Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Break

Well, I knew going back to school was going to be hard. I just didn't realize HOW hard!! When I had classes before, I found the time to squeeze in a social life as well as studies. But now I have 3 kids, a husband, a part-time job and a household to run. It might have been a bit naive to think that I could handle 15 hours of class as well. BUT, I can honestly say I have never been happier! I may be sleep deprived and a bit mentally unstable some days, but I am doing well. Midterm grades are in and I'm carry 3 A's and 2 B's. I spent 13 years at Cat, locked in a cubicle and working for "the man". I loathed going to work. Especially the last 7 years. That is way too long to hate what you are doing. The Red Cross started out well. I liked the idea of working for an organization that helped people. Problem was, said organization was even more political than Cat. Who would have thought? And when push came to shove, being smarter and more educated than your supervisor is NOT a good thing. Some people just can't get over it. I know that sounds kind of arrogant. Not something I would generally say. But it was true, and when I tried to put in for a job that was a higher salary grade than my manager (even though it was in a different division), it was made pretty clear that I should learn my place. Unfortunately, that kind of thing doesn't fly with me....and I'm pretty sure it was the main reason for untimely layoff. Of course, it was the best thing that ever happened to me because it gave me a chance to reevaluate where I was heading. It got me back to school. In a place where I am most comfortable. In higher learning. Sitting in a room with others, learning new concepts and ideas....discussing literature and history. Learning teaching techniques and child psychology. THIS is where I was meant to be. Even though the market for teachers is horrible right now (and Mike thinks I'm making a huge mistake), this is where I need to be. I'm happy. I enjoy getting out of bed in the morning and going off to class. I figure if I can't stay a student all my life, then I can become a teacher and spend the rest of my days in a classroom. Hopefully, it will all work out.


A few of the drawbacks include a lot of travel time (with gas prices going up this sucks) and a severe tightening of the budget. My lack of full-time income is going to be a tough one for awhile. I'm still working part time, but as anyone in retail or restaurants know, business is SLOW. It's been really hard trying to make ends meet, and it doesn't look like it's going to get better any time soon. I am going to do my best to finish as quickly as I can, but if push comes to shove and I have to get a full-time job again, I'm still going to finish. I have to do this for me. I'm going to do one more semester at the JC, before I transfer to ISU. It's closer and cheaper. I even have my classes picked out for next semester.....including Intro to Special Ed, Humanities, Sociology, Educational Psych, and Sexism in History. Once finished, I will transfer to ISU to get a degree in Secondary Education (I will have at least an endorsement in English, if not a degree....although lately, I have been contemplating History as well). One day at a time......

I have done a lot of reading lately, although mostly for class. In the last couple of months, I have finished Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, tons of short stories, Beautiful Creatures, Wither, Infinite Days, Nightshade, The Sea of Monsters, a re-read of The Hunger Games, and Full Dark, No Stars. I just got some books from William Morrow that look amazing....and I'm going to start dropping some reviews. It's time I got back into the reason I started blogging in the first place. Don't give up on me yet. I'll find the time.

Spring Break has come and almost gone. I have spent most of it cleaning. My house was a disaster, and although not completely done, it's starting to look like a home again. And, drum roll please....I have lost almost 30 lbs! I'd love to say it's healthy eating and exercise. But it started out as stress and a general loss of appetite. A lot of it was due to the pain from my back, neck, hips and joints. The pain meds took away a lot of my desire for food. But once I realized how much better I felt, I really kicked it up a notch. Now, I'm down 3 pant sizes and I am starting to feel great, pain aside. I'm working through most of it with some therapy and starting next week, acupuncture. Still taking way too many pain meds, but I'm hoping to start decreasing those soon. Included a picture of me and my babies (aren't they getting big?? sob!)

So...I guess this is just one big post about how life is tough and a struggle and painful....and yet, I'm happier than I have been in years. Book reviews to start POURING out this week. Come back and see me!! Love you all!

12 comments:

Bonnie Jacobs said...

"Sexism in History" sounds interesting. Good to hear from you, and good to hear about the weight loss! I hope you are pain-free really soon. Take care of yourself.

Stephanie said...

Thanks Bonnie!! I hope you and Donna are doing well. It's a new class, and my current History teacher is tackling the issues. She actually asked me if I would take it. I'm really excited about it.

Kristy said...

I'm glad you are back & most of all happy. Love the picture (& your glasses). You look great. I can feel your pain on the pain meds. I'm off the heavy stuff, but still on Naproxen. My body hates it, but I have lost a few pounds. Not a fun way to do it! Let me know how the acupuncture goes. I'm in physical therapy right now, but I've always been curious about acupuncture. Take Care!

Kailana said...

Congrats on the weight loss! And the good grades! And managing to juggle all that you have going on!! Your babies are getting really big. Craziness how time flies! I hope they can get you pain-free soon. I miss you. Take care of yourself. :) I am so happy to see you are so happy these days!

Nicola said...

Congratulations Stephanie! You sound happy and you look happy! What more can you ask for? Good things never come without some sort of sacrifice and it sounds like you know that and have everything in it's place and under control. God is good! Enjoy life!

Trish said...

Oh Steph--you just sound SO happy in this post! I know it's hard--my mom went back to school with three pre-teen kids with a baby on the way as a single mother working odd end jobs. Now she has her masters and has a fabulous job. You'll get through it. But to hear how happy you sound--so wonderful.

samantha.1020 said...

I'm just glad that you are back!!! I don't know how you keep up with it all as I have three kids and a full time job and feel crazy all of the time. LOL! I'm glad to hear that you are doing well and that you are going to be around here :) Have a great week and hope school continues to go well!

Michelle said...

30 pounds?!? Congratulations!! I love seeing how happy you are now that you are taking back your life and doing something about which you are passionate. Money is never as important as happiness, and your joy just exudes from your writing, even with all the craziness that being a full-time student and mother entails. I can't express enough how happy I am that you are back, and more important, that your life is finally turning a corner. It does my heart good to hear your stories.

Stephanie said...

Kristy - Oh, I'm still on the heavy stuff. That and caffeine are what keep me going these days. I'll let you know about the acupuncture. The funny thing is, I'm terrified of needles. Especially after the trigger point shots. They hurt so bad for the little good they did. But I have heard such good things about acupuncture, and my doc really wants me to try it. I'd say it couldn't hurt to try....but I'm just not sure that would be true!

Kelly - I miss you too! I keep missing you on Twitter, as well. I need to do a better job at trying to get in touch with you.

Nicola - Thank you. I'm definitely trying to enjoy it all.

Stephanie said...

Trish - Thank you so much! I saw this gorgeous picture of you today!! It's truly not a myth about glowing!! I'm so happy for YOU! Your mom sounds like an amazing woman.

Sam - It is good to be back. Glad to see YOU are still around too!! I'm sure you are every bit the wonder woman!! And don't think that I don't feel crazy as hell most of the time!

Michelle - My dear friend, I have missed you so much! Thank you for just being an ear to listen when I have needed a friend. THat means more to me that you will ever know. Don't get me wrong. There are days when I still feel the weight of the world. The difference now is that I have days that I feel really happy, and for now that is enough to counter-balance. I'm still tired, and I get depressed pretty easy. But I will just keep on going. I mean, really. What else can I do?

30 lbs...can you believe it?? I knew I was way too heavy, but I just didn't have the willpower to do anything about it. For my birthday this year, my Mom took me shopping for clothes...I didn't have much that even fit me!

Susan said...

It's so good to hear from you again, Stephanie. It sounds so busy - and having gone back to school after my divorce years ago, with a toddler in hand, I know how difficult it is to juggle everything - though I found my marks were better because I had to study and write when I had the time, and not dawdle or fritter it away. Take good care of yourself, it's not so good to hear you are in so much pain. I'm so glad you are enjoying your life again though I know it does seem full, if you are happy it will be good for your family too :-)

If you can fit in a book review that's fab, but really: just post when you can!!! I like the picture too, you all look happy.

Marg said...

For all the hard work and the being a bit broke and all of those things, you sound really happy, which is just fantastic! I am so glad for you