Tuesday, April 29, 2014

And the lack of stress is amazingly fabulous

I knew that this last term of school had been particularly tough on me. I have struggled with chronic depression for years and will probably be medicated forever and I avoid unpleasant topics, real and fictional, like the plague.  I knew the combo of discussing death and death processes and all that entailed was stressing me out. Plus the very real worries for my friends in Ukraine.  It was a really tough combo of unavoidable hard things to think about. By the end of the term, my stomach hurt all of the time and I rarely slept more than a few hours at a time and I wanted to cry constantly. But I figured it was all just a coincidence.

And now I've been done with school for almost 2 weeks and instead of discussing death I am sleeping and exercising and not feeling sick all the time! I don't have to constantly worry about logging on to a discussion board and backing up my opinions to someone who disagrees with me and I don't constantly have huge papers on difficult concepts hanging over my head.  I feel like I've been carrying a 1000 pound load on my shoulders that's suddenly gone.

I still have deadlines for work- lots of articles coming due in the next few months, and I want those to be great, but I have editors! And no one is grading me on them! And I get help when I need it!

I suddenly have time to play games with my kids and clean my house and even nap when I need it! I reorganized the playroom and my half of the wardrobe and the pantry and the fridges and things are clean and organized! And I am so ridiculously glad to be done with so much stress.

On another, even more fabulous note, it looks like Ethan and I, and possibly Vivian and Daniel too (depending on Daniel's work schedule) are going to Turks and Caicos for a few days, in a couple of weeks. Did I mention what a great idea it was to stop being a scientist and start being a travel writer instead? Seriously.  My job rocks.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Today has been weird.  I expected to have another week of school and a final exam next Wednesday. But yesterday morning, the professor emailed us to say that if we were happy with our grade as it stood pre-final exam, we could just be done then.  He emailed me this morning to say that I had an A so far and to have a nice summer.

So, I'm done.  What a crazy experience this was.  I managed, thanks to my amazing husband and an awful lot of prayers from people, to juggle this and even get out of it with a 4.0 average.  I've always been a good student, but that's a first for me.  Also the first time that I've 1) paid for my education and 2) really liked what I was studying.  Not a coincidence, I think.

Today the final payment on Vivian's preschool went through.  Another kind of strange milestone to reach.

Oh, and one of my bigger articles went up on the travel blog. It's been a weird day.

Clearly, I must celebrate with a lunch of mac and cheese. And possibly a trip to Target. Done with huge tuition bills!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Two more weeks- two weeks more!

The end is in sight for this crazy, expensive, middle crisis grad school thingy.  Only $12,000 to figure out absolutely nothing about what I want to do in life! But I was able to identify some new areas that I am both interested in and pretty good at, so that was a plus, I suspect.

Next up (after writing one more paper and finishing the final exam) is to work on the house. Mostly the playroom, which is also my office (which I never use) and our storage area.  When we moved in, we just shoved things in available space, but it's not all being used efficiently.  So it's time to take everything out and start over with that.  During my last grad school adventure, I did home improvement products instead of studying/writing, but this time I made Daniel hide the new organizational stuff from me and promise not to give it to me until I was really done.  I'm getting a little twitchy though.

Yesterday was Ethan's un-birthday celebration at school. He's a summer birthday and those kids get to have an un-birthday celebration at some point in time. His classmates were shocked to hear that he's almost 7. He's the second oldest in the class of 27 kids and the shortest by far.  Welcome to the world of your parents, Ethan.

We've been traveling more lately for my job, which has been fun.  I feel like none of us really talk to each other on a daily basis- not real conversations, at least. Hours together in the car helps fix that. Thankfully the kids are still great travelers, so we have fun on our trips.  Last weekend we got to meet the new girlfriend of Daniel's best friend. This friend is like a brother to us, and meeting us is usually a sign that he's getting serious about someone.  Ethan decided that he's also going to need this lady as his girlfriend and he plans to buy her jewelry. Not a ring though, because he's too young to get married. Just a necklace.  I love that kid.