2017's Shoulda. Woulda. Couldas.
It’s a New Year. The holidays were rough. Celebrities died. Neighbors and loved ones passed away, were depressed or had medical emergencies. 2016 was a difficult year for many Americans.
The polarization that played out on television made its way-at some point of the election season- to our own communities. Black Lives Matter. Donald Trump’s remarks. Hillary Clinton’s emails. Police brutality. Gang welfare. These events entered our hearts and minds on a perpetual basis at some point in this year.
Now it is time to move on to a New Year. There’s plenty that we did wrong this year. Take time to remember what went well.
Jobs. I sometimes think to myself about what would have happened if I accepted certain job offers. Would I be in so much debt? Would I not have to sit out a semester of school? Should I have sacrificed my sanity for possible daily boredom while working in a field that I have no interest in? Looking back I know that I’ve made good and bad decisions. I may have had the money I need. However, I would also be bored and unmotivated to do the work necessary to keep my department functioning. I would have had terrible performance reviews. I now know that the mantra ‘Know Thyself’ applies to me. I did not have the self-motivation it takes to sustain such a lie.
Nevertheless, what you put into the universe will come back to you. I work hard to maintain sensible relationships with people. I know who I can ask for help if things ever get rough. Always be nice to people even if no relationships develop out of the transaction. We never know who may need us and who we may need in times of distress. The universe is plentiful and abundant when you put effort into it. Especially in the Western world.
Education. I was in school during the entire 2016 year. College is important. Don’t wait to go back! Finish school as soon as you can.
I’ve been a graduate student for more than five years. There will never be enough money even if you are wealthy. One of the arguments I hear from students and non-students alike for reasoning in determining whether to continue along a certain education path are that the person has to determine if things currently going on in their life can be balanced with school. Someone who barely has enough energy at the end of the day to make time for their spouse after the kids are put to bed may or may not be willing to do the overnight studying it takes to complete college while having a family. However, some people decide that they can handle all of the competing responsibilities. School is only a short period in time. The benefits of your education that your family may receive will most likely last longer than the short-term discomfort school causes.
Moreover, do not let the money hold you back if you already know that there is enough money or that there will be enough money to take care of your physical needs during college but not necessarily to cover tuition.
College is stressful. The coursework is never finished at school. It’s done during down time or breaks at work. It is done in lieu of certain family events. It’s sometimes done in the place of spending intimate time with your partner- especially during final exam season. It is harder to bounce back from such trauma as we get older. Attend school if the money to attend is not present now but is found at the last minute through loans, scholarships or grants.
Self. In all that you do make time for yourself. I spend one day or one-half day a week (except during finals week) by myself. I do something I enjoy like writing, reading or watching television. I also attend a Christian church. Self-attention and renewal are essential to being able to serve others.
It is my hope that this article gives you some clarity to life decisions that you are pondering in the new year.