January 23, 2011

Reevaluating my Priorites

Recently I had discovered a program where I could return to college to obtain my B.A. Degree in 16 months, with only one evening class a week.  After completing this program, I would be able to complete my Masters through the very same program with a few additional evening classes after work.  I was very excited several months ago about this prospect and was told I needed intermediate algebra to get into the program.  I took the course through the university (never had touched an algebra problem) and ended up doing very well, but it sure added a ton of stress to me physically and affected all other arenas of my life.  I then found out I have about 28 undergraduate credits to complete along with the program.  I decided I would put off the university and pick away at some online courses through our local community college until I could have enough units and go into the university program clean and fresh.

So, off I go, my little happy Al-anon self, taking on 9 units on top of my full time job that has had major administrative changes in the last three months, including the retirement of two judges and the court executive officer, essentially putting a whole new admin in place.  I found very quickly how stressed I was when opening my online course to look and see what was going to be expected of me.  I must admit, I thought it was going to be a little of a cake walk (there go those expectation:) .  It was not, the work load was massive for my schedule right now and I could feel my tension growing.  I kept putting pressure on myself, starting spinning out of control, pure fear that I would fail.  I then realized something.  I will be working at my current job for a minimum of 9 more years.  I have time, something I never have allowed myself once I get an idea or goal, got to get it done, done as quickly as possible and with outstanding grades.  I prayed about it, and realized I had not purchased my books yet and that I would drop one class.  Before the end of the week, I dropped them all.  I have the book for one of the classes and will start that in the Summer semester and see how I do with online courses.

I guess my point in all this gibberish is that I allowed myself a break from the very high expectations I placed on myself at this point.  I just had surgery, just returned to work this past week and have a 12 day vacation planned in February, I simply am not in the right frame of mind to start my schooling.  I realized it was not my priority right now.  My priority is to work on my program on a daily basis.  This is something I have a hard time with.  I need to treat my program like a class that I really enjoy with some homework.  The class is the meetings, sponsor meetings, counseling meetings and this blog.  The homework is always where I get stuck.  That is the follow-through work, the reading, the meditation, the self care, etc.  When I am on track and doing the best I can, I see and feel the positive changes it makes in my life.  So again, I am learning that I can still return to school, but it is not an emergency for me, and I want to return to school and enjoy it this time around.  I want it to be on my terms, not because I need to hash out a career path so I can pay bills and support my son as a single mom.  I have the freedom to never return to school again if I so choose.  It is not all or nothing, and the more I am learning that, the better I feel about myself and trust myself.  It is a great feeling.

Blessings to you all,



Annette said...

Oh Renee....what a precious and valuable lesson you have learned! I LOVE that you are seeing all of this and *applying* it in your life and taking good care of YOU. It sounds like you are putting your oxygen mask on yourself first in order to be of use to yourself and anyone else later on. Good for you!! What a great positive post!! I love it! And I can obviously relate to it...or else I wouldn't feel so passionate about it. You and I have a lot of commonalities I think. :o)

Kathy M. said...

Dear Renee,

Phew. I feel tired just reading about all you planned to do.

It sounds like pulling back was the sane and healthy thing to do. It took me years of going to school part time (yes, as a single parent) to get my B.A. I stopped and started. But eventually I got done.

Today, my top priorities are God and my program, which are really the same things. Because doing the things I've been taught to do in this program--daily reading, prayer, attending meetings, working my steps, taking service commitments--are what keeps me sane and able to focus on the other things I want to do. And my family members don't run the other way when they see me... :)

Take good care, Renee. Hugs.

Cheri said...


Congratulations for taking care of you!!!!! You have made a wise, wise decision.


Barbara said...

Good for you! This is a huge step in the right direction. I felt relieved when I got to the part that you dropped all your classes, I was getting stressed just thinking about it!

There is plenty of time for school later. (very impressed you can do Algebra, I failed it in HS)

Tori said...

That is one busy schedule. I think that it is great that you are taking care of you and slowing down!

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Sherry said...

Hi Renee - Thanks for the kind comment. I hope you and Zach are doing well and that you are finding love, peace and joy in life!


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