Thursday, January 6, 2011

Writing Prompt #1

Mama's Losin' It

I found this website through a friend's blog, and thought I would give the Writer's Workshop a try. Since, you know, I'm still too lazy motivated to figure out my picture storage dilemma. So here's the prompt I chose:

1.) Choose a word that encompasses 2010 and describe why. What word will you choose as your theme for 2011?

My word that encompasses 2010 would be accomplished. I feel like I accomplished a LOT in 2010, more than I ever thought I would be capable of doing. I graduated with my masters in exactly two years. My original goal had been two and a half to three years, knowing when I started the program in August of 2008 that we were trying to get pregnant already at that point. (Fact: I was pregnant or had a newborn/young infant for all but three months of my grad school career.) So I far surpassed my goal for grad school, and did it in the time that 24 year olds that aren't working full time with a family do it. And I finished with a 4.0. Which I never said outloud, but I wanted that so badly. I am a perfectionist with myself. If someone gives me a goal or project or whatever, I am going to do it as perfectly as possible. I probably could have spent a lot less brain power and effort on grad school, but my God, I wanted to do the very best I could. I kicked out some papers that I am pretty proud of. :)

I also accomplished going back to work and almost a full school year of teaching after having a baby. I don't know if I would call it PPD, but I definitely struggled with going back to work. It was a hard school year. And let me tell you, not wanting to be at work and simultaneously being a perfectionist that wants to do everything just so can really mess you up. But I did it. I figured out how to be a working mom and still make Raegan a top priority in my life. I still sometimes dream of getting to stay at home, but I know that it's not really a feasible option for where we are in life right now. The important thing is that I've come to peace with that. And *that* may have been an even bigger accomplishment than the whole grad school package, in the long term.

So my word for 2011? Security. My goal for this year is to gain some financial security for Luke and I. We have a savings account, sure. We also have a decent amount of debt, with our mortgage, car payment, and my now even bigger student loan balance. My biggest goal is to knock out a good chunk of our debt. Obviously, it's not going away by the end of 2011 (hello, mortgage!) but I would like to take away more of it than I would by just doing things the same. I'm hoping that eventually that my employer will offer a Financial Peace class for employees (like we already do for families in the program) so that I can get some more ideas on how to reduce our debt.

I want both kids to have a college savings account, not with the thought of paying for their college, but that Luke and I can give each of them a little break from their future student loans. Zane's obviously needs to be started like yesterday, and we'll be contributing more to that than Raegan's at first.

I enrolled us in the Flexible Spending Account through Luke's work, which is where they deduct pre-tax dollars from his check into an account that we get reimbursed from for our medical expenses. I started out pretty conservatively, and skipped the part where we could use money for child care. We'll see how the plan works this year and then look at saving more pre-tax dollars next year. I've also already started saving for our vacation next summer, so that it's not this burden on us to get away as a family. I still remember so many details of my own family's summer vacations to Colorado, and I want Zane and Raegan to have those kinds of memories from their childhoods also.

So bring it on, 2011. I feel like it's going to be a good year! I really hope I'm right. :)


Just Passing Through said...

My Wonderful Daughter, you should feel accomplished! You've done so much and done so well. I am not just proud of all you've done, I hope you know how proud I am of who you are. You are a sweet wonderful beautiful person; you are a wonderful mother and an outstanding daughter. I love you!

Anonymous said...

Stopping over from Mama Kat, and welcome to the group :-) Congratulations on all you have accomplished. I know personally how hard a masters program is, and doing it with a family and small child, well, I'm completely in awe of your strength.
Sounds like you have some solid plans for 2011 - its scary, but your goals look reachable - you've put so much thought and action into it!

jfb57 said...

If 2010 is anything to go by, 2011 will bring you many accomplished things as well! Found you via Mamma Kat's! hope to visit again!