November 20, 2016

Merriam-Webster Dictionary online defines time as “a thing that is measured as seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, etc.” And this is the simple definition.

There are full definitions, too. “A nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future.”

My favorite? “The hours or days required to be occupied by one’s work.”

While some people think there is plenty of time to live life, I have experienced painful losses that prove this otherwise. My goal in life is to retire early so that I can enjoy doing more things. Unlike dreamers, this is my reality. With my husband on-board, we are working really hard to enjoy life as early retirees. It’s carpe diem for me!   I look at opportunities as experiences I must do now, not later.

A support system is critical for any goal in life. Whether it’s for a birth, wedding, or death; secondary and post-secondary education, or general goals in life, it’s our support system that keeps us focused and keeps us moving.

I got my Master’s Certificate in Scientific and Professional Communication for a number of reasons:

  1. I was 9 credit hours short of completing the program before it officially began (after accreditation approval)
  2. I had been slowly taking graduate courses under my tuition waiver
  3. I have been a professional communicator the majority of my life
  4. Why not!

I completed the nine hours in two semesters while I continued to pursue the right university fit for me. I still wanted to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing. I had been writing all my life and still have dreams to be the next Stephen King, James Patterson or J.K. Rowling. These are goals that I aspire to achieve, and my support system is still behind me.

In many years of applying to certain universities, looking at other MFA options, and more soul searching, I decided that I was done with applying to programs that rejected my application. I didn’t want to attend low-residency programs because I still needed my 40 hour job to help pay the bills (and the ink to print my stories to submit back in the day). I didn’t want to pay $30,000 or more for an education where the rate of return might be less. That is when I found Southern New Hampshire University’s online program and this is where I am today.

Time may be on my side, but I am against time. I have been working full-time, volunteering for an international society, working towards a membership for a different society for leadership, doing homework and scheduling in an hour every night to spend with my husband. I am more than halfway through the program and it certainly doesn’t come without some sacrifices. The good news is that my support system understands. I make time for family and friends when I can, but sometimes family will always trump everything else.

This may be my longest blog post as I begin this journey, racing against time to complete my degree, while enjoying life and maintaining my sanity. Time is critical especially where assignment deadlines are concerned, but the best way to tackle the intangible being is to make a schedule and stick to it. This is where time will surprise you sometimes when you have turned in all of your assignments early and need a short break.

I am very grateful for my support system within this time of my education because at the end of the day, when it’s all over and that diploma is in your hand, that support system will be there celebrating with you. Then the fun begins…



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