Closing time

I’m tired.  I’d like to stay up a little bit longer, waiting out the end of the day with Todd, but I can’t.  I’m still healing and sleep is better for me now.  Two days and I start my new adventure.  I went online and got my university login reset, plus I got my direct deposit and email squared away.  I’m ready to start my first day with all the little pieces ready to go.  It’s strange – I’m returning to the “nest” but a lot of things changed before I left and even more in the months since I’ve been there.  It’s a familiar place, but still different enough that it’s new territory for me.  I have no idea what to expect, other than there will be a learning curve and a LOT of organization to do.  Beyond that?  No idea.

I know that I like Mike and Dave, my two new bosses.  I know that I’m keenly interested in the work that they are a part of, so it makes it easier to go there Monday.  I know the pace will be busy, but it won’t match the insanity of the last 7 months.  If I need training, I will seek it out.  If I have questions or suggestions for improvements, I have people who will listen to me and not make excuses.  I am building the position from the ground up, so it presents unique opportunities because of that.  I will depend on a lot of direction initially, but I know that they are supportive of my developing independence as time goes by.

I haven’t missed my old place, not even once, this past week off.  I know a deep sense of relief that I’m not there and I am completely sure that I would have been a wreck if I’d had to go back this week.  In fact, it is the common practice for the university to close down the week between Christmas and New Year’s each year.  I thought about it this past week and realized that knowing I can have this time off with my boys each year is actually a serious perk for me that offsets other areas where I might not be so thrilled.  I haven’t got a list of the cons yet and, perhaps, this is my one resolution for the year – to accept what I gain from this change and not fret over whatever small things might be lost.  No, this doesn’t mean that I won’t bitch and moan sometimes, but at least this time I know what I’m walking into.

I’m also one day out from the start of my next class.  The three weeks off sure zipped by.  I wish I had another week, but at the same time, waiting does nothing but delay what is now inevitable.  The class appears to be another top-notch one, at least in my estimation.  The prof is organized and really knows his stuff.  I find it exciting and reassuring that the two tech classes that I’ve dipped my toe into are exceeding my accounting classes, both in material/substance and in the profs leading us.  It says a LOT about the program I’ve chosen.

I’ve already started narrowing down my applied research topic for the term.  I’m continuing to focus on data security, so my topic will deal with that area.  I plan to do a bit of research in our university library and see what I can come up with.  One of my mentors from my old company told me the top floor of the library at the university has an outstanding tech section.  She said she was able to spend 6 hours up there, just lost in the quality materials available.

I need to step up my level of engagement in my program.  I can cruise through (much as I did this last class) and simply finish up the degree, or I can make something extremely valuable out of it.  I plan to step it up.  I’ll have the resources and the mental energy to do it, thanks to the job change.

I still have moments when I feel a strong sense of failure about leaving the software company.  And the problem with it is this:  if I hadn’t left the university in the first place, I wouldn’t have failed.  But then what does that say about trying???  If you don’t take a chance, based off the best information you have available, aren’t you failing by not even trying?

I did gain from the experience.  I might as well say it – I have been the biggest chicken-shit on the planet about going into Information Systems.  I signed up for a correspondence programming course in my early 20’s but gave it up because I was working 2-3 jobs at a time and couldn’t afford it.  I took Pascal…  I took Intro to PC’s back in the late 80’s.  I kept looking at the options for a CIS undergraduate degree and I was too damn scared to go for it.  I KNOW I was scared.  I didn’t think I could handle the math – which ultimately became a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I didn’t think I had what it took to handle programming.

And…  Ok, I still DON’T want to be a developer.  I’m interested in control systems.  I’m interested in data.  It is the core of a business, of a school, of a life, if you think about it.  All of us, everything we are, is the accumulation of data – it’s how emotion is stored, it’s how experiences are stored.

How it is shared and how it is accessed is just a mirroring of inorganic systems.

Input and output.

Dammit.  I hope I’m able to put this degree to good use when all is said and done.  Because if I can’t, this is a monumental waste of resources and time.

It is bed time now.  I woke up this morning, stressing already.  We had a family meeting tonight and I talked to our little family (the older members, anyway) about what our family’s financial status is and what we need to do to get healthy for this year.  We talked about ideas and I’m giving Bren & Todd a couple days to think it over, but I want the three of us to be involved in this now.  No more mom worrying about everything while the guys simply toodle along.  We are a family and we need to be working together to accomplish things.  I’ve already been explaining to Bren about how one stick alone is weak, but several together can be strong.

So good night from this end of the world.  I make no guarantees that I won’t continue on with my pessimistic ways, but I’m trying.  I really am.



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