The Sometimes Unspoken…..

Words of another single full time working, student & parent

Posts Tagged ‘reflection

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

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

Awe Inspired Stumbling

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We sometimes take for granted that life is filled with luxuries or those things we feel are necessary, but in reality are nothing more than a nice to have.  I always have to giggle a bit as to where God has placed me in life.

I stand with one foot rubbing shoulders with the wealthy.  Their lives filled with fine clothes, decent cars, the ultimate in television entertainment, gadgets and technology to make any geek or geekette drool for ages to come and access to pretty much any whim that strikes them.

My other foot rubs shoulders with the working poor.  By contrast they are washing clothes by hand in their tubs, public access television is the only available channel, radio is the big thing there, internet is accessed at friends or family member’s houses, the cars do not always work when you need them and sometimes its a tough choice to go to the doctor when needed or wait it out because there are other bills that need to be paid.

Neither set of my friends are discontent with their lives.  I always imagined that those that were very wealthy would have huge holes of loneliness embedded in their lives.  The truth is that loneliness can happen to someone regardless.  For those that were poor I had always though that there was a feeling of being without.  The truth is, its hard to feel without something if you have never had it to start with.

It took me a while to understand that issues and problems are known, felt and experienced at every level, by every person, at any age.  Wealth has nothing to do with it.  It may affect the type of issues and problems, but not always.  Neither is better off than the other.

I listened as one of my friends told me a series of events that were happening in the life of his family and himself.  While he has considerable more money than I have, his problems and issues are not fewer than mine.  In fact, in many cases, his issues and problems are extremely similar to mine.  It doesn’t matter that his house is bigger or that he has money to satisfy any and every whim.  The pressures and stress of life are honestly not very different than what I experience.

Life happens to everyone that opens their eyes at the start of their day, that draws in a breath and is here another day, by the grace of God’s hand.  We are the fortunate and blessed.  We have another day and another opportunity.

This life is awe inspired in an awkward sort of way.  We bumble and trip and stumble on the road as we walk our paths in life.  Each of us learning something, and not always the right something.  Life is a series of awe inspired stumblings.  Somehow, somewhere in that walk, God manages to reach us.  We manage to find truth, even if its just for a moment.  And we repeat this over and over again, each time able to hold onto the truths of life that much longer.

I hope in my life that I can be awe inspired and awe inspire others with each step no matter how silly or crazy those steps can be.  I do not want to be just another person trying to survive the day in this world.  I want to be someone filled with awe, inspired by the very essence of life.  I do not care if I stumble as I go, but just that I am able to go and be that which was intended of me to be.

Tonight I sit and write.  I should be studying for exams and taking my Real Estate law class exam online.  My teen is sick and sleeping just a few feet from me.  Concentration is not my thing tonight and it is not that worry eats at my heart.  God is here.  My heart hurts that she has to endure the pains of illness even for a moment.  Even though, in some crazy way, it potentially is good for her, as it brings a reality about that every day even though good, can have moments that do not feel so great.

Yet we are not abandoned.  It is truly good.  Life is here, in our home, even with sickness.  So for now we stumble this portion of the road, maybe fall here and there.  Our hearts are still filled ~ we are awe inspired stumbling.

Written by neomav

November 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm

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

Enter Empowered!

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Sometimes we just loose our way.  We are busy chasing the dream or running from the dream chasing us ~ no matter which it is, we still found ourselves somehow off course.  My mind thinks, “I could have sworn I was on a road.  What is with all these trees?”

After having quite a bit of time away, to myself and mostly offline, I realized I was sitting in the middle of the forest frolicking with the forest creatures, enjoying my time and loosing track of my priorities.  I can’t say that I was ever totally lost.  Just a little misplaced from time to time.  Nevertheless it was still in the midst of a forest and I was an adult form of Alice in Wonderland.  Still am, actually.

I have to say that life has been giving me a pounding for a good solid four to five months so far.  Someone sped life up and I was on overload.  Too much information to absorb and too many things, people and tasks to pay attention to.  To be honest, I was feeling a bit trampled.

I think sometimes it is necessary for each of us to do the unthinkable and stray from the status quo of the day.  I have friends in various groups: my Christian friends, my Goth friends, my Second Life buddies, my virtual world hopping crowd, my internet pals and so much more.  Each group is a bond to people through an interest, a lifestyle choice or something in common.  After a while, it just seems to be too much too fast.

I have always been afraid of just shutting down, yet I am no stranger to running away if I have to.  I am really good at running away and hiding when the need happens to appear.  I suppose talking to my friends would be the societal choice.  In some cases, maybe so.  But I have learned that at the end of the day, one has to contemplate over life and determine what is true and what is not.  We need to measure things by whatever standard we have chosen and see where we are sitting to figure out what to do and where to go next.

I am visual.  I have been ignoring that aspect of myself for quite some time.  I am also physical.  I can learn things rapidly because of these two things.  I think in pictures and my body memorizes movement incredibly well, even at this mid age.  We had an awesome sermon given at our church this past Sunday.  It was simple, but yet, it was empowering.

There are days where we go back to the basics, other days we wipe the slate off and start clean, but this was different and exciting.  It was not about either, but both were a part of the resolution.  Rather it is where is your center.  What is your life based upon?  What principles or precepts do you engage or practice?  What obstacles are in the way?  Most importantly, what relationships are in the way.

It was foundational – reminding me of the book on boundaries.  I have to pull that out so I can properly reference it.  Another to do a bit later.  I am writing off the cuff while waiting for class to start.

We have measures of time, pressures of space and stress in our lives.  Yet most are self created.  We choose our relationships, what we will spend our time doing and how we will accomplish things, or not.  What we choose not to do is just as important as what we choose to do.  Thus, where we center our lives has a dramatic impact on our everyday.

Enter empowered!  Just these little tidbits of knowledge empower us to create, to change and to address issues in our lives.  God centered, me centered or money centered……choices.  What are the consequences and what is it that I truly desire?  When riches fail and money no longer fulfills, what next?

God gave us the choice of where we place our hearts, what we do with our time and how we do things.  The only catch is that one has to bare the consequences of ones choices.  A hard life can be where we started, but it does not have to be where we end.  Living proof.

Have to run….will write more soon!

Written by neomav

October 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Beyond the Blindside

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My last post was made a few moments before I went into one of my classes.  I talked about how I was feeling blindsided and then I had an epiphany, leaving everyone hanging.

Before I continue I want to examine what exactly being blindsided means.  One of the definitions is to be attacked from an unexpected position.  Another is to be caught unprepared.  While I chose the word blindside, I did not realize how true of a statement it was until a bit later.

I have been both unprepared and attacked from unexpected positions.  It has been unrelenting and continuous.  The more it happened the harder it was for me to recover in time for the next round. It was like I could not breath, catch a breath or prepare.  I felt like I was going to be dead meat.

Obstacles cropped up everywhere.  Obstacles appeared in front of everything and even behind me.  I was surrounded.  My mind was at a point that was somewhere between desperation, despair and hope.  Such an odd combination, but I know for a fact that my God isn’t going to let me simply die out, unless I myself choose to do so.  I can have hope, even when I do not know the solution.

I have always worked in positions where I could accumulate a heavy workflow by taking on more and more responsibilities.  I enjoy the pressure for some reason.  I truly think, aside from the fact that I love to learn, that this same thing is why I love college so much.

Yet more things are thrown at me that I did not expect to have to take on, or had not been prepared to deal with due to a lack of knowledge.  New experiences on top of the things going on.  I have struggled, pushed, crawled, cried, engaged in temper tantrums, fits and moments of peace.  I kept going with the idea that somehow I have to manage to do it all.

But I realized the last time that I wrote that I was ignoring something.  I have God.  He has wisdom and He has promised that wisdom to me.  It is accessible, but I have to ask for it.  I do not have to walk alone.  He is with me and He has provided me with many people in my family, at work, in church, online in various places and through out the world to walk with me.  Yet, I had been hiding in my safe place, trying to go it alone and stressing out because suddenly that safe place was under attack.  It was no longer safe.

Needless to say, I tend to stay to myself and come out here and there to chat, talk and communicate.  Then I go back into hiding.  God is not asking me to delegate my job or my school work or my parenting.  In fact, the overwhelming part has been that nothing can truly be delegated.  Even if someone is watching my children, I am ultimately responsible.  No one can do my homework or learning for me.  It isn’t about delegating, its about being supported.

Delegation is when you pass off something to someone else to do. For instance, I delegate the responsibilities of cleaning the cat litter, cleaning the dogs crate, feeding the animals and washing the dishes to my children.  They do it.  I just check to be sure it has been done.

Support is when you complete your tasks, but those around you hold you up, they cheer you on.  They are cheering you on when you start to slow down and feel like you can’t go on.  They are holding you up when you feel like you can no longer stand.  When you reach a point that you feel you can not go on, your support system is there (0r should be) to keep you going.  God is central to that support system.  While it is nice to say that one can support themselves, and at times it may be necessary to exert such determination, it is truly a blessing to be able to rely on others and not have to walk alone.  Its no longer I did it by myself, but I did it by the grace and power of God, by His hand in my life and with the help of those He placed there to keep me going.

It is exciting and scary at the same time.  It is a “Wow” moment for me.  It also requires that I make a true attempt at socializing more versus hiding more.  I was overwhelmed so I hid from every social network, from all those around me and have been flying by the seat of my pants.  Guess what?  It does not work!!  People have to be there.  It is necessary for me to encourage, to fill up, to invest in and to desire friendships with others.  It is important that I have those friendships.  Its not just about them supporting me, but it works the other way around as well.  I need to be there for them too.

Now this is truly uncharted territory for me.  I am not really sure how one does that.  So we are onto the exploration of what does it mean to support a person.  How does one give support and how does one receive support?  Does it enhance the relationships and what are its pitfalls to look out for?  These are questions that I need to answer.

I am standing beyond the blindside right now and looking at it from an outside perspective.  Strange, out here it doesn’t seem all that complicated.  Yet within it, it feels insurmountable.  The truth it, its not difficult to overcome.

Life has become a quick series of new chapters.  Very short ones, but intense.  They are filled with lessons I could not have imagined and situations that need to be addressed.  Beyond the blindside, I can see and I understand that there are somethings things that a person can not walk through alone.

Written by neomav

September 24, 2011 at 9:48 pm

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