Month 8 Week 3 – Options

“Having only one options is not an option” – Unknown

A funny thing happened to me this week. I think I’ve mentioned before that I decided to go back to school in my 40’s. I took a pause during Covid when I needed to become a teacher to my youngest son, but this summer I signed up again to continue pursuing my degree in Agriculture. I signed up this summer to take math, which I struggle with. I figured taking the class for the entire summer would give me a better chance of passing it. I was wrong.

For the first time in my life I failed a class. Read that again. That first time in my entire life. Now if this was the first time I had taken this class maybe I would not have been so crushed. I attempted to take it a few years ago and had to drop it because I was just not getting the concepts. It’s like my brain could not get wrapped about the fact that I was actually supposed to be calculating math problems. I figured I would revisit the class again when it was mandatory and guess what, it’s not mandatory.

At my school they will let you take half of your credit hours before you must complete this math course. Essentially I can’t graduate if I don’t pass this class and the university does not want you to get too far in the process and then fail this class. I could see a lot of people losing their minds if their diploma was withheld for one math class. I guess the solution is to stop you in the middle of your studies and force you to get these math credits. As I type this I realize the language I’m using is harsh. Force, make you, can’t graduate, don’t pass. All these things pretty much sum up how I feel about this whole process. As if you have not guessed it I am not happy.

Not passing the class made me think long and hard about if and why I wanted this degree. I had to have some honest conversations with myself and decide if I was doing this for me or someone else. After I failed the class I cried while talking to my husband because I seriously did not know what to do. Again I have never failed a class. After my emotional breakdown I decided I would simply let the thought of getting this degree go. I’m at an excellent place in my career and honestly I could spend the time I spent studying doing something else, anything else.

I sent a message off to my coordinator and told them I was going to withdraw from the program. I told them I felt as though I was taking a spot of someone who could really benefit from it and passing this class had become a barrier I simply could not pass. After I hit send I simply waited for a response to see how to proceed to withdraw.

The following day I received and email from my coordinator that told me to reach out to my advisor and see what programs the school could offer. What? Is that a thing? Schools offer programs to help you pass courses? Now you might be sitting here thinking I have lost my mind. Why would I not think to reach out? Why would I be so stressed when I had not even asked anyone for assistance? What was wrong with me?

As with everything else this made me think about more than simply school. This made me think about so many things that affect my day to day. When I am struggling with weight, life, school, my kids, my marriage, any and everything I try to solve the problems myself. The truth is when you are in a mess you can’t figure out how to get out of that mess. I had nothing. I couldn’t even think of getting help from the school just like I don’t think about reaching out for help for other stuff.

When I don’t reach out for help, and dig within myself I get stuck. I eliminate all my options. Crazy part is if I just speak up someone will help me or give me options.

I want you all to let that sink in. Pause and find someone, anyone who can help you with options. When you are in some mess I want you to think of at least one person who can help you. If you can’t think of a person then I need you to ask a stranger. The stranger to me was my coordinator. Yes I know who the person is, but sending an email was still a struggle. Telling this person I was failing at something was hard for me to admit. Looking back I wish I had reached out for help sooner. I might have actually passed the class.

This week I want you to talk to someone. Talk to someone about anything that’s bothering you. You don’t have to pour your heart out, but they may give you solutions that you had not thought of. They may have some ideas to help you get to where you need to be. A friend might offer to walk with you. A coworker might offer to eat lunch with you. A spouse might offer to sit with you. A stranger might offer to listen to you.

Help comes in many forms. It is up to us to ask for it.

This week I plan to continue moving one mile per day. I commit to doing something that makes me feel better about myself. I plan on doing something that celebrates my tiny wins.

This week again I have lost no weight unless you could the weight of stress. I have decided again I will not beat myself up but will continue pushing forward. The win as usual is I didn’t gain any weight. I have to always take wins where I can get them regardless of how small they are.

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