Collecting My Thoughts for October 2018

Well, once again, summer has come and gone. Fall is strolling to Tidewater Maryland. Mornings and evenings are starting to feel light and crisp. The transition from overwhelming greenery to drab shades of gray and white has begun. Sultry summer days have a special place in my heart, but I’m ready for a change.

I say that now, but when the sun is behind sheets of clouds this winter, I’m sure I’ll be wishing for spring and summer to come quickly. Like most things in life, I suppose that it’s important to take changes in stride, appreciate them for what they bring, and maintain hope for more desirable days in the future. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate winter, I just have a limited capacity for its weather. We’ll see if I’m able to increase my appreciation this year.

Fall ignites fireworks in the trees, reminds us that the universe is still in flux, and eases us into the harsh reality of winter. Switching from the glory of summer to the dead of winter overnight sounds like a thing of nightmares. But, weather aside, I have had a busy September, and indeed the rest of the year will be the same. I’m substitute teaching when needed, taking 18 credits for an accreditation/master’s program in secondary education, and working out with players 3-5 times a week after school. To top this off, Olyn has just turned five months old and is beginning to “scoot.”

I must admit, however, that having a full plate is more desirable than starvation for productivity. More energy and more vigor are required for multiple endeavors. I feel more wholesome and complete crawling into bed after a long day. Busyness is better than boredom. I have completed one of my courses, so 15 credits remain to be finished. It should be manageable though. Another course doesn’t begin until Oct 27, while another ends Oct 31. So basically I’ll be taking 12 credits from here on out.

Getting back into school mode makes me realize how poorly I approached my college courses in the past. Not taking them seriously was the tip of the iceberg. I lacked the motivation and self-awareness to use them as self-improvement tools, rather than viewing them as inconveniences. “If only I knew then what I knew now…” It’s all too cliche, but too true. In reality, going to war, destitute poverty, tragic events, serious injuries, and poor health are hard…school is easy.

In the long run, this semester is a flash in the pan. I will scarcely remember it a year from now. The key is to accomplish weekly tasks consistently, and before you know it, the semester is over. This may be an elementary concept to current college students, but, with my bachelor’s experience involving extreme procrastination, stress, and a lack of consistent work ethic, scraping by was the norm. I’m thankful the switch has been flipped and my approach to academia is on the other end of the spectrum. My main takeaway is that school is so much less stressful when you don’t wait until the last minute to complete tasks. I suppose it’s the same way with most requirements in life.

Anyway, aside from my scholastic revolution which is taking place ten years later than it should have, life feels meaningful. It is busy at times, but never overwhelming, and I think I’m exactly where I need to be. I’m hoping to knock out this accreditation by the end of the summer, and complete my master’s by the end of next fall. This is dependent upon course offerings and 100 days of interning, but hopefully, my credits are finished by then.

For now, I’m going to focus on my current classes and finish out the year on a high note. The holidays and winter’s icy grip are right around the corner. Despite winter’s inescapable hold, I plan on partaking in the socially constructed silliness of the holidays in the least degree possible. The more I’m exposed to the traditions, the less interested I am in them. At the end of the day, it’s about spending time with family and friends, I just wish the superfluous bullshit was no longer the centerpiece. I’ll cross those bridges when I come to them.

Well, aside from taking a full course load and a half, working part-time, having a five-month-old son, and working out with athletes almost half my age, I can still find time to read, meditate, and write. I’m hoping to return to my novel for a third revision and a few additions this fall. I needed to step away in order to gain some clarity and freshen my perspective. Having done that, I’m ready to return to it with an open mind. I think it will be interesting to read it without the story being fresh in my mind.

Some of my goals for this month are to write at least 500 words, read at least 50 pages, and meditate for at least 10 minutes every day. In addition, I’m going to cut back on my wine consumption (which was a little over the top while writing my novel) that needs to be reeled in a bit. I’m also going to increase my self-awareness, and in turn, my productivity. I’m going to make a conscious effort not to waste time. I will still take breaks obviously, but I’m going to make sure I’m not being sucked down internet wormholes for hours on end. I have to make sure I’m not confusing movement for progress.

I’m debating playing in the SMCM lacrosse alumni game, but I’m not sure if it will be worth it. I’m thinking about it. Maybe just EMO? Kat and my dad don’t think it’s a good idea. I think I’ll be fine. I will admit that risking the benefits of non-concussed brain function would be silly at this point. I enjoy being able to read, write, and focus tremendously. It’s hard to explain how much better my brain function has become. Hopefully, I can continue to reap the benefits. Onwards and upwards.

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