The Sometimes Unspoken…..

Words of another single full time working, student & parent

Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts

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.

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Written by neomav

February 4, 2012 at 12:52 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

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

Render Me Useless

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Sometimes I have these days or moments where I feel like I am just useless.  I wonder what I am doing and why I am doing it.  It is like choosing to fight a war that you know the odds are simply against you.  No one is betting you will win.  The underdog stance.

I do this when I feel very tired, burnt out or stressed about things.  I know it sounds depressing, but I truly do not view it that way.  It is an awesome way my body has for communicating to me that things are not in order.  Something is out of place.  It goes straight to my personal self esteem and attacks it.

See, I understand that I am not useless.  I also know that it is okay to feel that way at times.  It has a meaning.  It is not okay if this is the feeling one walks around with all day for days on end.  Moments of lacking confidence are important to us and necessary.  Not that I am defending, but just that I realize if I do not have moments like this, it is easy to loose touch with life.  Being overly confident is not exactly the best thing for us either.  Many think so, but I disagree.  The middle road is best.  We need moments that cause us to question ourselves and make us ask why something is the way it is.  They are growing times, if we let them to be.

So the big question is why this feeling?  It is simple really.  I am doing things that are way out of my comfort zone.

The social media game I love to play is intense and filled with people that do it as a profession.  They are great at it.  Its filled with people that have lots of time for online activities and thus they are rewarded for it.  Most of them are professionals in one way or another.  There are a few people like myself that are the odd balls out.  I refuse to quit though.  Even when it gets difficult.  The reality is, it is good for me.  The people I have meet and connected with have a different mindset than many of those normally around me.  My interests and hobbies are their professions.  They cheer me on even when my goals are not the same.  Compared to them, I am very socially inept.  My biggest lesson is how inconsistent I can be.

School is constantly pushing me to do that much more than I thought I could do.  It is expanding my mind, changing the way I think and the way I view things.  When the light is revealed even the details are suddenly exposed.  I have one year under my belt and it is still a huge challenge.  It is far more than study habits and good grades.  Again, I am out of my comfort zone.

At work I am constantly involved with things that I feel are outside of my skill range.  I am stretched, busy and sometimes lost.  I go back and forth feeling great and wondering if today is the day I get the notice.  I am not doing a bad job at all, but much of what I think actually ties into what I expect me to be able to do.  I have a little bit of a perfectionist tendency.

At home I sometimes want to just quit and say I can’t do this.  Life can be relentless, never giving a moment to just chill out.  I am out of my elements here as well as I continue to do work  on the house, learn new things (mostly the hard way) and face the challenges that life brings to us.

On all fronts I seem to be facing challenges and things that force me to stretch more, learn more and do more.  I am way outside of my comfort zone.  No complaints here, just an observation.  I am actually excited to see what is in store for us.  I know there are huge blessings rushing at me, surrounding me and covering me.  The adventures continue and I am thrilled!

Written by neomav

August 18, 2011 at 10:12 pm

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