Monday, August 17, 2009

Day Two: Some things never change

It's all coming back to me now. It turns out, there was one thing I really disliked as an undergrad at UF. I must have blocked it out all these years, replaced by rosy memories of my fabulous roommates, keg parties, fraternity boys, and of course, Gator football. Have you guessed yet? What we all dreaded most back then was - registration day... the interminable lines and summer's heat. Oh, the waiting, the waiting! In my first drop/add experience (32 years ago) it lasted around 5 hours but felt like five days. Of course, that was back in the stone age we now call the 70s and absolutely nothing was computerized.

I suppose some things never do change. Back then, long lines were unavoidable but understandable. I'm not so sure about today.

This morning, I awoke at 5:30 energized and excited. I wanted to get so much accomplished by noon. First, I worked out, prayed, ate a healthy breakfast and then set off merrily toward campus thinking, "OK, so, I should be able to pick up that new, mandatory student ID card and a parking permit in about 30-minutes." Was I out of my mind? Totally my bad. I completely forgot that the university has just these two days before classes actually begin, and all 10,000 students must do these same two things between today and tomorrow. I waited in not one, but four very long lines - only to get to the front of the final line - and find out they didn't have a card for me and I was sent back to the beginning to do it over again. I so richly deserved this. You see, even us older and supposedly wiser non-traditional students can have a hard time following instructions. I have a new appreciation and sympathy for all the incoming freshmen.

Two hours later, I emerged victorious with both Parking Permit and Racer ID card in hand. What a relief to have that over.

Actually, waiting in line this time was way better (and cooler) than registration during my first college experience. Today, I was afforded ample time for people (student) watching. Once again, while I was the oldest student I saw amid hundreds of young adults, I was OK with it ....and so were they. After all, we were in this together....pulling toward a common goal. Isn't that what it's all about? (One sidebar: Is neon fuschia hair really still in style?) Today's younger, traditional college students look pretty much the same as we did 30 years ago to be honest - with two glaring exceptions - the piercings and tattoos. Now, I am fairly open-minded, but I hate that I feel less than "with it" because I never even had pierced ears! Hmmmmm, perhaps between now and graduation I should get a little tattoo? Kidding, just kidding. I'm fine exactly as I am!

Getting back to the morning's activity, I must give props to MSU's RacerCard office, and Parking and Public Safety staff. These guys were under the gun today, yet everyone wore a smile. They were accomodating, understanding, downright pleasant - and not just with me. Going back to school is not nearly as scary as you might think. Certainly, if I can do it, anybody can.

Following my wait at the student center, I squeezed in a workout at the Health & Wellness Center before making it - ontime - to a meeting with my graduate advisor, then I was on to the mundane - a trip to the post office, a stop by the electric company, and then on to Murray's major retailer - Super Wal-Mart, or Wally World as it is known in some parts.

All in all, it was a good day. Metamorphosis begun.

Tonight, I tackle three more chapters in the history text, make a salad for dinner, and hopefully, have time for another installment in the self-improvement course I've been taking at home. I found a set of CDs on, "Money and the Law of Attraction," by Jerry and Esther Hicks - a class I bought long ago and forgot to ever listen to. You've likely heard about "The Secret. Well, it turns out that The Secret DVD was based, in part, on this team's teachings. I've gotten a lot out of it thus far and I plan to use the blog to share all the things I'm learning about - on and off campus.

Let's talk about the big secret - the secret to happines. I now think it's simply deciding to be happy.

I've been following the CD's advice for about three weeks. Today, I do feel better, stronger, and happier. It's been a tool for helping me focus on my goals - and this education is at the heart of my long-term strategy. I'm not too proud to admit that at the time of my birthday, back in June, I was feeling a lot more 50 and frumpy than I was "50 and fabulous." But here I am only a few weeks later and I am sleeping better, exercising more and enjoying more moments in each day. Instead of thinking about being alone so much, I find myself interested in learning as much as I can all the time, and being of service to others.

I am incredibly grateful to be alive and to have an opportunity to pursue this venture. Best of all, I'm re-connecting with people in a variety of ways. I am blessed. Thank you for being a part of this, my second chance.

Of course, I realize that I am making better choices, yet something has happened to help me change the old thought patterns. I am better able to choose joy. I used to tell people: "It doesn't matter what happens to you in this life; all that matters is how you choose to deal with it."
I said this so many times, but I didn't really live it until recently. Clearly, forgiving ourselves is also a key component to happiness. Onward and upward....

Thanks for tuning in to these initial musings. I leave you with one last thought tonight. Give some thought to the law of attraction, the law of nature that says that like attracts like. What we each put out into the universe is exactly what we get back. If you focus on not having enough money, you'll never have enough money. If you say you're unlucky in love or less than successful in your career, then that is what you will be. We can all rewrite our story by simply focusing on what we want - happiness, abundance, security, peace - whatever brings us joy. Take
care not to attribute any new happiness to current events, as security lies in knowing how to deal with metamorphosis, whenever it occurs.

I think we're ready for whatever comes our way.

Tomorrow: I attempt to add the last course to my fall schedule.

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