Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Eve

I don't do New Year's resolutions. If I need to make a change I make it. I also don't tell a story if I'm in the midst of it but this story has been making itself known to those around us so I'll go ahead and share it with you guys as well.

Short version? I've suspended my schooling and Damm was put on academic probation. There's more to it than that, of course. We have appealed the probation; he has two hundred plus credits but only half of those count towards his degree and he's a student in good standing with an excellent GPA and he's a ROTC cadet with the full support of his cadre. (In case you're confused, academic probation means that he doesn't get any more financial aid, a big problem since we live off financial aid.)

The decision to suspend my schooling was a long time in coming. We had thought about it before but it never felt like the right time. This Christmas, however, I noticed that I wasn't recovering like I usually do. Neither were Damm or the kids, really. Our health has faltered, both mentally and physically. Our kids are being affected by our stress levels and the months between semesters are always tough because we're between loans.

I still would have proceeded with the semester if two more things hadn't happened: Damm's mom is moving and we have lost our babysitter. She watched the kiddos two to four hours per day during the week so we could get homework done; the thought of getting everything accomplished without her aid was staggering. Then I heard that my store needed someone to take care of certain sections and I jumped at the chance (I like being in charge of sections).

The hardest thing has been to tell people my change in plans. I dread the pep talks of "you can do it, don't stop because you won't go back" etc. I'm not a peppy little college kid wanting to "experience" life; I've got a life and I have to do what I can to maintain it. Fortunately, however, everyone I've told has been incredibly understanding. In fact, they wondered why I hadn't made the decision earlier because our schedule was insane. Believe it or not, working close to full-time leaves me more time with my kids and Damm than school.

And the story continues. I'm throwing myself into my new duties at work and Damm is following up on the appeal and looking for fallback options. I anticipate some hard moments when Damm returns to school; I loved being a student and leaving that world, even for a short time, was an incredibly hard decision. I'm comforted by the thought that I will finish my degree as soon as Damm finishes. I have looked into several online options although I would prefer to finish at NMSU. We shall see what the future holds.