Archive for July, 2017

Almost at the start line

It’s been a long struggle…I started grad school in 2013, taking classes via distance education after work hours. Weekdays were generally the following routine: wake up early to beat traffic to work, work all day, come home after an hour in traffic, get the kids in squared away with homework and baths, and then around 9 PM start working on coursework, finally falling into bed past midnight. My weekends were spent doing homework and course projects for most of the time.

I graduated in May this year, I’m finally done with the program. The last semester, which I had hoped would not be so bad, was the hardest of them all. Part of it was a personal struggle with trying to keep up the motivation. The other part was that the course project was a project from hell, a team project with a useless team member, and in the end we still had to do his work for him. Enough of that though, I don’t want to think back on it any further. I pushed through it all, and I have finished. I truly worked hard to earn my newly minted Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering. So what does it get me? Nothing actually, no bonus at work, no impact on my job at all, and probably at the end of the day will not matter too much if I try to change jobs either. It does leave the option for me of going for a Ph.D. (another subject of discussion), but for now I just have the satisfaction that I learned an incredible amount of information, I updated my engineering skills, and strengthened my math skills which had rusted from lack of use in industry. It is bitter sweet, a personal struggle that existed mostly in my head, but often spilled over onto the family. They were super tough for hanging in there with me, and I am grateful for that.

It is fitting that I’m in the project from hell at work right now and am working 12+ hours a day for now. But come July 28th, it is all over with one way or another. I get my freedom back, from school and from work. What will it be like to have a life again? What will it be like to not have to do anything in the evenings? Yes the house will scream for attention by constantly presenting me with a list of things to fix, but I’m not going to let that take my life over. I’m not going to be that guy…for now.  I need some time for myself and the family.

Those four years of life working full-time and going to school at night have taken a toll on my health though. Stress was the biggest factor, but also weight gain. I gained weight between sitting all day at work and then sitting all evening and into the night. I was very jealous in the evenings to see people walking and jogging along side-walks as I sat in traffic and kept thinking about the struggles at the office as well as the work to do in the evening for grad school. Now it is my time to repair the damage to my health from grad school and work.

There are going to be many distractions, such as trying to keep up my technical skills, as well as family responsibilities, various things to fix around the house, and part of me just wanting to sit and do nothing. So here is what I propose:

  1. Walk…walk like a madman
  2. Play tennis once a week
  3. Hike at least twice a month on the regional trails–I really want to do this!

Long Term Goals

  1. Develop a proper tennis serve
  2. Hike a mountain trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains
  3. Get the weight to a stable target

It won’t be easy, there will be many obstacles, but I want this.


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