Day 46 – Part 2 – checking off my 2015 bucket list

I am officially one step closer to knocking one of my 2015 bucket list items off the list. I have signed up for my prep work for my big exam this year and will register for the exam next month.

It has been close to a month of contemplation over taking this prep course or not and I pushed it to the last day.  Thank goodness that is over but what a rush to actually be following through!

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Hell may have frozen over – Day 46

This week, Hell may have frozen over.

Thursday was just one of those mornings.  After leaving my job, I had to decide what to do with my retirement benefits.  Looking out for mine and my family’s best interest, I made the decision to move it out of the company.  That became a mess of a task once the online resource wasn’t allowing me to enter the account number.  So, finally having a little time during business hours to call, I sat down to make my request over the phone – again.

This was a long process – at least a half hour – and just as we got to the point of confirmation, my phone got messed up and dropped the call.  Not the worst thing ever but the rep I was working with didn’t take my number in case of disconnection and when I called back, I was on hold for 10 minutes before I just had to leave.

In a hurry, I slipped on ice.

I shouldn’t be surprised, such is the hazard of year round midwestern living.  Lucky for me, I had the presence of mind to throw my keys and catch myself on hands and knees.  My ankle, wrist, elbow, knee, and shoulder were sore, but avoided an unexpected trip to the doctor to make sure baby was okay.

Amazingly, the day just didn’t get better from there.

Lucky for me, Friday my sweet husband planned a fun family day.  Too bad it involved over indulgence the whole day.

Remember why, forget about how – Day 41

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It is hard to believe I am already on day 41 of this crazy year long journey and even more crazy to think about how quickly I have built up a ton of self doubt.  Lately the metaphorical mountain I set out to climb has been looking just a little insurmountable.  My fear of failure has become so great it has seriously crossed my mind to just pack it in and call it a ‘good try’.

My childhood friend looked at my like I was crazy – she likes to tell me that I can do anything.  I may have told her I didn’t really care that she thought I could do anything but then she sent me this:

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And I was reminded of my motivation to run my first marathon.  Yep, I thought I couldn’t do it but instead of being ready to lay down and say ‘okay, okay, you win.  I can’t do this’, I turned around and basically sassed myself having the attitude of ‘I can totally do whatever it is I want to do’.

So what happened?

Well another friend of mine pointed something out to me the other day and it just clicked.  I am getting too bogged down in the how.  How am I going to manage this schedule?  How am I going to convince an admissions board to look past some of those less than perfect parts of my application and admit me to medical school.  How exactly do I expect my family to grin and bare the harder years and how exactly will I explain to my kids when I can’t make a play or performance because I have to work?

The reminder my friend gave me was pretty simple.  Stop focusing on the how and focus on the why.  At first, I have to be honest, I rolled my eyes just a little.  The why changes nothing.  I still have to accomplish the how.  But after sitting with the why/how thought for a little while, it sort of clicked.  First, the why is far more motivating than the how and is what makes the how worth my while.  Second, focusing on the why could take me anywhere.  It will keep me focused and it will remind me that if medical school doesn’t end up being something in my future, there are other avenues to accomplish that why.  Which just means there is a little less pressure on the how.  And lastly, focusing on the why is answering the question of the how.  What is the classic question on every admissions application?  Why do you want to do this?  Many schools devote the entire essay portion of your admissions to this one simple question.

So what is my motivation?

I have thought a lot about this and it really boils down to others and myself.  On the others front, I have the capacity and ability to show compassion and caring for other people.  I have the desire and drive to make others lives just a little better where possible.  On the selfish me side – I like to learn.  A career in any healthcare related field will require constant learning and involves constant change and evolution.  It will require some sacrifice.  I imagine my children will accuse me of being a work-a-holic like we used to accuse my dad.  But for my family it will not only provide financial well-being (important in any job that requires trading away your time), it will also show them that a.) hard work can get you places b.) you don’t have to give up on your dreams just because it is unconventional for someone in your life situation and c.) life is about prioritization.  While my family is my primary priority overall, sometimes other things take priority over family game night.  While I wish that wasn’t the case, I hope they will learn that I knew that was the case with any career option.  Mommy working just has to mean time away – regardless of the job.  I hope they will learn that it is okay to miss things here and there but for the right reasons.  For me that means finding a career that is energizing and exciting.

Day 39 – Sleepless morning

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I have been awake for about an hour and my wake up call is still about 30 minutes away.  I tried getting back to sleep but no such luck.  I really wish I could run to Starbucks for a little early morning pick me up but between the less than wonderful effects caffeine (and not to mention all the calories in my favorite drinks) and the warnings about caffeine during pregnancy I will remain uncaffeinated.

It seems like a good time to get up and start homework for the week while everyone else is sleeping anyway.  But before I start that I thought I would take a few minutes to reflect on my first week of classes.  Public transportation in Minnesota has left me with a lot to be desired.  I am either driving just a little out of my way to be able to avoid bus stops in sketchy neighborhoods or I am spending a lot of time on the light rail.  In the past 2 days I have seen 3 different sets of cops patrolling the light rail for correct fair.  Somehow that really doesn’t make me feel all the much better about the light rails safety.

Beyond the transportation situation (which is saving me hundreds of dollars by the way) I have some rather interesting instructors this semester and have gotten some very mixed responses to my pregnancy.  I honestly assumed that in my program and especially at an institution was really put on the map for some questionable kin experiments in the past, that they would be just a little more progressive about exercise participation in pregnancy.  My tennis instructor was really great about it and expressed zero concerns.  My major advisor was also great – but the advisor ‘above’ her and my exercise physiology professor both referenced my pregnancy as a ‘condition’ and really made me feel like it is something to whisper about, almost as if we are still living in the early 1900’s when an unwed woman having a baby would vanish during pregnancy and delivery and then come back as if nothing happened.  But I am in fact married and I happen to just fall in that ‘non-traditional student’ classification.

While I understand it is an unusual situation for the professor, I can’t be the only student ever in this situation.  And I just wish based on the fact that I approached them about it and assured them I would be keeping my midwife in the loop about any activity, complications, or concerns, that they would have handled it a little better.  Maybe in the professor and advisor’s heads I am 20, away from home for the first time, and landed pregnant by mistake – but I think they could have taken a neutral line and instead of comments like ‘let your professors know about your condition’, or ‘I have alerted your TA to your condition’ they could have just said ‘please let your professors know about your pregnancy’, or ‘I have alerted your TA to your pregnancy’ – Because frankly, I have a pregnancy not a condition.  And I promise I am not contagious.

While it is nice to have the first week done, it wasn’t a full week and I still have to experience the lab in which the professor referenced my condition.  I also noticed this week that sitting in desks is going to start getting hard in the coming months.  There really isn’t a ton of space.  And once again – I totally get that I am in the minority here but it is making me much more alert to how accessible the University is (or isn’t) to those who are disabled.  I think each classroom has one table and chair labeled for handicap individuals.  Sometimes that is for a room full of 50 students.  I didn’t think much of it in the past but I am in an exercise related program – people get hurt and put on crutches regularly making desk seating hard.  What happens when there is need from 2 of the 50 students? Or there is not an elevator to get to your classroom?

Admittedly, disability of this nature seems to be rare on the campus too, but it sure does make me wonder about things I just wouldn’t have thought of before.

The one other thing I learned this semester is being a good student is actually rather time consuming and demanding.  I am already finding it a little hard to manage my home life and school life and it was only the first 3 days of the semester.  I am sure it will be a little easier as I get into a new routine but it already blows my mind that I used to work full time and take a fairly heavy course load and I was trying to be wonder woman at home.  I think I get it now when everyone would ask me how I did it.  My answer was always, this is just what I know but looking back to even just a month and a half ago … how was I doing that?

Day 34 – tomorrow

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Baby Olaf’s first picture.

This week has been another fast moving crazy week.

It was full of appointments that were both fun and not so fun.  Monday found me at the dentist – good news, no cavities – but I still can’t find it an enjoyable way to pass the time.  But by Friday we were ready to hear our little baby’s heartbeat for the first time.  Unfortunately, the midwife was unable to find the heartbeat via doppler.

So despite my early protests of an early ultrasound, we changed our Friday afternoon plans and found ourselves in the waiting room of radiology.  Baby seems to be doing just fine, but according to radiology we have almost an extra week before baby comes.

On one hand that is great news.  Trust me when I say we are going to need all the time we can get to get our house in order. It wouldn’t be such a big deal except for the completely torn apart basement that we need to get refinished so we can empty the bedroom that will be nursery number 2.  The bad news is rather simple – I have been so sick feeling most of the time that some days I lay in bed for most of the day.  I was counting down the days until I hit the second trimester which should bring a little relief from the tiredness and the nausea.

Today’s tomorrow brings the start of my new semester – and along with it, tennis.  I had thought I would be hitting perfect timing to be getting more energy and less nausea in the first or second week of class – instead we are looking at the second or third week.  I suppose that still isn’t terrible, but it is a little tough to swallow.

The other problem that arises with the change in due date is the timing for my last set of classes.  Originally I had hoped I would be able to finish all class this summer before the baby was born.  Unfortunately, some of the classes I need aren’t offered in the summer.  So, I figured, what’s one more light load semester?  It really should have been no big deal.  If the baby was born on time (or close to it) I would probably even be close enough to 6 weeks postpartum to start my yoga and posture class.  Unfortunately, this week push back is likely going to result in me taking off the fall semester to be able to ensure that I heal from labor and delivery, that I have enough time at home to adjust to two kids and to ensure I have enough time to develop a solid nursing routine with baby #2.

I feel like tomorrow keeps getting pushed off just a little further into the future and like this marathon just keeps having more miles added.  It has definitely tested my resolve and has made me think about what really matters.  It really comes down to how badly I want to finish school.  Does it matter if it is this year or next?  Probably not.  What matters is that tomorrow is coming and each today brings tomorrow one day closer.

I might be going two steps forward and one step back but progress cannot be ignored and frankly these types of ‘set backs’ exist to keep those who don’t really want what they have their eyes set on from going any further.  Metaphorically speaking it’s time to bust out my climbing gear and get over this brick wall.

Day 28 – Potty Training and Peace

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This week has been a little crazy.

There are a lot of changes being inspired by this new little one we expect in our lives when the days get longer and warmer.  So far life has changed in the sense that I feel as though I need 3 naps daily and I am constantly worried about getting sick (knock on wood this has yet to become more than just a feeling).

But it has also helped make this very real.

As a result we have been in 100% must get A out of diapers mode for the past 6 days.  She has been showing interest for some time and we tried in the past but sticking with it was hard when we only had a weekend here and there to really work with her.  While we have been having a really easy time with her overall, it is still more about us making sure we give her the opportunities to use the potty often enough.

I have learned a few things over the past week though – well for my little girl anyway.  I learned that Pull-Ups don’t seem to bother her when they are wet.  If she is wearing one, she will use it.  But undies or a diaper being wet seems to be extremely offensive to her sensibilities.  Works for me, I am confidant I can find diapers for way less than pull ups.  I also learned that no matter how many times I ask her she is going to tell me she doesn’t have to go … but I would rather tell her she has to than change a dirty diaper.

And while our 2 year old is getting the hang of this potty thing – we still need to get the dog reliably house trained.

It has definitely been keeping me busy – but today I had volunteer orientation at a local hospital.  I was feeling a little crazy and overwhelmed when I left the house.  I just feel like there is still a laundry list (including the laundry) that I would really like to get done before school starts up again next week, so any time away makes my stress level just ever so slightly elevated.

The orientation wasn’t exactly what I expected and I am not sure it is the answer to my desire to interact with people, but it might be a step in the right direction.  After leaving I was both encouraged because there was definitely opportunity but also discouraged because most of that opportunity didn’t sound a whole lot like helping people – seriously how does working in the gift shop improve lives???

But when I left I also felt a little bit of peace that has been a long time coming.  When I left my job in December, I did it because I was a little lost and unfulfilled.  I was juggling too many hats and needed to bring back a little sanity to my life.  I feel a little like I am tearing down what existed and rebuilding.  And when I started 28 days ago, I was terrified.  I was excited but mostly terrified.  What if I didn’t make my dreams come true?  What if I went through all this drama for nothing?

Do you know that saying ‘if you shoot for the moon and miss, at least you’ll land among the stars’?  I feel like it is one of the biggest motivational cliches that exists in our language today – but it’s a good one.  Leaving the orientation today, my ‘peace’ came in the form of a simple acceptance and realization.  I might not be able to pull it off and earn that white coat and two little letters after my name.  It might not happen, or maybe I find that it wasn’t what I expected or doesn’t fit my life as well as something else I happen upon – but that is not only okay, it’s beautiful.

For what feels like the first time in my life I am staring the biggest opportunity to ‘do anything’.  I can literally do whatever is important to me.  I can get back in tune with those values that got dusty while I sat behind a computer screen for 3 & 1/2 years and I can do what I set out to do in the first place.

If you’re wondering what that was, it’s pretty simple.  As long as I can remember I have wanted to make the world a better place.  When I was 5, that meant being a lawyer.  When I was in 9th grade, that briefly meant being a high school lit teacher. When I was in 10th grade it again meant being a lawyer – until I had actual first hand experiences as an intern and realized it wasn’t what I thought and it wasn’t always about helping people.

Once I started working in the pharmacy, I knew helping people for me was most rewarding in the healthcare space.  Today I am aiming to reach another galaxy, knowing that if I don’t make it all the way to MD I will at the very least be in the company of the brightest stars.

Day 22 – Potty Training Day 1

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Today’s adventure was starting a solid week of potty training for little A … by week I mean 5 days, like a school week.  Despite her tantrums every 35 minutes when it was time to sit on the potty, she stayed dry all the way through her two hour nap.  At one point she even told me she needed to use that potty.  I was thinking BIG win … and then her and the dog both had accidents.  Between the two of them I had thought I totaled up to 3.

And then my husband found it –

8:30 at night and someone peed in our bed.  I assume it was the little one but now I am left washing bedding into what is likely to turn into the wee hours of the morning while my husband tires to put a little girl to bed who just wants her mommy.

So – wins for the day:

  • after close to a month, I finally got my car back from the shop.
  • I got my oil changed at no cost due to the inconvenience of them not getting it done before I picked up the car.
  • I saved $20 on the other services thanks to some sort of rewards program.
  • T.V. was off ALL day.
  • I filled the tank in said car for under $25 – feels like high school again
  • My husband brought A to the grocery store, in underwear, and she stayed dry.
  • While my little one snoozed for a solid 2 hours, I got in a nap too.
  • We survived day one of no diapers during waking hours … here’s hoping day 2 is better.

Now to get the little one to sleep and maybe some t.v. time with the hubby.