Heading out for first day of school

Well, here we go. It’s the first full day of university, I am 40 years old and haven’t been to school in years, I don’t have all my textbooks ordered yet, and I am scared as hell. 

Orientation went well last week. Met my classmates. There is, surprisingly, a good mix of ages in there. While the majority of them are as young as my eldest daughter, there are a couple of classies that are more my age. Including one I went to high school with – so that is comforting. 

I even managed to get through the huge pile of pre-homework. Pre-homework. Who ever heard of pre-homework? It’s the torture before you go to the chambers, really. Turns out it wasn’t all that bad. Buckets of reading, for sure. And a lot to think about. But still, not too bad. 

I even got through going to press with our magazine, with only one major mess up. It is bound to happen, and even though it is a glaring mistake (we printed the wrong name on someone’s ad), I was able to smooth it over with the owner and I let it go without wallowing in self-blame. Which is a milestone for me, in and of itself. 

Now I just have to remember everyone’s name. 

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Just a couple more days before life changes forever.

It is coming close to the end of the long weekend; mere days before this school adventure is about to start for real. I am starting to get a little nervous. What if I am not as good at studying as I once was? What if work slips? Will I still be able to earn enough money for the household to survive? If I can’t, what will we, as a family, have to do? Will I burn out? Will I ever see my baby girl for the next couple of school years? How will she respond to me going gone for most of the day? Will I have to give up breast feeding all-together? Should I probably just do that, anyway? She is 16 months-old, after all. Will I manage all the micro-managing as well as I think I can? Can I stick to my schedule? How am I going to be able to juggle my magazine business, a part-time job, parenting, being a wife, friend, and full-time student? Am I completely insane? Probably, but that’s another topic… 

The one thing I am very thankful for, as I start this crazy adventure, is all the support I am receiving. The support is key. I know I couldn’t do it without it. I know there will be days when I think I can’t go on, when the magnitude of it all comes crashing down on me, and I am comforted in knowing that there are loving people around me who believe in me, and will help me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or at the very least will take me out for a cocktail and a good laugh. Which sometimes results in the same thing. 

I am also pretty convinced that I can do this. And that’s important. The schedule looks daunting when I add in all the facets of my life. Being a wife/mother/business owner/woman of purpose, I am well versed in multi-tasking my ass off at the best of times, so this should be just another level of that. And, to be fair, I’ve been busy like this before. In my late 20s-early 30s I worked three jobs, was a single parent, and attended some post-secondary schooling to further my interests. And I managed. Now-a-days it is my hubby and my home-based publication, a 2 night-per-week job and school. And I am not doing it on my own. Looking at it like that, this isn’t so bad at all. 

Now it is just getting prepared. I posted my book list up on my Facebook page to solicit friends and family for gifts of a book to celebrate my going back to school. And, thankfully, it looks like I am about a third of the way there already. I still have to fill out all of my grant and bursary applications – that is tomorrow’s work. Hopefully a bunch of those will be accepted, but I won’t know that for months. I have to go and pick up school supplies for my 16 year-old, so I suppose while there I should grab some for myself as well. I wonder where a person could get some cheap deals on binders and paper? I’ll have to check this week’s flyers. Then tonight I will plan out the next week’s menu for the house to save some time and money. Not to mention it will avoid the inevitable inclination to just grab a bag of burgers on the way home and dine a’la Chez McD’s. Oh ya, and finish up the calendar of events and writing my lead story for The Stew (our magazine), and make sure all the ads are in order and ready for final proof tomorrow. While amusing a 16 month-old little girl. Whew. One step at a time. 

To be honest, I am quite looking forward to meeting my classmates and the staff at TRU this week. So far it has been a very helpful and friendly experience. No weird looks at being a 40 year-old university student. No questioning why I would want to learn a whole new career in the middle of my life. No big sighs when I brought out my 2-page list of questions. I am pretty pleased so far. Though I still have yet to meet the classmates. That scares me a little more than the staff does. At least the staff is mostly my age. 

Well, here goes. Wish me luck! I’ll check in next week after orientation and let you know how that goes. 

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Getting ready

Well it is the week before actual classes start, and I still have about a million things to finish, start, find, organize, and think about. It all seems a little overwhelming. It is also the last week before my monthly publication goes to print – always a busy week at the best of times. How the hell am I going to make it through this?

Time to hunker down, time manage myself, and just breathe. And finish ordering my books. Oh ya, and finish registration… and proof my ads for the magazine … and get some pre-requisite homework done … and edit my girlfriend’s wedding pictures…

I can do it. I knew it was going to be tough. But I firmly believe that it will all fall into a rhythm. I just have to focus, get the proper positive mindset on, and ignore the naysayers (of which, there are always a few). I have made it through more crazy times. I will go through crazier things. This is just a new beginning to a new adventure. And new adventures can be scary. And exciting. It’s all how we choose to see it. I choose excitement.

So where does that leave me today? Well, honestly, with a bit of a late start to my day. But that’s ok. I will do my ad work for the rest of the morning (because that’s what pays the bills), head over to TRU after lunch and finish up some paperwork over there, get my school log-in information (because there is a lot of school work happening on-line these days, as well as in class – handy – I like that), then finish up some ad stuff, make a couple of calls for my lead story this month, make some dinner, hang out with the family, edit a few photos, and then get some homework done. Whew.

Sounds like a lot, but it also looks like there is more than enough time. Amazing how much of it there actually is when you cut out things like ‘spend 4 hours on Facebook’ or ‘watch my 5 favourite tv shows’. Besides – the foundations of the human body is way more interesting than what a chef can do with baked eel, roma tomatoes, and candied yams. Though I should still look into a good time management program. Or just a good old fashioned day-timer.

So, on that note, off I go to start the day. Wish me luck!

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So Here I am

So, here I am. 40 years old, a mom to a 21 year-old woman, a 16 year-old young man, and a new 16 month-old little baby girl (my answer to the empty nest, and my hubby’s first child). I am the co-owner of a regional arts and lifestyle alt-monthly magazine with my hubby, which we run from home (and the car, the front yard, and sometimes the park…). I could stand to lose about 50 pounds, thanks, in part, to my penchant for carby-goodness. Oh, and I’ve just registered to start University to complete my Licensed Practical Nursing Diploma. Because I am not busy enough.

Why the heck am I, a 40 year-old with a gaggle of kids (all living at home, thank-you-very-much), one of them a baby (who is still breast-feeding part-time), and a business, husband,  wonky knee and a membership in the local drama club, going to go back to school to become an LPN? Good question. Because I can, is the short answer. Because at this phase of life, I am going after the dreams that I am dreaming now. Because just because you’re forty doesn’t mean that you’re dead. Because I believe that at this stage of life I could handle the career – something I don’t think I could have done before 20 years of diapers, scrapes, cuts, broken bones, hospital visits, colds, asthma, and mysterious sicknesses that will never be understood. All catered to by Dr. Mom.

So for the last few weeks I have been putting the ball in motion, talking to the instructor, getting my paperwork in order, filing for bursaries and grants, starting my pre-requisites, and coming to terms that I will be in school with a bunch of kids who were never alive when Kurt Cobain was. I am blessed that I can go to university in my home-town. I am even more blessed that Thompson Rivers University is the best in the business when it comes to the LPN program in all of Canada. It may be a wild ride, but I am confident that I can count on some talented guides.

Welcome to my journey.

Each week I will be sharing my experiences, my highs, my lows, my challenges, my struggles, my victories, and my accomplishments. Because I believe that I am not the only one out there who wants to continue education as a grown up. And, trust me, if I can do it – you can do it.

I welcome your comments, your encouragement, your questions and, most of all, your company as we embark on this crazy new journey.

Hold on to your hats – it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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