Counting Down the Days

Working and going to college full-time can be quite a stressful situation. One misstep, your behind and find yourself struggling to get back things back to current. Yet, when you put your mind to it, you can gain that momentum back to take a breath of fresh air. With a couple weeks left, the end is near. So is the end of 2020 and a much needed vacation from everything.

When I started this term, I thought it wouldn’t be difficult at all. It’s only two classes. You got this! Oh, how I was so wrong. My confidence was slipping. I was at a point where I was contemplating not returning next term. I honestly didn’t want the additional stress in my life. What was the point?

As I concentrated on a rough draft of my persuasive essay for English, I got behind a week in my math class. Then the walls really started to close in. Then the debates stated with myself. Why are we doing this to ourselves? We know better. Are you going to let history repeat itself? Or are you going to take this as a lesson to learn from the past to challenge yourself to do better and change?

Got home today from work, sat down to concentrate on my two math assignments and a discussion. As typical with classes, the first have is a review while the second is typically new material. Now it’s a little more challenging, however I got what I needed done for the week. Now I’m current. I can breathe.

The year of 2020 was challenging. However, those days too are starting to dwindle. Started a new job, moved into my own place, and started college. I forgot I put in a vacation request for the end of December. A notification arrived this morning it was approved. It’s just four days from Dec 27 to Dec 30 because I have to work ‘key’ dates. The college term ends the week before, so I’ll be free to catch up on other things I have put aside – small house projects.

The point I guess I’m trying to get across to myself is my own self-doubt. Despite some negative things going on (mainly work), I have the ability to make things happen. Concentration and determination. I can’t falter now. The end is right around the corner.

Adjusting Slowly

The adjustment to working and going to college full time is progressing slowly. This week I got ahead of myself finishing all required assignments a day early. As the holiday season approaches and the COVID-19 numbers climb, work can be stressful at times but I’m managing. The one take away from all this is I must take at least a day away for myself.

English composition and quantitative analysis mathematics classes aren’t difficult; they are just time consuming. I’m narrowing down my persuasive essay in English to discuss how the development of artificial intelligence benefits society and counterarguments of its determent to society. Mathematics is one of my strong subjects. But I have to remind myself to slow down. Just like in programming, if you miss something (a negative to a positive, wrong calculations, etc.) the whole problem just fails miserably. During the week, I find myself thinking about nothing else than these two subjects.

I’m sure you’ve heard with the pandemic Walmart is expanding their Black Friday specials over a period of weeks. Also as the holidays approach, we’re getting a massive amount of product delivered almost on a daily basis. In order for me to get through the night I have to remind myself, “Go in, work your eight hours and clock out.”

As one can imagine sometimes I find myself not taking care of myself. Of course I’m going to lose some hours of sleep on a daily basis with college. Other times, I can’t remember if I’ve eaten, paid bills or done other daily living activities. For me, that is a red flag, “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!”

With the remaining four weeks of college classes and holiday season it’s best, I believe, to take at least one day to reset. With Mondays and Tuesdays off, last week I allocated Monday as a “me” day. I didn’t invest any time in my college courses. I literally turned my phone off for the day. I made sure I ate, bathed and got my house in order. It was quite effective. Tuesday I was ready to dive into coursework completing a day early this week.

That’s going to be the plan unless something unexpected comes up. Technically you can’t catch up on sleep but I’m woke up refreshed. Let’s get this eight hours done, so I can relax! Bring it on!

This Too Shall Pass

How or where do I even star?. I’m thankful this week is over because it’s been a very rough week with my college courses and work. Sometimes I just want to cry. I feel like I’m falling apart about to fail at everything. There is so much going on it’s overwhelming.

First, work is a struggle each and every day – mentally, physically and spiritually. In January, I thought I was going to enjoy it. It was something entirely different than an office environment. What was required of me wasn’t demanding, so I thought. What I’ve come to find out is exactly the opposite.

Honestly, it is a complete shit show at work right now. I’m almost on the edge of just walking away. But I know doing so it a stupid decision and won’t solve anything. It doesn’t help Walmart has decided to change the management structure right before the holidays and during a pandemic. The overall feeling I get is no one cares about anything. People have become extremely lazy, unhelpful and are only looking out for themselves. Sometimes I feel like I work with the most unintelligent, lazy, disorganized, stupid morons on the planet. This is where I need to stop thinking such things. It doesn’t have anything to do with them – it’s all about me.

Looking at myself can be scary sometimes. But it needs to be done to see what and how I can change things. I’m full of doubt and fear.

Did I make the right decision to start school or even return? I don’t want to be working where I am all my life. It’s not a career; it’s a job I endure to pay the bills. After work each day I’m physically and mentally exhausted. I have no motivation nor can I concentrate on anything. I just want to go to bed. Then I wake up the next day and do it all over again.

This doesn’t leave much time to what’s required for my college courses. I barely had enough time this week to get all readings, discussions and assignments turned in. Then the doubt and fear creeps in I’m going to fail because I’m not doing the quality of work needed at this level in college.

With all my heart I want to succeed. I have to succeed. Obviously, I’m not happy working where I am and it’s not the time to find other employment. Besides, I should be grateful my employer is paying for me to go to college.

I called off work because I needed a break. It just so happens I have the next three days off because I have Monday and Tuesdays off. But why do I feel so guilty about calling in? My employer gives us ‘protected time off’ for whatever we choose to use it. It’s meant to be used on such occasions. Again, I should be grateful my employer offers such benefits.

Here comes the tears dammit…

Change of subject because all I’m doing is getting myself in what I call a ‘tizzy’. We’re having out first snow fall of the season. It’s a small accumulation. Just looking at it brings me joy. A change in the air.

Then I go back inside and I get depressed all over again.

I despise days like this but they happen. Since it’s Monday I might as well use this time productively and get a head start of my coursework for this week. Perhaps if I accomplish something it will brings my spirits up. Happiness in Your Life - thehiyL by Doe Zantamata - 3 pack This  too, Shall Pass Magnet: Kitchen & Dining

The War of Two Egos

As mentioned earlier, I’m about to start college . . . again . . . to obtain my Bachelors in Computer Science with an emphasis in Software Engineering. Things are about to get crazy. I’m at little freaked out about what is going to happen in the next eight weeks.

First thought – what the f**k are you thinking? You have a full-time job AND you’re about to take on a full-time schedule in college? Right now I’m probably in the best phase of my life I’ve ever lived. Peaceful. Yet a part of me feels like were inviting chaos into my life which we all know always goes sideways. We’ve been down this road – you failed. Why are you putting yourself on this road – again?

While my life may seem to be peaceful, I don’t feel fulfilled. There is part of me which isn’t happy where I am. I want more. I expect better for myself. There is a void in me needing to be filled.

I can try to convince myself, “You can do this.” It’s a lie. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a dark room flailing my arms around trying to figure my way out. Scared out of mind, about to shit my pants looking for damn light switch danging from above only to find out its not there and bang – damn that wall – f**k me.

A glimpse of what’s goes on in my head – scary actually:

Isn’t this called self-sabotage? You have finally reached the starting point of a major goal in your life. Yet, you want to quit before you even get started? You’re better than this.

Perhaps but . . .

Remember, anything past the ‘but’ is a lie . . .

Oh shut up . . .

You know I’m right! Bitch!

This is just one of those moments in life I need to take three deep breaths, slowly inhale, slowly exhale all the while listening to Tibetan singing bowls in the background. I always feel much better even after a couple of minutes. I really should do such things more often!

In reality, this is not happening today or tomorrow. It’s not happening until next week. Why am I getting myself all curled up like a rattlesnake, shaking that tail about to strike with deadly fangs? Because I’m human. It’s a basic human emotion called fear!

Snap out of it!

This is one of the reasons I miss writing even if it’s to myself. I get the impression I have two versions of myself. A strong, confident type who has gone through enough shit in his life. He says just do it like a blacksmith bringing down a hammer on a hot piece of metal on an anvil, sparks flying all over the place. Slow and steady, my boy! On the other hand, there is the (still) meek, timid, always nervous man who wants to succeed but doubts still rise from the ashes of his past failures. Sometimes it’s quite the battle going on up there.

Enough. There are others time too, I get tired of myself talking like this to myself. It’s done. I made the commitment, I enrolled. I am registered for classes and purchased books. There is no turning back. Besides, it’s not today. Literally don’t worry about it right now or even at all.

I need to enjoy the some peace and quiet right now. Next week it’s going to be a whole new ball game. This battle is probably now over. It may have just started **cringe**

I admit I am strange . . .

Bachelors in Computer Science – Software Engineering

For months now, there really hasn’t been a lot going on but the mundane life tasks – work, eating and sleeping. If you’ve read this blog long enough, you may know I have a passion for programming. Whether it’s web page design, gaming or other. After deeming my AAS in Computer Science Information Systems completely useless, my goal was to obtain my Bachelors. The time has come.

I am fortunate enough to have an employer who offers such a program. Have you heard of the College Degree for $1 per day at Walmart? At first I was hesitant believing it was “certifications” in various fields. However, after further research it is much more. For instance, I have enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). My cost is $30 per month with one requirement – staying employed at Walmart.

Unlike traditional semesters at a typical college, SNHU offers eight week terms. Such programs are not for everyone. You must have good organization and management skills. For instance, you have your “module”, a discussion, an assignment and a possible exam at the end of each week. The discussion is broken down into three individual tasks: your initial post and two follow-up posts to other students which all need to meet a certain criteria of an acceptable discussion post. This format is very familiar to me since it was used where I received my Associates in Computer Science at a local community college when “online study” was just in its infancy.

The plan this semester is three classes: FYE 101 – First Year Experience, MATH 136 – Intro to Quantitative Analysis and ENG 123 – English Composition II. All classes begin on October 26th.

Am I nervous? You’re only lying to yourself if you aren’t. It’s overwhelming at first. You have each class with a module, assignment and discussion. But I’ve learned you focus on one class, one task, complete it and move on to next class and task philosophy. (**scratches head** Hmm – where did I get that from?)

Early access to classes started today. I’ve synchronized both Outlook and Google calendars to ensure I don’t miss anything. Honestly, it’s a nifty feature. There is a lot going on and it’s easy to get sidetracked. If you miss something, you can’t go back; an automatic zero on the discussion, assignment or exam if you happen to miss something.

Part of me is excited and wants to do it NOW. I want to start NOW! But I have to remind myself, “Breathe. Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Classes don’t start until October 26th.

Facebook tends to remind me during this time of year of my first college experience. “Three assignments, three discussions with 9 responses required and an exam. And don’t forget about working on your final project? UGH!” – an old post. I’m thinking of printing it up and posting it on my computer. It makes me chuckle every time.

I am going to try to enjoy my two days off for the next two weeks. Afterward, it’s going to get ridiculously busy and lack of sleep is going to be an issue. Or is it? I’ve been reading The Void of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood #3) by Jeff Wheeler in which there is a line I love to remind myself:

It begins with a thought . . .

Change is Always Good

The monotony of life was beginning to really start to bring on some bad ju-ju. As you may have heard, Wal-mart, is making some changes. This is good and bad news. I’ve decided to go back to college to earn my Bachelors in Computer Science with emphasis on Software Engineering. Life is going to get a whole lot more interesting.

For what ever reason, Walmart has decided to make some sweeping changes throughout its stores during this pandemic. The managers and supervisors all had to apply for new positions. Instead of overlapping assistant managers during the week, we will only have one. At a lower level, the number of supervisors are also going to be cut. Both our overnight managers are leaving for other stores while they bring another who use to work the overnights in the past. How they are going to restructure the rest of the crew is still unknown but happening soon. It doesn’t appear my employment is in jeopardy but when restructuring on this magnitude happens one can never know the end result.

The retail business is not the ideal employment for me. It’s really physically and mentally demanding. While I get by day by day I am completely exhausted at week’s end where I sleep much more than another other time during the week. One might say it’s slowing killing me? Evidence of this is my periodic blood pressure checks which have increased dramatically. I’m back to fighting bad hypertension and it scares me.

I graduated from a local community college with an Associates in Computer Science Information Systems in 2011. I have not been able to establish a career in the field. Instead I’ve found jobs were I can get them. I decided to use the resources of my employer to invest more in my future education. Doing so requires me to stay at my job for quite a while but most of my education is paid by my employer. Yet, part of me is still skeptical this is going to work out. I’m still $25, 000 in debt from my last education experience and it’s gotten me no where but I big education debt I’m still paying for the rest of my life.

It may sound as if I’m not confident in the future. I will admit there is a small about of fear. Through these experiences I’ve learned no to expect anything and just let the pieces of the puzzle fall in place. Change is always good.