posturing until I had actually sat up straight.

Now some may call me silly, but it did get me thinking about how many other areas in life that my posturing may be off. The poor posturing did not make me drive slower or faster. It had no affect on my driving, but it certainly was having a painful affect on me. Eventually, I am sure it would have created issues with my driving.

How many places in my life do I do this? This is something I really have to examine. Do I do it only when I am tired or when I am feeling lazy? Posture is important. How one stands, holds themselves and presents themselves is, in fact, a presentation to the world as well as yourself. No one else gets a cramp if I position myself incorrectly. Just me. If my posturing improved, can it be that my self confidence will also?

Written by neomav

December 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Sometimes it Takes a Moment….a Dance with Productivity

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I have been on a search the last six months to find productivity skill sets.  I know, many of my friends are reading this and rolling their eyes.  Not because they feel that I am lazy, but because they have accused me of being a chronic workaholic.  I will take on more than I should or that I am truly capable of doing.  I do that habitually.  Many of my friends would not accuse me of lacking or needing productivity skills.

It is almost like parenting to me.  I am a parent.  It is a huge part of my life, in fact, is my life.  I can not run away, hide or escape the role of being a parent.  That does not make me an expert at parenting.  I love to discover new tips and skill sets that I can stick in my tool box for use.  I constantly research parenting at different age ranges, but mostly for the ages of my children.  If something isn’t working, I need to find something that does.  As a parent, there is one choice and that is to deal with whatever issues and matters that present themselves to me.

The same is for productivity.  I do many things.  I have lots of projects going on besides work and school.  There are many demands on my time.  Productivity is important to me and though I may exercise skills in it daily, I honestly can do better.  I strive to do so.  It is not easy to have a job where everything is critical and an A priority.  Staying on the Dean’s list is not a simple task either.  Toss in a family life and things can get down right interesting if each has something critical going on at the same time.

A good example:  A child gets too ill to care for themselves, work has a critical project that has to be done that same day and there is an exam that you must take that night.  If you miss the exam it is a zero, there is usually no retakes.  The project has to be completed, there is no choice and the child has to be tended to.  Just a little stressful, but I am not complaining.  But it is days like that, it is good to have some tools in your tool belt that can help walk you through how to handle each situation.

There have been many books read while on this search.  The most recent that I have completed is Getting Things Done by David Allen.  This book was interesting and had many a tip that would make a productivity mongrel drool.  For what I have going on, the starting technique is not realistic.  I just can not take a day or two and go through everything, making piles and lists, calendaring, etc.  If I were an executive, that would be an option.  The reality is, Mr. Allen addresses and consults executives, therefore his approach is geared towards executives.

Yet, there are some cool things in this book.  I will be referring back to it over the next year as I get portions of it in to my habit zone.  Right now, I have grabbed my work email and created two main folders @Action and @WaitingFor.  @Action has sub folders that pertain to my job tasks.  Instead of having to search the hundreds of emails that need to have something done, I can group the tasks that I am working on and do them at the same time.  It has allowed me to get more done faster.  It also allows me to keep emails out of my Inbox, which has always stressed me out.  My old method was to simply let undone emails sit in my inbox and I would file them away as I completed the tasks they requested.  This is fine if you get fifteen or so a day.  I get hundreds a day.

Sometimes it just takes a moment to realize a times savings.  This technique alone has saved me approximately a full hour each day.  I am not searching for things and jumping from very different tasks.  Grouped tasks get done faster because your brain is already processing in that specific mode.  Every time you change the base task, it requires some study and processing time.

I am now currently digging through Boundaries and Brain Rules for additional techniques.  One for better abilities in dealing with others as they drain away time from my work day (known as the “J” time in the Administrative field) and the other for better abilities to learn, assimilate and process information faster.

I have even pulled a nugget from a recent interview.  I was invited to participate in a Doctorate students study for their dissertation regarding Veterans and their transitioning from the military to school.  We were given a web form of some basic questions to answer.  Some of my answers were on the snarky side.  That snarky is why she chose me as one of the veterans to interview.  While doing the interview and chit chatting, she had posed the question “How do you balance work, school and family?”  I had to think about it for a moment and I realized that I didn’t.  My response was, “I don’t balance them.  I do not even try to balance them.  I do not plan them out.  I do notate events and things on my calendar that are important because I have to deal with them in some fashion, but the reality is…..some days there is no way to balance everything.  It is like labor.  At that moment, the baby is coming.  It does not matter what is going on in other segments of life.  The baby is coming and coming now.  You deal with it.  I deal with each thing as it comes because many aspects to work, school and family simply are unplanned, unexpected and quite frankly have very good (or bad) timing.  You just have to take it in the moment and run with it.”

Sometimes it just takes a moment.  In a moment life is changed.  No matter how productive, how many skill sets we have or don’t have, what position we are in or where we are, life happens.  Our brains do not multi task.  It is a proven fact.  This is why talking on the phone while driving does not work well.  Sometimes it takes a moment and our focus is changed and in that we have a dance with productivity.  We have to just go with it.  The best laid plans are disrupted, the calendar changed and we are dealing with the labor of a new baby arriving in the moment.

 

 

Written by neomav

November 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Running in a Closet

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There are days where I feel like I am running in a closet.  A closed in, suffocated, endless run in the darkness.  It is stiff ling and feels like it leads no where.  Actually, it does not lead anywhere at all.  Its a long run in a closet!

This feeling comes when I find myself hiding within.  Rather then share what I am thinking, what the goals I have are or even in some cases who I am, I hide.  I am an expert at this.  I can hide right in front of people and avoid being seen.  Good ole army training!

Seriously, I notice that I am hiding myself and have to at points wonder why.  I know that I hate being criticized tremendously.  It takes a huge toll on me personally.  In fact, I tend to internalize those types of things.  I know that is related to relationships in the past and truly, it is time to let those things go.

I work hard at trying not to take that long run in the closet.  Some days its just harder than others.  It makes me daydream for old friends, that never let me near the closet door.  One such friend had an oxygen addiction.  Anytime we were outside she was the giddiest person I had ever known.  We could make anything pleasurable.  I think the two of us together were just so strong willed and determined that we reinforced the positiveness of life.  Even if we did not want it.

I think back to those experiences and usually it is enough to get me out of the closet.  Yet, lately, I think the closet is not so bad if I just stand.  Boring!  Standing is boring!  I want to move.  I want to run.  I want to do things and to share.

So what to do when you find yourself running in the closet…..?

Simple open the door and head for the light.  Share something quick.  Even a small thing.  Dare to daydream about where you want to be.  It does not have to be realistic, just dream it.

Write it down and look for the points.  Why do I like this?  What is appealing about it?  Hidden within are keys that can gain you momentum outside of the closet.  Now you can have the run of a whole room!  Eventually, you can get outside and run amuck in the world.

The point is, start where you are at.  Start small.  Do not have the great expectations.  In fact, check expectations at the door on your way out.  Go beyond.  One small step at a time.  Rinse, wash and repeat!

Written by neomav

November 17, 2011 at 12:51 am

Frustrations in Relationships

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Relationships have a huge impact and are so very important in our daily lives.  A relationship ignored or abandoned may not impact us right away, but it will have a long lasting affect over a long period of time.  In the end it sneaks up and tries to bite everyone.

Sometimes, though, one has to choose to love a person from a distance.  It can be because of abusive personalitites, addicitions, consistent poor life choices or any measure of things that bring about an unhealthy aspect to the relationship.  It is necessary to do, even if everyone around does not understand that fact.

When I was younger, I found my escape from relationships that were very unhealthy.  Had I chosen to keep those relationships in my daily life, right now I would be very lucky if I were able to hold the most basic job.  In fact, I would have the viewpoint that the world owed me.

Many think that simply removing yourself from an unhealthy relationship fixes things.  It doesn’t.  The person leaving the unhealthy relationships has to somehow determine what was unhealthy and avoid relationships with those aspects in them.  They also need to deal with the series of issues that exist deep down after having spent much time living with or involved in unhealthy relationships. 

I had to go through a series of situations and relationships to acutally learn the clues as to what was unhealthy and what was healthy.  I am still learning.  Had I gone to counseling on these issues right out of the gate, perhaps I would have avoided all the marriages I had been involved in.  (Relax – I still do not have Elizabeth Taylor beat!)

Yet there is a more central issue.  Where I place my life to start with!  What is it centered upon.  I know I have mentioned this before, but it truly does play a role.  For instance, if my life is centered upon God and I believe that God created me with a purpose, that He molded me with His hands and shaped me, I cannot deny God’s love for me.  If God loves me, then there is something about me that is essentially good.  Something that is actually lovable.  If God loves me, I need to be able to love me.

Loving oneself has a major thing to do with the choices we make.  If we feel that we are not worthy of something or someone, we ruin it somehow.  We make some choice that hurts those relationships or we simply shut the door.  However, if we feel that we are worthy enough, we run with it.  We tend to it.  We care for it.

The irony here is that one can be hard pressed to say they deserve God’s love.  God loves us anyway and in there is another lesson.  It doesn’t matter if we feel we are worthy enough, we need to love anyway – to include loving ourselves enough to make healthy choices.  Yet, the human side of us makes choices in many cases of of our emotional impulses.  Advertisers know this.  Just take some time to study how they determine what colors to use, what images to associate and which words to use in ads.  They are all geared to draw us through our emotional side.

Therefore it gets frustrating at times.  It is hard enough to make good choices for ourselves.  One has to also deal with the choices that others have made.  After all, we are tallking about relationships.  You need another party to have the relationship.

Our values will have a huge impact on what we understand.  In my life I have ex-husbands.  I do not understand their choices in life and sometimes their choices impact my life in one way or another.  I get frustrated because I cannot validate, understand or justify their choices.

You have to let others make their own choices even if they have an impact on you.  However, you do not have to stay so close as to always be hurt or negatively impacted.  A little distance can keep things healthier and happier in the long run.  Loving from the distance has its value in some cases.

Nevertheless, we will always experience frustration in one way or another.  Just remember that as long as the relationship is healthy and it creates constant positive impacts on life, the frustration is quite all right.  If it is unhealthy and creates a constant negative impact on life, it is a flag for you to take some action.

Written by neomav

October 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm

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