Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 17 - Tilting at windmills

What a day! Sure, I was thinking yesterday that I might be having a little bit of a slump, but that was nothing compared to the black hole that has sucked me in. My graduate research is still winning the fight. As per usual, I awoke early, worked out and jumped on the computer eager to create something fascinating. I stayed there 'til about noon just following up on requests from my ex-employer. No problem.

At 1:00 pm, I headed to campus for a meeting with my graduate advisor. No problem...That is, until I found out my research project proposal is not complete as I had believed. The horror! (Stop... take a deep breath.) OK, of course, I can handle revising that proposal. No problem.

Next, I headed to the library for some much anticipated help in navigating the university library databases
. Surprise number two - the librarian was was out sick for the day. (This is when I start to backslide.) Still determined, I parked myself at a computer terminal and began the search for journal articles on my topic - for at least the 100th time. No problem. Three hours and 45 minutes later, I dragged myself out of the library with exactly one article saved on a flash drive, and the feeling that I will never, ever be able to figure this out. My butt has been sufficiently kicked.

Now, my mother didn't nickname me "Little Mary Sunshine" for nothing. I'm very much working on the whole positive thinking thing - but really! There are times when an assignment just becomes incredibly frustrating. The challenges do have a way of piling up on you. Tonight, for instance, when I went to print out the article I found - my printer ran out of toner. Now, all I can do is laugh, because clearly, it's time to stop for the day.

There is so much information out there and I want to learn it all as fast as I possibly can. As with everything in life, I know that I need to relax, take another deep breath and back the truck up. One bite at a time. I'll go back to the library tomorrow, and surely, the right person will be there. I'll take my first quiz next Thursday and I'll do just fine. And, 12 short weeks from now, I'll look back on this post and smile. I am determined. Even more important, I am happy knowing exactly how blessed to be here.

A chance to meet new friends
This evening,
I attended a reception for the Murray State Women's Society at Oakhurst, the MSU President's home. This is a local group open to faculty, staff, students and all Murray residents, anyone interested in sharing interests with other women. After a day filled with frustration, it was nice to share some laughs with a group of lively, intelligent women. The society offers clubs and activities to match most interests - from crafts to cooking, books and games to a supper club. I hope to join them for a couple of the monthly gatherings. I am once again genuinely impressed with the people of MSU and the Murray community...for they are closely intertwined. The Women's Society was just what I needed tonight.

That all-important second wind
Slump be gone! No matter how tough the assignment or daunting this new technology appears, I am learning by leaps and bounds. I hate to sound cliche but going back to school later in life has given me a new lease. Being surrounded by 20-somethings and knowing that I, like them, am a "student," is wonderful. I recommend anyone who can go back to school later in life, do so, even if only to take a single class online or at a local community college. These days,
you can find thousands of courses to choose from on a variety of subjects. Have you thought about it for you?

Wherever you are, whatever you feel, remember your goal and ask yourself the question: “Now what needs to be done?”

I'll answer the question for myself in the morning.

Peace out.

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