A look back at 2011

This year has been an interesting one for our family.  It’s been a year of a lot of changes and I feel like I have accomplished a lot this year.  Let’s start from the beginning.

Last January, I wanted to run a 5K race.  I began training with the Couch to 5K training routine and was determined to meet this goal on Mother’s Day.  A Mother’s Day race is held every year in Portland, Maine and I wanted to participate with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law.  My goal was to finish in under 40 minutes and I did it.  My time was 39 minutes and some odd seconds, but I met the goal.  Sadly, I realized that running really aggravates my lower back and hips and I stopped running over the summer.  I wish I could start up again, but since I went back to school, my back has been bothering me a lot and I think some of it has been the walking I do on campus, and my mattress, as well as the bag I was carrying.  It’s gotten better since I switched to a backpack, but I still experience back pain.  So no running for me right now.  I really need to start doing yoga again to help these issues.  Still, I accomplished a goal that was on my radar for about four years and that felt awesome!  I still love looking at the pictures from the race!

In the spring, right before this race, I realized I needed to do something besides be a stay-at-home mom.  Should I go back to work?  Should I go to school for Medical Assisting?  What should I do?  I remember the day my husband and I talked about this and I said, “What if I went back to college full time for my bachelor’s degree?”  It seemed crazy.  How would we pay for it?  Would I be able to get loans?  What about childcare when the kids are not in school and I am home?  How would we make this work?  Would the school even accept me with my grades from 17 years ago?

I remember the day I went for a meeting with an Admissions Counselor.  I hadn’t even formally applied yet, but I brought my transcripts and wanted the truth.  It was a painful meeting and it was embarrassing.  My overall GPA was pitiful and I had many classes that were not able to be transferred, but she said my GPA was acceptable, plus I had some classes from a local community college that helped my GPA immensely because I did well in them.  She told me on the spot that I would be accepted and to go home and celebrate with a glass of wine that night!

I got my financial aid in order and mentally prepared myself for the changes ahead.  I enjoyed the summer with my children and looked ahead to new challenges.

It has been an adjustment, but I have a new sense of personal satisfaction in my life that hadn’t been present for a while.  I am working on a case study competition with my Public Relations group and the planning of it all is my cup of tea.  It’s a lot of work, but it’s something I love to do.  I also realize that the love of writing I had as a teenager is still there.  I love to write and be creative in that way.

Realizing that I can do things that seem like a reach has been very satisfying this year.  I ran a 5K. I went back to school.  I earned a 3.575 GPA in my first semester back to school.  I am busier than I have ever been, yet I am accomplishing more than I could have imagined.

My goal for 2012 is to keep challenging myself in new ways (and lose a few pounds, exercise more, be more organized…..the usual).  If I keep pushing myself to be a better mother, wife, and student, I will be a better overall me!

Happy New Year to all!

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