From the outside looking in my life is a mess.
My house is usually messy, maybe even dirty sometimes. The laundry and dishes are always piling up. There are holes in my walls, my home is in a state of general disrepair. I’m frequently on the cusp of being late for whatever I’m trying to get to.
Financially it’s not much better. I can pay my bills (most the time) but I have next to nothing in savings. Retirement accounts? What are those?
I’ve been separated for almost two years and divorced for a couple months but I’ve got no significant other to speak of… heck I haven’t even been on a date yet. I’m “alone”.
You get the general idea.
But from an insider’s perspective the life I have right now is a great and beautiful thing.
Health. Family. Happiness.
These I have in abundance and I’m okay with the person I am right now.
A year and a half ago I realized my dream of buying a house. I never imagined I’d be able to do that at that point in my life, but I got a big Victorian foreclosure with loads of character and a payment I can afford on my own. Despite the noise level here and the normal sibling bickering amongst my kids there is peace in my home. We all have the space to be who we are and enjoy ourselves and each other. My kids even still like me, though I know that could change anytime (and then hopefully change back again fairly quickly).
Yup, I am the best version of myself that I’ve been to date and life is good even if you can’t tell from the outside.
That can only mean it’s the perfect time to shake things up a bit, to make a change. Something big-ish. We wouldn’t want me getting all complacent would we now?
I’ve just recently begun preparing to go back to school (again). It’s been a goal of mine for a while but not one I could do anything about until other things were squared away. Now that I’ve got a house and a divorce, it’s time. However knowing the timing is right and it being easy are two entirely different things. They don’t coincide. Things rarely just slide into place.
Nothing worth doing is easy. Challenge is an important part of life (I have a whole philosophy about this that I’ll blog about someday). Our struggles help make us the people we’re supposed to be.
These are the lines I feed myself.
Meanwhile I’m thinking:
“How the hell am I going to make this work?”
“I’m constantly teetering on the brink of being totally overwhelmed and I want to add one more HUGE thing?”
“Is this really going to be worth the sacrifices I’ll have to make?”
Things like that.
Then I take a few deep breaths (but not enough to start hyperventilating) and remind myself to take it one step at a time and keep moving forward.
Baby steps, like Bill Murray.
Apply for financial aid….baby steps..
Go to an information session for the program I’m looking at….baby steps…
Set up an advising session…baby steps…
That’s as far as I’ve gotten. It’s a start.
When I look at the big picture of going to school either full time or almost full time in the near future it’s pretty overwhelming, like looking directly at the sun.
I try not to do that.
If I had to figure it all out at once I would give in to my fears and quit before I started. I know because I’ve done this more than a few times in my life. I’m well practiced at self-sabatoge on so many levels.
But I also know from experience that I am a tough, smart, resourceful person. I can handle a lot and know what my priorities are.
No, I can’t do it all.
The state of my house makes that very clear on a daily basis. It rubs it in my face like a sibling who just beat me across the monkey bars. However I can decide what is most important and use my time to make sure that gets done and those things are taken care of.
Obviously my kids, my personal family unit, will be first. Going to school will make it harder in the short run but should drastically improve our long run.
Balance, it’s all about balance.
Not just me going back to school and how I’m going to manage that but ,well, everything.
The universe is all about balance. It’s a constant theme. In biology and physiology it’s called homeostasis. In chemistry it’s called equilibrium. I’m sure there’s a balance related concept in physics too but I haven’t studied enough physics to know what it is or its name.
I’m not so good at physical balance but I’d like to think I do okay with balancing the demands on my time and energy; of prioritizing what is truly important. I’m an expert juggler, metaphorically speaking of course… Any attempts I make at actual juggling are at best humorous and at worst downright embarrassing.
I would give some examples of choosing what’s important and balancing life’s demands but my kids are fighting, the pizza’s getting cold, and the root beer is getting warm.
The moral of the story is this:
Time is a limited resource. Choose what is important and keep the balance.