Work Ethic

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Some days I have a real hard time in the mornings.  For whatever reason, since I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease 6 years ago, mornings are really rough for me.  Even when I’m in remission, I still spend more time in the bathroom than I’d like to. 

Either way, today was one of those rough days.  I was totally feeling like shit (no pun intended) and wanted nothing more than to crawl back into bed.  Instead, I didn’t want to leave my girls to the wolves (also known as the Monday Craziness) so I got moving.  Sometimes it takes all I have to keep a smile on my face until 5pm.  That’s just how it is with a Chronic Illness. 

Sometimes I get bitter though.  I wish I didn’t have so much pride in my job.  I am very proud of myself for supporting my family and doing what I have to.  It’s hard watching my generation flake out when I’m doing my best to muster through a bad day. 

For instance, my sister quit her job just because she didn’t like it.  That’s her prerogative, how she’s handling it after the fact is another story though.  So when I’m hauling my butt to work, and others just quit because they don’t like what they’re doing, I get bitter.  It’s almost jealousy, but not quite.  I could never sit at home depending on someone else again, my marriage taught me that. Some days its just rough is all.

Which got me thinking.  What happened to my generations work ethic?  I grew up in a working class home, my father worked on cars.  I watched him bust ass to care for us, even though his job pissed him off.  I’m proud to have grown up with such a great father with an awesome work ethic.  It’s what fuels me through my bad days, and what I use for an example.  Hell, my mother worked an office job, similar to the position I started in… and worked it through cancer.  Pretty damned impressive if you ask me.

So while my generation may be lacking in the pride in a hard day’s work, or hell, not even working at all… or even in my sister’s case, looking down on someone who works a working class job (like both her parents and now myself do) while they have no employment of their own. I’ll take pride in the industry I work in (and love) and I only can hope that that I instill the same pride in my daughter.  I hope that by setting a good example, even if some days I’m sick and don’t particularly want to, I’ll teach her to take pride in whatever she chooses to do.  I hope I teach her to have a good work ethic and do something she enjoys as well… whether or not she has a college degree to back it up. 

I guess the moral of the story is take pride in what you do, and do it well.  If you’re lucky like me and get a job doing something you love, take it and run with it and be proud!

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Negotiating with the Government

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Student Loans = Student Debt

I went into college unaware of the consequences of student loans. ¬†I knew I wanted to go to college, the sole goal was to get a degree so I could get a job that paid well. ¬†At that point in time, I had an inkling that I would be leaving my husband and I wanted to be able to support myself. ¬†I looked online and asked for advice on how to pay for school, and everyone said to talk to an¬†adviser,¬†they’d lead me in the right direction.

So I went in, stupid and blind, and sat down with my adviser, picked a major and asked questions. ¬†My biggest mistake was listening to these people with out a second thought. ¬†How could an adviser lead me wrong? ¬†They encouraged student loans, they explained that aid would cover half of it, and loans would cover the rest, and that in my degree I’d easily be able to make the “low monthly” payments once my loans came due, which wouldn’t be for a long time.

So I enrolled in school, selected my classes and started. ¬†Nine semesters in, (including summer semesters… yeah I was over-doing it) I decided I needed a break. ¬†I took a semester off and took time to myself. ¬†When it was time to pick my classes and start back up, I cracked open my student loans. ¬†I was shocked, they didn’t come due for 2 years, but really? ¬†I called and spoke to someone who informed me a rough estimate of what my monthly payments would be. ¬†By this time, I had left Tim and was a single mom, that amount was definitely not do-able, even if I made $10,000 more yearly than I did then (hell, even now). ¬†I debated for a while, and decided that I could NOT afford to go back and finish my degree. ¬†I had an idea of what I was looking at after finishing, and quite frankly, looking at my friends who had already graduated, who still hadn’t found work in their major, and were struggling to pay rent on top of student loans, I decided it wasn’t worth it.

Fast forward 2 years. ¬†My loans have now come due, and to say the government has been harassing me, puts it lightly. ¬†Yesterday, I finally decided to answer the phone when they called, and say something beyond “The Dept of Education can blow me.” ¬†I hate owing money, and decided to settle. ¬†I explained my finances on the phone, and the lady was quite helpful. ¬†The way it is, is that while finances aren’t completely in dire straights, we are technically living from paycheck to paycheck. ¬†At this current time I cannot put away¬†anything in my savings account, which means I cannot fit another major bill into my budget, especially not one for a few hundred a month.

So I spoke with her for almost an hour, and¬†intermittently¬†with her supervisor. ¬†I’m able to enter into a payment plan because of hardship and in 9 months, I’ll be out of¬†delinquency and¬†will be able to sign up for a new plan and continue. ¬†The lady I was speaking to made a comment about how in 9 months I’ll be eligible for another loan to go back to school. ¬†I laughed and told her I’d never put myself in that much debt again.

I got off the phone and explained what happened to my coworker. ¬†We talked about it for a while, and I reiterated that I will never go to school again, unless I can pay for it out of pocket, which won’t happen anytime soon. ¬†She talked about her student debt, and we came to the conclusion that.. well.. it sucks.

I am not lucky enough to have someone pay for my school, and I don’t make enough money to pay for classes each month. ¬†I was a fuck-off in high school so no scholarships were given to me. ¬†Do I regret it? ¬†Not particularly. ¬†Honestly school isn’t in my game plan right now anyway. ¬†I’d much rather take my money and save what little I can (or will be able to) for Noodle to go to school. ¬†However, what it comes down to is what do kids do now days?

What about the kids who parents couldn’t save money? ¬†What about the kids who didn’t earn scholarships? ¬†Who don’t make enough money to pay out of pocket? ¬†I know a huge chunk of people who are not¬†eligible¬†for aid. ¬†Those kids are stuck getting loans to go to school, and while a chunk of them might make enough money to pay them off, a lot of them will be paying well into their fifties. ¬†Maybe I’m too pessimistic, but it looks quite bleak to me.

Did I make a mistake and go in blind? ¬†Yes. ¬†But if I hadn’t been blind, I wouldn’t have gone to school at all. ¬†I’m not the first, and I’m not the last, going to college on student loans was one of the worst financial mistakes I have made yet, and it won’t be one I’ll repeat.

“I have my Mother’s Dreams, I have my Father’s Eyes…

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… You can’t take that from me, just go ahead and try” – Rise Against

There’s one thing that I’ve always lived by, it’s that if you want something bad enough, you’ll get it. ¬†If you want something so bad that your heart feels like it’s going to explode unless you get it, you’ll find a way. ¬†You’ll work and work and strive and sweat until you get whatever it is you want. ¬†One of my exes actually said it best (now that I stopped hating him and actually listened): “You’re spoiled. ¬†Not because you’ve been handed everything, because if you want something you refuse to accept failure, if you want something you get it.”

It’s been a pretty good motto to live by, especially when life is hard, which in my life is frequently. ¬†Ha, I’m pretty sure life was only easy when all I had to worry about was saving my allowance to get the most current issue of the metal (music) mag I loved. ¬†Through out this battle which I hesitantly call my life, I’ve been told I wouldn’t get this or that. ¬†I wouldn’t go as far as so and so. ¬†I would fail at whatever I was aiming for. ¬†After hearing all of that, well, if any of you know my personality, ha, I busted ass and did it anyway. ¬†Every step in this life, at least since I was a teenager has been a struggle, and frankly I’m glad it has been. ¬†It’s taught me that I can fight a lot harder than I thought I could and that I can achieve anything I set my (bull-headed-stubborn-ass-annoying-don’t-take-no-for-an-answer) mind to. ¬†Life has taught me I CAN do anything I want. ¬†I CAN own a house, I CAN go to school, I CAN settle into a career (even if I want to burn the office down daily), I CAN be a parent albeit a single parent. ¬†I CAN do anything and I HAVE done everything I’ve set my mind to.

Regardless of how bad any situation is, no one can ever take your dreams away. ¬†It might seem like they can stomp out your hope, but deep down you’ll still have those dreams of what you want life to be like. ¬†All it takes is a little determination and a little ass-kicking to get it done. ¬†Trust me, it’s worth it, even if you make it by baby steps, every single fucking one of those steps is a victory.

Now though, I’m at a cross roads. ¬†I’m debating on whether or not I should go for another degree, I’ve been thinking on it for a while now, and have set a deadline for the decision to be by the next spring semester. ¬†I’m thinking about maybe a Bachelors in Criminal Justice (no, I don’t want to be a cop), but I’m just not sure. ¬†I do like the current job I have, and if the company shows me potential that I can advance I wouldn’t mind just adding some classes to what I have already. ¬†However, I like Criminal Justice and think I could make a decent career out of it. ¬†So I’m weighing my options. ¬†4 more years of college? ¬†No school and full focus on my family. ¬†A steady $45,000 a year to do what I’m interested in? ¬†Staying at a company I like regardless of pay. ¬†I’m also weighing it against my other goals. ¬†Will this put off my goal of buying another house in a handful of years? ¬†Impact the remodeling? ¬†Impact my family negatively? ¬†There’s a lot to go into it, and I hate setting aside goals to achieve others. ¬†Whatever, ¬†I have a few months to think on it… and whatever it is I do.. I know I have the support of the boyfriend and my family.

Since I know I can accomplish my dreams, it’s just a matter of choosing which dream to hunt down first.

Hey, at least I don’t have to water the flowers

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It’s been one hell of a long day, the customers and phone calls just wouldn’t stop coming! ¬†The plus side was that the day flew by, but the negative? ¬†I’m exhausted. ¬†I was so relieved when I pulled into my driveway, and even more so to be able to sit down and relax with a hot cup of coffee. ¬†The short little thunderstorm helped with my nerves too. ¬†My plans for the rest of the night? ¬†Well, right now, just relaxing in the kitchen, watching the boyfriend cook dinner (sadly enough he cooks more than me). ¬†Then after dinner? ¬†Relaxing on the couch and watching my favorite sci-fi show… Lost Girl. ¬†To say I’m excited about curling up in bed tonight is most definitely an understatement.

So things have just been generally crazy around here. ¬†I have some great company to endure the chaos with, my friend Kate is still a constant. ¬†We managed to tackle a good portion of the housework this past weekend and knock out another portion of shopping for my little Noodle’s birthday, I’m almost done and Kate got her a ton of stuff! ¬†I still have some bigger ticket items to get, but most of the little gifts are set. ¬†On Sunday I went over to her house to visit her family (which is another one of my adopted families, they were there for me through all of the domestic crap with my ex as well as the first 2ish years of Crohns). ¬†Unfortunately I missed her parents, but there’s always next weekend! ¬†I can’t wait to see them again. ¬†Last night after work, Kate and her sister came over to visit… that was awesome and Ry took it upon himself to make us all dinner. ¬†To say that he’s got a thumbs up from those two is an understatement… and their opinions mean a lot to me.

Beyond all of that, just menial chores and work. ¬†I’ve been pondering over a pretty big decision in my head too… this fall I believe I’m going back to college… not to work on that Bachelors in Business (honestly because I’d rather eat my own ass than take one more accounting course), but to head for (starters) my Associates in Criminal Justice. ¬†End goal? ¬†Bachelors. ¬†If I get bored? ¬†Masters. ¬†Criminal Justice is something I’ve always been interested in, but of course I never wanted to become a Police Officer so I just abandoned it not realizing that I could take it so much farther. ¬†So after doing lots of research, I think I’m just going to dive in. ¬†I’m excited… more like thrilled… and even more so that I have the support of so many people. ¬†I can’t wait.

In the mean time though, it’s time to get ready for dinner. ¬†I hope everyone is doing well since I haven’t had time to check in on anyones blogs this week. ¬†Happy Almost Hump Day.

Psychology turns me on baby.

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or not.¬† No.¬† Seriously not.¬† I freakin’ hate Psych!¬† I just finished my final, and I’m pretty sure I failed because of the essay questions.¬† *rolls eyes* Do I care?¬† Hell to the NO.¬† Well, maybe a little bit, but only because I wanted the credit, but I can re-take the class later or substitute it with another one.

I don’t know what came over me, why the hell would I want to take my online final at 9am.¬† You would think I would wait until tonight… but noooo.¬† I HAD to do it now.

So I have Advanced English Comp next session (the second set of 8 weeks in the semester) and I’m also dreading that.¬† I’m actually really good at cranking out papers, but it’s just time consuming, and I’ve been so freakin’ busy it’s not even funny.¬† I’m just glad I have it online though, my teacher for the first English Comp was a freakin’ NAZI.¬† I swear.¬† This is the same teacher who told Rob that Autistic people don’t have emotions, then proceeded to spend the rest of the semester telling us about her Master’s degree and 100+ hours, and her PHD kids.¬† I passed the class with an A, like I said I’m good a writing, but I spent the entire session thinking about different ways I could kill my teacher.