Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Years Plans

So this year, I have noticed lots of bloggers doing New Year's resolution posts.

Er.... (crickets from me.)

Well, I have a lot of plans.

This year, as things settle down, I have goals both personal and physical and work-related.

Financially:

  • I want to pay off our Beetle early.  Before we had to buy this car, our old Beetle was all paid off.  I like the feeling of driving around a paid-off clunker!  
  • I want to finish paying my undergrad loans.  They are pretty close to gone, at last!  Paying extra in the beginning, in the years when I had extra money, has really paid off!  
  • I want to put as much into our savings as possible- hopefully, 2-3 months of INCOME.  We had that once, and it saved our butts during the hard times.  And I want that back.  It makes me feel calm to have a deep financial cushion.  
Physically:
  • I want to build strength- my core has gotten squishy, and I can't do pushups.  I want this to be the year I learn to do a pushup!  I know that my shoulder strength lacks, so I bet I'll be doing lots of planks! 
  • I want to go swimming with my new cochlear implant wetsuit and experience swimming with sound!  While on vacation, we bought a book of swim drills.  So I'll be doing some drilling in our nearby giant pool. 
  • I want to run a half-marathon, and if I can, do another half-Iron distance race.  I really like distance.  But this year, I want my running to be up to snuff.  
  • Oh, yeah, and make sure I stay healthy!  After the whole e.Coli debacle, my gut is healing away.  I hope to get some decent lactose tolerance back, and to have a year where I'm not dealing with wacky illnesses for once!  
Work related:
  • Well, we all know that an interim gig comes to an end.  And it looks like Holy Cross will come to a very successful end soon.  Hurray!  They've been a blast to serve. 
  • Next?  Hm... I'm really debating between options.  One is an awesome position that's part time and underpaid, but I LOVE the community and the people and the person I'd be working with.  And it's a place I could imagine being long term, building communities and teaching people to ask questions of their faith.  Other options are full time, interim gigs... and the idea of a year of being well-paid so I can knock out the financial goals I have sounds like a relaxing year.  I'm really torn...
  • BUT THIS IS THE BIG ONE...
  • I'm planning to take some courses in math and science to bone up on my knowledge in that area so I can.... (DRUM ROLL)...
  • take the GREs this summer, and apply for grad school. 
After a long, long time (several years?) of conversation and discernment, I've realized that my next stage in life is going to include grad school.  I debated for a long, long time between Social Worker programs and PhDs in clinical psych.  SW programs have the advantage of being much shorter, and you get down to the nitty gritty work of helping people that much faster.  But the PhDs often included a research component... and I realize that I get jazzed up by the notion of research.  The idea of books and clinical trials really excites me.  And when I realized I was doing things like staying up reading psychological studies and getting up early to read about psych programs and reading books written by the professors I admire for fun... I realized that I want to try for the PhD.  So this next year will be about getting some math and science muscles so I can play more nicely with the real scientists if I get into a program with the strong research components.  

This will be a loooooong process! On one hand, I'm a little bummed I'm not exploring PhDs for this year.  But on the other hand, we didn't know for sure where we'd end up until just recently.  So while I've been reading goofy math books for a while, nothing felt real.  Nothing felt like it was about to happen.  And when I read more deeply, I really do feel that a year to do some boning-up work will benefit me in the long run.  So I'm aiming for the Fall of 2016!  I'll be 37... the same age M was when he went to grad school!  

Some people have asked if this means I'm giving up orders.  That's a post for another time.  The short answer is No.  I intend to remain serving as a priest.  But this feels like the right way forward to develop where my call really is.  

And now it is time to get my head out of the dreamy PhD plan clouds, and get back to the work I'm supposed to be doing... planning a menu for this week! 


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