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Clearing the Plate

January 8, 2011

This was supposed to be the weekend I finished my application for a second master’s program. It entailed me re-reading a book from college, writing a ten page research paper about said literature in the target language, writing a personal essay, and compiling a CV. It wouldn’t have been quite so difficult had I not lost all my papers from college when my hard drive overheated (and melted internally) because I could’ve just polished an existing piece, but I’m glad that didn’t happen.

You’ve seen me trying to simplify my life for a few months, especially since the arrival of our son. I’ve been worried so much about all the other pieces of my life, but I haven’t taken a step back to look at my actual workload. You see, when I finished high school, I went straight to a top-level private college. Straight out of college, I went into a full-time teaching job (at an incredible 80-90 hours a week my first year!) and half-time master of arts in education program. I’ll finish my M.Ed. this summer, and I’ll also finish my third year of teaching, and while I’m working less hours on my job (averaging around 50 a week during the school year, and 25-30 in the summer), adding school work into the mix is daunting (and my current program is easy).

Trying to read a classic French novel last night while dealing with all the chaos at home was, frankly, undoable. And I’m thankful that I realized this before getting myself involved in a very challenging program. Right now, with a four month old who needs every second of my attention, it’s just not possible. With a two year old, it will be more possible, although still challenging. Work will be better because I’ll have even more resources developed and be working closer to 40 hours (and if all goes well, another half-time teacher!), and Clark will be able to play with toys and occupy himself, at least in small, 20-30 minute spurts that will allow me the time to get things done.

Now, it’s not going to be easy – I’ll have to arrange for deferments on my loans (although I may only do this for my federal loans and try to pay off the private ones), but after researching, there are deferments that I’ll qualify for so I don’t have to worry about the year gap. But I feel so much better because after 20 years in school  – yes, 20 years including preschool – I’ll finally get a little break. And hopefully I’ll jump back in the saddle, refreshed.

I’m clearing my plate, mentally, physically, and financially. Is anyone else clearing things off?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 9, 2011 12:09 pm

    wow! you’re doing the right thing by realizing your limits and taking a break. even us classic overachievers get burnt out some time. my little pumpkin is 4 months already?! omg, i remember seeing the pictures from his birth like it was yesterday. give him a kiss for me!

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