What a precious commodity time is, and how much we take it for granted until we have it taken away. In my case it's not so much that it's been taken away, but more like it's been commandeered, or maybe grudgingly donated. In order to get from point A to point B, I have had to make some concessions, and my time is the main one. I am not free to do whatever I want whenever I want. My days are split between school in the morning, work in the afternoon, and school again at night.
I admire those who are able to work full-time and go to school full-time and get done quickly. They either have more fire, more drive and focus than I do, or they're more desperate. I restarted college in the fall of 2006 at Coastal Georgia Community College with an immediate goal of getting my AA, a two-year degree. Two years have now come and gone and I am still without that piece of paper in my hand. But the end is in sight! There is a possibility - slight though it may be - that I'll be able to finish this summer and have a Associate of Science degree in History (History is not science, you say. Social Science the college counters.). The more likely scenario, as much as it pains me to say so, is that I'll have to take another class or two in the fall, delaying my entry into a bachelor's program at another school. This means I would have crammed a two-year degree into three years. While that may not seem like cramming to you, remember that 3/4 time at school plus 3/4 time at work plus some time as a husband and individual adds up to more than 1.
And that's why I salute the people who are able to carry the load of two full-times: work and school - three if you add in parenting! I have been a full-time parent, worker and spouse, and I know that there's no time left for anything else. So how do you people do it?
Some just say, "I have to do it so I can have a better life." "I'm doing it for my kids." "I really, really, really want to be a (fill in the career of your choice), so I'm just doing what I have to do." I have cautioned some to make sure to allow enough time for family, spouses and personal time, but almost all have responded that their families and spouses are supporting them, sharing their vision of a future. My wife is my biggest cheerleader. She keeps trying to get me to say - out loud, mind you - "Yay, me!" when I accomplish something. I'm a little too Midwestern-Norwegian for THAT kind of outburst, though.
So we slog on. (Isn't that a great word? Slog.)
slog: pronounced slŏg v.intr.
1. To walk or progress with a slow heavy pace; plod: slog across the swamp; slogged through both volumes.
2. To work diligently for long hours: slogged away at Latin.
Eventually we will slog across the stage to collect a handshake and a diploma, and then, our burden lightened by the addition of both, we will skip merrily along to our dreams. At least, that's the plan.