So now what???

That’s a good question.

My client work has increased and there’s a chance that I can land another client. That excites me.

My part-time office job wants me full-time and sweetened the deal.  I love my co-workers and I have a heart for public service.

I need more than one income.  Freelancing pays more.  I have more fun.  The State is secure, and has benefits

I have kids, a house, a new hot water heater.

Plus, I FINALLY enrolled in Skillcrush.  I’m loving getting tech and design skills.

I can’t do it.

House is a mess, crafts undone, I’m still a whale.

Status quo is not even sustainable, so working another 10 hours a week at the office + freelancing 20-30 + Skillcrush is not even on the table.

So, I’m praying and waiting for peace.

And wasting time reading about being productive.




IMG_1123I graduated yesterday.  I actually got a 4.0 too!

But I didn’t balance midlife and midterms or anything else.  If I had, there probably would be more blog posts.

Yes, I’m Type A, so it makes sense that I went all in.  That being said, I won’t rush going through my next program.  I won’t back myself into a corner financially so that I have to do so.

I’m still decompressing.  I have a long to-do list of things I’ve ignored that I should do, want to do, etc.  Plus my office job, client work, and trying to get more clients.   And honestly, I don’t want to do any of it.  I’m calling it “post-graduation decompression.”  I’m honestly surprised that I’m not sick.  There are other stressors going on too that I won’t share here.

I’m taking off work tomorrow and Tuesday is a holiday.  I’m going to make a short to do list, but honestly, I’m going to do whatever I want and go where ever I please.  Handsome hubby has taken the same two days off, but he as assured me that we won’t be joined at the hip.

I have my graduation luncheon at work on Wednesday, and I’m really looking forward to it.  My coworkers have been amazing.  Oh, and Mom is taking me to New Orleans in November!

So what comes next? training, getting Ben into college and losing weight.

I have a great husband, kids, mom, two jobs that I love, and a house that needs some attention too.

Look for a rebrand on the blog as I navigate the second part of my life.



At the half

I took the hardest two classes of the program (or so I was told – my new textbook that I received today gives me doubts) at the same time this summer.  Thank God it was only for one summer.  I don’t think me, the hubby, or the kids could do it again.

I feel guilty because the hubby postponed his own capstone project to help me with my classes.

I’m trying not to feel guilty about taking a break and just working and doing “stuff” over break.  My house is a bit cleaner, a few books were read, and we traveled out of state to visit family.  Yeah, there are some things I probably should be doing (cough cough – Google Analytics certification), but I really want to just work, chill, and try to do all the personal stuff I can so I can focus on my three classes this fall.

I am doing a digital detox though.  I’m reading articles and deciding whether to keep or trash them.  It’s the chapstick of the Internet  – I have articles everywhere, but can’t find one when I need it.

I have about three weeks to go before Fall term.  I’m hoping my pre-vacation, house-cleaning, get sh!t done mojo returns.

I stepped back from one of my jobs and the Avon gig for now.   It’s just too much.  I need to put my health up a little higher on the priority list and I know I just can’t do it unless something has to give.  The kids and the hubby can’t give much more.

So, I’m stalking the college bookstore list daily so I can order my textbooks from Amazon and get a sneak peak.  Two classes down, one to go.

Other than that, I’m just–what’s the word — recovering.



Summer Construction Zone




Photo by Matthew Hamilton on Unsplash


I knocked down the final projects and exam with wrecking ball intensity.  Yes, I was up until 3-4 in the morning for more than a few nights, but it’s over now.  I’m waiting on my final grades for the summer.  I will be amazed if I keep my 4.0, but I really don’t care right now.  I just want to collapse.

But I can’t.   I have to work, my house is a mess, my finances are a mess, etc.

I am going on vacation soon.  Well, if one counts visiting family as a vacation.  I love my family – don’t get me wrong.  I just need time to rest and rejuvenate before I can “people”.

So, I’m putting my life in a construction zone again.  I don’t want to jinx it, but there may be big news coming. Either way, renovations need to be made.  I made it through the summer, but it wasn’t the way I wanted to do it.  I neglected several people and things I value because I was too busy with work and work and work and school.  I said I’d catch up on the to-do list over break and that’s logistically, physically, and emotionally impossible.

I’ve already decided to reduce my workload starting next month.  No new projects, no new commitments unless my heart and mind say “HELL YEAH!!!”

I have a list of about 20 areas to go through and I’ll be reducing my to-do list as well as my digital footprint.  If it doesn’t light me up, it’s off the list.  If it lights me up, it’s going to get done.  I may throw prioritization out the window and just pick something and go with it.  The main thing is that it needs to be something that builds me up, makes me stronger, feel better, or look better and that I’ll feel better for having done.

In order to do that, I’m putting up barriers and things will slow down along the path towards my degree.  There may be detours or even temporary road closures for awhile until I can make things stronger, smoother, faster and safer.  However, like most construction projects (except the Big Dig in Boston and I-69 in Martinsville), the end result will be worth the delays.

A few words:

Albert Schweitzer once said,

“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.”

This past year would have not have happened without the steadfast love and support of my husband and kids, but especially my husband.  Joe is my rock and supporter.  He has taken care of me, the kids, the house, and everything else.   I can’t do this without him.



Current status


After staying up until 1 – 2 a.m. for the past three nights, writing four papers in four days and working 25 hours I can honestly say – I have hit a wall.  Evidence:  I’m watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – the movie – not the cartoon.

I need to write two huge papers – preferably by Sunday night.  I have neither the desire or energy to start either.    My weight has ballooned.  I can’t seem to stop eating or spending.  And the thought of exercising exhausts me.  There’s a lot of external negative energy around me that I can’t control and it’s draining me as well.

One bright spot – I’m such a nerd.  I’m looking forward to Saturday.  Why?  It’s July 1st – the first day of my new planner.

I need a GST (Get Sh!t Done Day) or two.  I also need a retreat.  No tech, no homework, no agenda.  Just a chance to get away, sleep and recharge – maybe with a nice walk or hike followed by a bubble bath.

These things come and go.  This one just seems to be hitting me hard right now.  I’ll be fine.

It’s not time for a wrecking ball, but I think taking some time to patch some mortar is in order.



One year down, one to go

It’s been a busy semester.

At this point, I still have my 4.0 GPA.

I have three jobs – one with the state, one freelance client (the other went out of business), and I sell Avon.

My health is decent, although I’ve gained 10 pounds.

I shucked my to-do list over break and read three books, went to the gaming store, and tried to chill.

Summer break?  Let me drag my redneck out – Hell nah!  I’m taking the two hardest classes in the program.  That sound you hear is my GPA going down the toilet.  That’s why I tried to stay pretty chill over break.

I have discovered three things.

  1.  I must have at least 6 hours of sleep a night, preferably 7. Otherwise, I get “slupid.”
  2.  I need to take either a nap, a sauna session followed by a cold shower, or a walk each day
  3.  Between work and school, nothing else will get done.  No sewing, no home improvement projects, no intense diets.

Looks like the only rays I’m catching over the summer will be from the Macbook screen.

Let’s do this.  At least to get it over.




No Yen for Zen anyway

My goal:


I’ve been dreaming about going back to Japan – specifically to spend time at a town or village with an onsen and ryokan.  I remember staying at a ryokan when I was 13 and it was otherworldly.    As good as life is right now, I know I need to recharge and escape a bit to relax and rejuvenate.

Even if I had the time and means to make the trip, it would be wasted.  Put me in yukata and on a futon, I’ll sleep for a week.  I’m so used to eating fast to get to the next assignment, chapter, thing on the to-do list, that I would not taste the delicate and exquisite flavors of the country.  And put me in a hot spring and would I enjoy the scenery? Nope.  I’d be like this little fella.


I’ve had a week of the new position, working at home, and managing other stuff and adjustments need to be made.  Time to rebalance and equation in my favor.



My to do list exploded.  I’m putting things into ASANA as best I can.  Still, I need to cull the lists, the notes, etc.  So, I’m having a


Am I working efficiently? No.  Am I in a “Distraction Jackson” mode?  Oh yeah.  I’ve done about 10 things that were a nuisance, but at least they are done and there’s less clutter for it.  Currently, I’m starting at the bottom of my email list and working my way up.

I finished two Udemy classes (and enrolled for a third – very cheap).  I won’t take the third class until probably spring break, but I got a great deal on it.  Plus I learned a few things from these classes that will help me with other projects already on the list.

See – I even got a certificate.  Feels like Kindergarten again.  Honestly, I’m just posting here because I still haven’t figured out my new website yet and I don’t want to lose these in the process.uc-jy2r0zv3uc-r2rug0c5

Back to the lists of lists!