If not now, when? These are the words I keep asking myself. Relearning how to study, research, and write while working full time and housing a middle aged brain is not easy. Time is sparse and many items of importance vie for my attention. I haven’t learned all the lessons necessary to pursue higher ed as a middle aged full-time working mom. But here are a few things I can sink my teeth into:
- Frozen pizza never killed a teenager. When all the hours are taken, don’t fret over feeding one meal with zero nutritional value to your last kid at home. If it does damage beyond repair, you still have the older two for which to be proud.
- Set it aside. Some pre-existing experiences and priorities will be neglected for the sake of this new venture. The remaining essential priorities, friendships, responsibilities deserve focused attention. I’m a multitasker to the umpteenth degree so being fully engaged is always a struggle. I’ve been working on using singular buckets of thought at a time. This requires setting aside that half written paper or looming test.
- Schedule time not tasks. Life doesn’t always afford the necessary time and energy required to grasp that A+. Even when college was my full time job there was always one class that got the shaft. Success is devoting scheduled blocks of time to study or write rather than creating a list of tasks to complete within a certain timeframe. I am limited by time because I am not God. Read Measurements and Image-Bearing for more inspiring thoughts around the blessing it is to be limited.
- Settle into the quiet. Some course work can be accomplished as my son and husband live life around me. I often need less distraction in order to fully sink into material. Quiet is rare and can feel funny at first. Once I push past the uncomfortable, complete silence is my ideal setting.
- Swing away. A friend recently gave this incredible speech in which he closed with a baseball analogy. I’ve thought about his metaphor many times since. Pursuing further education in my forties makes me feel like I’m continuously behind. Wondering what value this degree will add to my family breeds stagnancy. But I’m called to faithfulness. I’m stepping up to the plate and the coaching from the dugout is to “swing away”.