I actually started this post in May, and here I am on August 8th, finally finishing what I’d started. I’ve learned a lot about priorities and letting things go this semester. Read on for some insight I’m hoping you might find useful if you find that you beat yourself up for not finishing what you start.
Where were you, Heather??
My last post, How to Find the PERFECT Housesitter, was written on May 14th. A week or so after that post, I started my summer classes. I was only enrolled in two, but this is grad school, y’all. And nursing grad school, at that. It’s busy and it’s intense! This summer I spent 3 to 4 days a week in practicum with a nurse practitioner in primary care and they were long days: nearly 12 hours including the drive to and from the practice several towns away. I also had time-consuming readings and assignments every week. Time management is definitely my friend!
I honestly thought I could keep up with home, family, gardens and yard, animals, school, and a blog this summer. Nope. No way. At first I felt intensely guilty. More than anything, I want this blog to be successful and I know that in order to realize that goal, I have to work hard on it. But when school started, I stopped working on it altogether. It didn’t take long to start feeling like a loser, a failure, and a money waster. A couple of times, my subconscious piped up, “Well, look at that. No surprise: you’re one of the ones who starts something you don’t intend to finish.”
Priorities and learning to let some things go
But you know what? I let it go. I had to or I was going to make myself crazy. My long drives to and from my practicum site gave me time to think and reflect about what my priorities are. My family obviously comes first. School comes next, then home-keeping. Yep, home-keeping comes after school work! This place pretty much always looks like a tornado hit it now. There are a lot of reasons for school being right up there in my list of priorities, but the top two are: 1) I’m paying a lot for my education and I don’t intend to waste that money and 2) I am passionate about nursing and about advancing my career.
Another reason prioritizing school is super-important to me, but maybe not super-important in the grand scheme of things is this: I am obsessive about 4.0 grade point averages. I have to earn them and if I don’t, I’m very, very disappointed in myself. There is a LOT of work and dedication involved in earning a 4.0 GPA for those of us who don’t just automatically do that well without having to really work at it. Lucky you, those of you for whom it comes easy–I’m super jealous!
Last week I wrapped up the semester. The last two weeks were crazy intense. I have three cold sores in a row on my upper lip to prove it! But it was a great semester because my priorities were in order. I worked hard in my classes and in my practicum and I accomplished a lot. I’m proud of the work I did. And what’s my summer semester GPA? Why, 4.0, of course. =)
What about next semester?
Next semester is going to be… challenging? A new experience? Exciting? A little crazy for Welly and the kids? Yeah…probably all of those. I get to go live in Roanoke, Virginia for six weeks to precept with a Clinical Nurse Specialist! My program at Old Dominion University is a CNS program, but Vermont doesn’t have CNSs, so there’s no way to precept with one here. I’ll take basically the same two classes–just the next level up of them.
In addition, I’ll be taking a class that is basically a doctoral level class to get myself all lined up to slide into the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program which begins in the spring of 2019, at the same time that I’m finishing up my Master’s degree. So this is just a warning: my priorities mean that I may be absent again during fall semester. My hope is to be less absent, though. I’ll be in Roanoke–living it, experiencing it, discovering great restaurants and exploring fun activities (when I can find the time), figuring out the best grocery stores–and I want to share all of that with you! Oh, plus, I bought a ticket to go to the Bluegrass, Barbecue, and Brew Festival in Brookneal, Virginia on November 3rd, so obviously, I’ll want to write about that.
So, what’s next?
Next week, Welly and I are taking the kids to Oregon to sprinkle Welly’s great aunt’s ashes in her favorite fly fishing river, then we’re heading up to Seattle for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary party. It has been four years since we’ve been to Seattle and we’re all very excited! I’ll make sure you hear all about what we visit, do, and eat while we’re there. Then on September 8th–road trip!–I’ll load up the car and head south to Virginia.
Wrapping it up
So, to wrap this all up, here’s what I realized: it turned out okay to temporarily move my blog to the bottom of my list of priorities. I had a guilty conscious, but you know what happened because of my neglect? Not much. When I look at page views, there still are some every day. That actually kind of surprised me. And it gave me hope that even though I’m probably going to be a bit neglectful this fall, my blog will still be here for me when I’m ready to fully take it on again. And, so, apparently, will many of you. <3