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  • Archive of "priorities" Category

    Tires are like underwear

    April 28, 2009 // No Comments »

    Posted in home life, money, priorities

    I’m trying to trick myself into thinking that new tires are just as exciting as a new purse.

    I’m pretty sure it isn’t working.

    There are all of these ways that I love being an adult. I love being married. I love owning a home. I love transforming my home into something special for Brian and I. I love that all of my friends have made adorable babies and I get to hand the babies back to their parents when they start crying.

    But then there are these adult things that I must do that suck. Like paying my student loans on time each month. Or taking out the trash when it’s raining and I’m trying to get to work. Or spending the money I saved for indulgence at the MAC counter on new tires for the car.

    So now I catch myself trying to rationalize the tires and make myself happy I spent the money that way.

    Without new tires on the Civic, the car would not pass inspection. Without a passing inspection, I would not be able to drive the car legally on May 1st. Without a car to drive, I would not be able to accomplish my twenty mile commute to work without two trains and a short bus. Without work, I would have no where to show off my fabulous MAC indulgences and no income to buy more.

    Tires should make me happy.

    I told my mother this as I drove to work yesterday. Even though I knew it sounded slightly insane. Even though I knew there was a 90% chance, she would gasp, have a heart attack and her last words would be “save your money”.

    Instead she paused and said “Well, tires are like underwear. No one sees it but you better have it on”.

    I probably wouldn’t have spent the money at the MAC counter anyway. There would have been some other “underwear” purchase I would have made. Or I would have used the money to help someone else. I just like the possibilities aspect of having that money in my bank account.

    Would I have purchased something to surprise my husband with? Would we have used the money for paint for the house? How many books could I buy with that much cash? Could it have bought a plane ticket for a vacation? Maybe it could buy some diapers and formula for a low income family?

    In the midst of mature, responsible adult decisions, I find my imagination takes over. Like a little kid getting allowance, I imagine all of the glorious things those dollars could be doing and how much happiness it could buy me.

    I wonder if the imagination is how we make the adult decisions easier to do. Instead of thinking you just lost all of your money for the month on rent or a mortgage, you think about the friends you’ll have over to your place that month. Instead of getting frustrated when it is time to pay for a tank of oil, you think about how good a hot shower feels at the end of the day. Instead of complaining about the cost of new tires, you think about all of the places those tires will take you.

    I made Brian admire my tires. The gratitude was good for both of us.

    I am so over my commute

    April 17, 2009 // 2 Comments »

    Posted in changes, money, priorities, work life

    It wasn’t so bad when I first started this job. I was still living at home with my parents and my office was only 10 miles from home. Actually, it was a nice little ride to the office. I could rock out in the car to Say Anything or clear my mind and do some much needed thinking.

    I even planned most of my wedding during my commute home, catching up with vendors that I could not reach during the day.

    But then I moved in with my husband. Which was great because living with your spouse is always better than not living with your spouse. Until I realized I was now 16 miles from work. And 16 miles from work actually meant that I had a 45 to 60 minute commute to work.

    This meant that I was spending as much as 10 hours of my life each week getting to and from work.

    Now that we’ve moved to Bristol, I’m twenty miles from work. And now I spend more like 12 hours a week in the car commuting.

    Even writing about the commute makes my stress level go up. It gives me an overwhelming urge to only use run-on sentences, minimal punctuation but with additional exclamation points and a need to scream my head off and give someone the bird.

    Maybe driving isn’t as relaxing as it used to be.

    Commuting was kind of fun when I first started. In a weird way, it made me feel more like an adult. Sort of like it did when I paid the first health insurance bill. Except now, I’m very grateful for health insurance whereas I’m not so sure I’m grateful for my commute.

    When I get home from work at night, I like to walk around the Boro and fantasize about a life without a commute to work. At first that looked like me being a stay at home wife while Brian went out and obtained lots of Benjamin’s for us but then after a while, I started to imagine him in a suit and tie with briefcase in hand and that sort of destroyed everything I love about my husband. Now I fantasize about waking up and either walking or biking to work. I imagine going out my back door, getting my bike and heading down Spring Street to a job that does not have business casual as a description in its dress code.

    I have small town dreams these days.

    Can I say no?

    January 6, 2009 // 4 Comments »

    Posted in priorities, reflecting on self

    My mother says I have a problem saying no and she tells me this frequently, as if I have never heard it before and as if it will be the most profound piece of advice a mother can give to her daughter. She says it in the tone of voice that tells me she feels the need to correct this shortcoming in me as an adult because she did not realize it was a problem when I was a child.

    This is a long term pattern of behavior. Someone should have realized that I had a problem in the third grade when I refused to quit ballet even though I believed that ballet classes were a level of hell previously unrecognized and I was convinced that my ballet teacher was out to get me. I didn’t want to quit because I might like someday.

    These days, my mother points out my problem saying no when I say no to her. Or try to establish healthy boundaries with my mother. Which I guess are not pleasant concepts for her to deal with.

    I’m told the latest example of my inability to say no involves me using a vacation day to go with a neighbor to family court. However, I beg to differ. I think it was an excellent example of my ability to selectively say yes.

    By going to court to support my neighbor, I said yes to my community. I showed support to a young mother who has three kids and no family in area. Being apart of a community takes hard work and good effort. And being apart of a community means staying involved even when you would rather stay in bed.

    I said no yesterday to moving in with my neighbor temporarily. Partially because I didn’t really want to and partially because my husband would not have been pleased. Saying no to the request I couldn’t handle allowed me to say yes to something else: I can be a friend to my neighbor and not a court appointed supervisor. She has enough people in her life functioning as supervisors. What she really needs now are girlfriends.

    Most importantly, yesterday I said yes to my little somewhat balanced life (although, I did hear rumblings that I was unhinged to be using my precious vacation time that way). I acknowledged that in my life, balance might not be measured in the same way that other people measure it. While I still don’t have my perfect definition of what balance is, I am one step closer to a working definition.

    Thinking more about my mother’s observation on my no saying abilities makes me wonder: would we be happier if we learned to say yes to the things we love instead of worrying about saying no to the things we don’t love? And is there a difference between the two? Could we get farther in our careers by choosing to say yes selectively rather than learning to set the boundaries that allow us to say no?

    Is the expectation that saying no is a skill to be developed making it harder for us to be happy?

    My job isn’t the problem

    December 23, 2008 // 2 Comments »

    Posted in challenges, priorities, work life

    I was chatting with my friend Charlotte the other day after a meeting out by our cars in freezing cold December weather. Mainly because I can’t find any other time to talk to my friends than standing outside our respective vehicles before I take off for another meeting or obligation. I’ve been operating this way for months now.

    I started joking to her about it. “Charlotte, if only I didn’t have this job! It takes up all of my time!” Except I wasn’t really joking because lately I’ve been wishing I was a trophy wife (sometimes, I dream that Brian makes way more money that he does just so I can be one of the women at the gym who goes there at nine in the morning and then meets with girlfriends for lunch) and I was really hoping she would just laugh at me.

    But in typical fashion, she had to go and say something profound when I didn’t want her to say anything profound. I just wanted her to agree with me.

    “Dorie, it’s not your job that’s the problem. It’s your extracurricular activities.”

    Of course, to really make her point, she started making a verbal list of things that I do outside of work and I couldn’t stop myself from calling out “Don’t forget about my blog!” like a complete crazy woman.

    My first instinct was to tell her that I’m not in high school anymore and these “extracurricular activities” are my just my life but suddenly, I felt like I was seventeen again, with a jam packed schedule.

    And she was right. I’ve been going at the same breakneck pace since I was 14. The only thing that has ever really slowed me down for anything length of time were two car accidents. Even when I had mono when I was 16, I still did all of my after school activities (I was physically unable to convince myself to stop even though I needed to sleep for 16 hours a day).

    School and work were just things that kept me from doing what I really wanted. My unbalanced, unhinged life strikes yet again.

    I can’t blame my level of stress on anything I want but it doesn’t change the fact that while I can say no to other people, I am not capable of saying no to myself. I’m not capable of saying to myself “I’m just too busy today; I need to restructure my priorities”. Instead, I focus on fitting in a meeting at six in the morning for coffee because I can’t say no to the chance to see a friend.

    Most of us are not independently wealthy. Most of us will have to work for most of our lifetimes and will be on a budget during the times we are not working – whether it is on vacation or maternity leave. Work is rarely optional so you can’t blame your job for very long during your periods (or seasons) of unbalanced/unhinged living.

    I still hate to cut back and while I know tough choices are a key part of adult living, it is still difficult.

    A few minutes later in the conversation, Char overwhelmed me again with another question: “Can you honestly say that all of your extracurriculars bring you joy?”

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    I know that doing laundry doesn’t bring me joy but I also know that not going to work naked does bring me joy. And brings my husband joy when I’m not going to work without my clothes. Maybe a lack joy isn’t enough of a reason to not do something but something that should fall into how we place our priorities.

    Once again, I find that I don’t have anymore answers but more things to take into consideration.

    Change, accountability and Adam Gilbert

    October 6, 2008 // 10 Comments »

    Posted in changes, goal setting, priorities

    Sometimes I hate Adam Gilbert.

    In other words, my plan to get back into shape is going great. I’m down about five pounds and I feel great. And Brian keeps telling me how good I look and anytime your husband bursts out a declaration of your superior appearance without prompting, it is a very good sign. And my skinny jeans have become my everyday jeans.

    But still, sometimes, I hate Adam.

    Yesterday, I hated Adam while I looked at a Tootsie Pop and thought “I could have that and no one would ever be the wiser”. I knew the kids in Sunday school would never rat me out.

    But when Adam says that he can get inside your head, he really does mean it. Because as my fingers wrapped around that glorious lollypop stick, all I could think about was having to tell Adam that I ate a tootsie pop. And I didn’t even have a good reason to eat that tootsie pop. My throat wasn’t sore, I wasn’t PMSing and no one had a gun to my head forcing me to eat the tootsie pop.

    So Adam’s plan is working. He really is inside of my head. And I put the lollypop down.

    The funny thing is I don’t even like Tootsie Pops. They were great when I was a kid but the appeal is minimal now.

    Every night I send my food diary to Adam where I tell him every single thing that passed through my lips. When I eat junk, I have to tell him what I ate and why I ate it. And I could come up for excuses for everything I eat (“I ate the Milky Way because I have Mommy issues that only chocolate and caramel can solve” or “I wasn’t going to eat the entire bag of potato chips but I’m concerned about the economy and by eating the potato chips, I am ensuring that someone in a factory has a job”) but I have a little too much pride to do that.

    But I don’t really hate Adam. Every morning he sends daily inspirations to his clients. And he actually is inspiring. So while I may hate Adam as I stand in front of the candy bowl in my office as I attempt to practice self control, if I walk back to my computer and read his daily inspiration, I’m inspired again by his commitment and his belief in his clients.

    He truly believes his clients can change their lives. And when I remember that I’m his client, I remember that he believes I can change my life. And that feels incredible.

    Change and accountability are really rough things to deal with in daily life.

    Change sucks because it’s awkward and uncomfortable. It involves stripping away habits and beliefs that might not be the best for you. Sometimes change doesn’t go well and you look ridiculous in the process. But ultimately, change is good for you (despite the initial awkward feeling of unknown). The discomfort forces you to grow. And anything in this life that isn’t actively growing is actually stagnant and dying.

    Accountability sucks because it forces you to change. And it makes you get out of your own head and into reality. Reality is harsh. Just like accountability. And I’ll be honest, I know I can’t be held accountable by the people I’m closest to. I would love to think that I could be but sometimes, the idea of being just that vulnerable terrifies me. I fear that if I disappoint them enough, I’d lose their friendship.

    It is actually fairly easy to let myself be held accountable by Adam. I could tell him almost anything. I don’t feel judged (this is not shame-based motivation) but I feel encouraged. After a month, I find I don’t want to disappoint Adam.

    I also find I don’t want to disappoint myself.

    I hate my husband’s 12 emails

    September 29, 2008 // 4 Comments »

    Posted in home life, priorities, reflecting on self

    I always have this plan that I will not let my inbox be full of junk. I will sort everything into folders, deal with each and every email in an appropriate time frame and I will delete emails when I no longer can benefit from saving them.  I will follow through and I will be victorious over my gmail!

     

    Once again, I have 700 hundred emails in my inbox.  I’d delete them all in one shot but some of them contain information about my mortgage and I’m a bit fearful of deleting those accidentally.

     

    I feel like an electronic pack rat.  Sometimes, it gets so bad that I just abandon an email address because the thought of going through all of that information is overwhelming.

     

    I know in the grand scheme of things, all of that email isn’t the biggest concern.  There’s things that are a much bigger deal: the homeless in Philadelphia (winter is coming) or the current economic crisis (can we talk about my student loans please?).  My email is just annoying. 

     

    What makes it especially annoying is that when I see Brian open his email, he only has 12 emails in his inbox.  That’s right. 12 emails.  All of those emails were dealt with in a timely manner.  His inbox is pristine. It’s easy to locate information in there. Oh and I know there 12 emails in there because I counted. I was so jealous that I counted. There were still just 12 emails.

     

    This is partially because Brian doesn’t spend much time online and partially because he recently changed his email address but didn’t tell anyone.  Some of my seven hundred emails are emails intended for him but our friends didn’t know how to reach him so they reached me instead. 

     

    Sometimes the title “wife” really means “personal assistant”.

     

    Which is okay. I enjoy that aspect of marriage. It’s just that when I have 700 emails, I don’t feel like I’m the best “personal assistant” to Brian that I could be.  I may joke about him being my better half but sometimes (okay, a lot of times) it’s true.  If I can’t manage to take care of something like email, something that really isn’t that big of a deal, what else am I failing to properly manage?

     

    The email is really just a symptom of a bigger problem.  The email is a personal reminder that I’ve been struggling to find and maintain balance.  My email is telling me that I have a lot of work to do.

     

    I have this fantasy that I could live life like a machine. A well oiled, well maintained machine. Preferably a machine that did not require sleep. A Stepford Wife.

     

    Periodically, I forget that I am not a machine. And then I end up sick and exhausted like I did last week. And when I end up sick and exhausted, I know I am missing even more things.  That’s when I am not being a good wife. Or a good employee.  Or a good Dorie.

     

    The most concerning part is not being a good me but I keep catching myself putting the wife/employee/whatever else roles in front of being me.

     

    So how do I fix it? How do I balance the desire to do it all with the knowledge that it is physically impossible to do everything? How do I make serious adult decisions when sometimes I feel like I am stilling playing make believe?

    My fingers are a reflection of my priorities

    August 11, 2008 // 5 Comments »

    Posted in habits, priorities, reflecting on self

    I’m slightly embarrassed to admit it now, but when I was in college, painting my nails at least twice a week was one of my top priorities.  It was up there with food, sleep and sex.  As soon as my polish started to chip, it would quickly be removed and replaced with a new color.  I loved bright, vivid colors and I rarely wore anything that looked natural.  A fresh manicure was part of how I felt good about myself, even when things were not going as planned.

     

    I took “Live Like Your Nail Color” very seriously.

     

    I mention this now because I stood at the fax machine yesterday and contemplated my fingernails.  I haven’t polished them in about two weeks but I have yet to remove the remnants of my last manicure.  I’m not too concerned about it because I now stick to neutral colors or baby pinks.  Sometimes, I embrace clear nail polish only for weeks at a time.  It is difficult to notice until you stare at my hands for more than a few seconds, and even if you notice then, I don’t really care.  Home renovations, dish washing and yard work are not exactly manicure friendly.

     

    Somewhere along the line, my priorities changed.  My red nail polish has been mostly retired.  And that’s okay.  Why? Because I know those priorities will change again.

     

    As people, we should be constantly changing, evolving and growing.  Usually, those changes are subtle and don’t have a huge impact on our daily living.  But over time, those changes really start to add up.  It is only when we make a Major Life Decision that the people around us really start to take notice.  But when we think of our Major Life Decision in terms of a series of small logical changes, that Major Life Decision isn’t so major.

     

    It is that first tiny step that really is the big deal.

     

    Back to my nail polish: as I stood at the fax machine, I really had to fight the urge to berate myself.  When did I get so sloppy?  When did I stop caring?  What else was I going to stop caring about?  Would I ever shave my legs with the same neglect that I now paint my nails?

     

    But then it hit me.  It wasn’t that I stopped caring.  It was that I started caring more.  About different things.  About bigger things.  My priorities changed but I didn’t notice.  Or rather, I didn’t notice that I stopped prioritizing my fingernails but I did notice that I started prioritizing the home my husband and I are renovating.

     

    The key in all of this is keeping track of what your core priorities really are.  Is your priority a vibrant career where you make tons of money or is your priority spending time with your mate?  Do you prioritize reading new books or do you prioritize finding unique experiences? 

     

    You need to know what the core aspects of your life are so that the little things don’t trip you.  When you focus on the little problem, you are avoiding the aspect of your life that really needs attention.  It may be easier to put off dealing with the big problem but you spend so much time on the little things that you’ll never make the one change that you truly needed. 

     

    Workaholic: Is that me?

    May 6, 2008 // 2 Comments »

    Posted in habits, home life, priorities, reflecting on self, work life

    I’ve had workaholic tendencies for my entire life.  The idea of a three year old workaholic may seem a bit absurd but in my case, it is a little more accurate than you might imagine.  As a child, I could go ridiculous amounts of time without food as long as I felt compelled to keep working.  I also remember refusing to go to the bathroom in kindergarten.  I was working on a project and I convinced myself that I didn’t need to go to the bathroom until it was finished.  I also remember deciding that day that I didn’t want to ever feel shame again.

     

    And for someone with workaholic tendencies not feeling shame is a good thing.  It makes it easier to be a workaholic.  You can do some pretty god awful things to yourself if you don’t feel shame when your body betrays you.

     

    When I was puttering around some blogs last night, and promising my husband that I would only read one more post, I read something about alcoholism.  Of course that got my wheels churning and I googled “workaholic” to make sure I was spelling it correctly before I posted a comment.

     

    What I really found was a twenty question quiz to determine if I was a workaholic.  Three or more “yes” answers meant you needed to get help.  I had twelve.

     

    I was floored.  I may joke about workaholic tendencies but really, I just think of myself as driven and motivated.  I blame my ADD.  And if anyone asks, my elaborate organizational systems are really just a coping mechanism for hiding said ADD.

     

    I told Brian.  Who was not floored.  Who responded with “I didn’t need you to take a quiz for me to know that”.

     

    Then he tells me “You know I have to call your office to make sure you are coming home at night”. 

     

    And it’s true.  Because he does have to call to get me to come home sometimes.  And I’m usually very confused if I only have worked 40 hours in a given week.  And if it was up to me, every lunch would be a working lunch. 

     

    But instead of all of this urging me to think about getting help, it really leaves me questioning why Workaholics Anonymous implies this is a bad thing.  Because almost every question where I answered yes, I really truly believe that only a lazy person would answer no.  Call me a workaholic but I think I’d rather refer to it as a “Strong Protestant Work Ethic”.

     

    At what point does motivation and a desire to succeed become a bad thing?  And why are we so committed to a forty hour work week as healthy and a sixty hour work week as a sign that there is no work life balance?  Is this a sign of an entrepreneurial spirit?

     

    My advisor in college was a recovering alcoholic who was always concerned about me.  He thought I was crazy for working full time, going to school full time and being overly involved in my sorority.  He used to say that it was only a matter of time until my tendencies gave way to alcoholism.  At the time, I used to tell myself that he was just overly paranoid.

     

    Last night I started wondering if he was wiser than I gave him credit for being.

    Investing in You: Make wise choices

    April 15, 2008 // No Comments »

    Posted in priorities, work life

    When I first got out of college, investing in me almost seemed silly. I had just spent 150k on an undergraduate education – wasn’t that enough? I didn’t need to worry about taking classes anymore, I was ready to hit the corporate world and look fabulous doing it.

    As a result, I bought more suits than I probably needed, skimped on true professional development and then spent a year and a half at Starbucks trying to figure what it was that I really wanted to do. Those suits, that looked so fabulous at the time, are still sitting in my closet and rarely see the light of day.

    Investing in you is important for every career but how you invest is the key. You can spend money to make sure you look the part but if you don’t have all of the skills (or at least a plan) to back it up, you aren’t going to get very far.

    So. How to invest? How do we make wise choices when it comes to ourselves? These are a few of the ways I try to find a balance.

    Clothes: Don’t stock up on business attire until you get the job. I have a ton of suits in my closet that I rarely wear. Why? Because the dress code at my job is Lab Casual. Had I waited until I had the job, I would have realized that client days at my office are few and far between.

    Tip: Own enough suits to not repeat during the interview process. If you aren’t sure how many interviews are in the company’s process, make sure you have two suits. You can always play with accessories to change the look. Once you get the job, you’ll have a better idea of the clothes you will really need.

    Classes: Continuing Education Credits (CEC) are your friend. It took me two years post-college to get back into the classroom. I was convinced that because I spent so much money on undergrad, I didn’t need to spend money on more classes until I either went to grad school or got my soul back from Sallie Mae. Sure, I can write a fabulous business plan but ask me to format it a certain way and I might not have the skills to back it up.

    Tip: Figure out where your weak spots are and target those. It is far easier to stay in the classroom than to get back into it. I recently completed 9 weeks in a program about Microsoft Access and have now become my company’s go to person for Access help. I couldn’t have done it with a few CECs. It also keeps you occupied while you are looking for the job you really want and sets you ahead of the pack. The American Management Association also has some great courses that are offered at some local community colleges which can mean a savings in price for you ($400 versus $2000).

    Vacation: If you burn yourself out from the beginning, you’re of no good. One of the ways I chronically neglect myself is by failing to get the rest I really need. After a while, I’m not only no good to my team but I’m of no good to myself. It can quickly place you in a vicious cycle that is overwhelming and just not effective. A vacation is your chance to invest in your mental health. A bonus is the first few days when you get back and you can attack your job with fresh eyes and ideas.

    Tip: Find someone to hold you accountable to relax. For me, my husband is the one who makes sure I find the time (he has no problem saying that he needs a vacation whereas I always think I can put it off one more month). It helps to keep me in balance. For you, it could be friend, relative or coworker. Don’t let money be the issue that stops you. When we have more money, we take a cruise (I love the idea of a floating hotel to take me away from all of my problems). When money is tight, we go camping for a long weekend ($200 is usually enough to pay for campground fees, gas and tolls).

    Investing in you is such an important part of every career. Make sure your investments keep you on track for your goals.

    How do you know when its time to move forward?

    April 9, 2008 // No Comments »

    Posted in education, family life, priorities, work life

    I like to tease my friend C that she actually a closet speed freak and no one else is on to it yet. She usually tells me that as a former addictions counselor, she realizes that her drugs of choice would be opiates. I’m only half kidding with her though – C fits more things into a day than most people do in a week. Somehow she rarely seems to burn out. She’s the type of girl who can change jobs, plan a wedding/get married and buy and decorate a new home in the span of 6 weeks. And still have time to hang out with friends while still looking fabulous.

    Sometimes I hate her for that. Just Kidding, I hope.

    C’s wedding was about 6 weeks ago and I think for about the first time in a year she has time to sit down and relax. So of course, she’s looking for some thing new to do. Which is also known as going back to school for a Ph.D. Even though, they don’t really have the money (a mortgage, student loans from her masters degree and 2 car payments can suck you dry pretty quick), she still wants to make it happen. But she’s also concerned about kids and what that timeline looks like. She’s pretty much made up her mind on where she wants to go but I can’t help but think she’s missing a few steps before she could make that decision.

    Clearly, C needs feedback so I sent her the following email (details changed for privacy purposes):

    C,

    OOH OOH OOH! I have PLENTY of feedback! (This is me in “swift kick” mode fueled by love.)

    What other schools have you been looking into? Why do you not feel as tempted by those institutions?

    Regarding kids:
    If you think you want to have kids in the next 1 to 3 years, I would strongly suggest that you wait on a doctoral program.
    If you think you want to have kids in the next 3 to 6 years, go for the Ph.D. You won’t regret it.
    If you aren’t sure when you want to have kids, go for the degree. Otherwise, you could be stuck in limbo forever.

    The cost issue works like this:
    1. Do you and hubby both have life insurance policies out on each other (so that you would not lose the house should one of you die)? If the answer is no, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars.
    2. Do you and hubby have six months worth of living expenses (including: tithe, food, clothes, mortgage, utilities, phone, health insurance, car payments, car maintenance, gasoline, taxes, car insurance, co-pays, home maintenance, student loans, etc.) set aside should one of you lose your job? If the answer is no, further education is on hold until this need is met?
    3. Are you currently making contributions towards your retirement? If the answer is no, who do you think is going to pay for your old age? And will they pay for mine as well? Don’t tell me the government will or I won’t be able to contain my laughter at work.

    What does graduate school look like for hubby? Where is the priority here? Do you need a Ph.D. to continue advancing in your field immediately? Does hubby require a master’s degree to continue advancing in his field immediately? Who will benefit more from having their education needs met first?

    I’m a big fan of taking continuing education credits before you are financially ready for a degree. And you can always take classes at a community college on Fridays to continue to increase your job skills.

    Finally, how do you feel about the rest of your life? Is this antsy-ness coming from a stillness in your life that you are not used to? Are there projects/passions/ideas you want to explore both you move on to the next step in your life? You won’t have the freedom to explore those things right after you have kids. (Don’t get me wrong, you probably will later on but not in the same ways you do now). And C, I know you a very used to a crazy schedule but maybe this is a good time for you to be still and quiet and nurture your marriage with hubby. I hope you take time to enjoy the newness of marriage and explore each other and yourselves as married people. If it was me, I would wait until the one year mark before I began to address further education.

    So I think I threw a lot at you. I hope I made it clear and I hope you see the motivation behind these questions/points. I’m not necessarily advocating one way or the other for right now (but I probably will later on).

    Love ya,
    Dorie

    My questions are these: Do I have it all covered or did I miss some key question along the way? What steps should you have in place in your life before you make a big decision? At what age does it stop being okay to pile on debt in the name of one’s education?