Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cramming for finals

I never thought that I would still be cramming for finals, after four kids, an 18 year marriage, and more military moves than I can count in one hand. I once overheard someone say "it took me 20 years but I got my degree." Immediately I thought, "yeah, I wont let that happen to me." Ha!! I was young and stupid. OK so maybe it has not taken 20 years but to work on a bachelors degree for more than the norm (4 years) just seemed crazy to me. There are some advantages to this continuing education of mine.

- I have been able to narrow down where I want to be, eventually.
- I pay attention more.
- I work harder.
- I have learned more and retained more.

When I graduated high school I had no clue what it was I wanted to do with my life. I had so many interest and no one really sat down and pushed me in any one direction or another. The most I ever heard was "go into computers, that's where the money is," I personally think there has to be more than just money to convince me and I really only like to play with computers and programs someone else invented. I was also encouraged to go into nursing, "you should go into nursing, you'll always have a job in that field." Well, as much as I love to help others, there are areas of nursing that are simply not for me. So instead of attempting to focus on any one thing I joined the US Marines. What an honor it was to be called a US Marine. Still today when someone finds out I get the "OH WOW, you were a Marine, no wonder you work us like a Drill Instructor." Yes, much of what I learned about "no pain, no gain" stuck with me, I just wish I had more time to put into action.

Anyway, here I am, only two maybe 2.5 semesters away from finishing my school work. I will likely graduate when my oldest son graduates High School. I will obtain a Bachelors Degree in Social Studies with a minor in Humanities then I will take a break from formal education to focus on my passion, Personal Training, Nutrition, potentially go into Massage Therapy within the next few years. If you're wondering about the Social Studies degree, I am not planning to be a social worker or a counselor unless it's in the Health and Fitness industry.

So as I sit here writing this post I realize that it is never too late to reach our goals, we are never too old to learn, and we should always continue to pursue our dreams because even if the ultimate goal is not reached, we would have learned a lot along the way. Confucius once said "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop." I keep this quote handy for those days when I feel like I just can't go any further.

I know I need to continue studying for my final which is Friday. But I'm glad I took this break to reflect on my personal accomplishments. With or without this degree, there is no greater accomplishment then watching my children grow and learn and become honorable members of society because I know I had something to do with the outcome.

(Photo credit: Olivander @ Flickr.com -I will link it when flickr stops acting up)