Holiday Hangovers

Yesterday marked the end of Christmas for the Huisman Hooligans as we celebrated the holiday at my parents home with my extended family. A great time was had by all with wonderful food, loads of laughs, great conversation and a few lovely gifts.

The tree and other decorations are put away, New Years’ Eve is this week and then we get back to the reality of jobs and school.

And I don’t want to do any of it.


I’ve been having way too much fun hanging out with friends and family, eating whatever I want, reading for fun and binge-watching movies and TV shows with my kids. I don’t want to be a responsible adult now.

That’s the trouble with extended breaks sometimes. It’s hard to get motivated once rest time is over and get your hustle back on. Throw in this is the time of year when almost everyone is discussing goals and resolutions for the coming year and it’s enough to make me want to go back to bed.

But I’m won’t and I hope you don’t either.  Although a new year is a good time to set goals for ourselves, we really don’t need it. The next moment is just as good as any.

I’ve given some thought as to what I want to achieve in this next year, set some goals and will be revising them down to more realistic steps.

  1. Continue working on my Bachelor’s degree. I will take only 4 classes in 2014 as opposed to 6 as originally planned. I’ve learned I get too stressed and drive my family (and myself) crazy when my work load is too intense. I will make peace with this decision and decide any progress towards my goal is better than none at all.
  2. Start exercising again which is another reason I’m only taking 4 classes. I’ve regained all the weight I lost last year due to a lack of boundaries and realistic goals. I don’t know what this is going to look like yet. I hesitate to make a gym commitment but living in the Midwest during the winter months means no outdoor walking or bicycling (which I can definitely commit to in Spring and Summer).
  3. Finishing stripping and repainting this chair. I bought this last Spring at a local antique store and made it my project. I would love to see if I can restore this chair with my own hands (and advice from my husband). I’ve never tackled a hands-on project before.Metal chair project

That’s it. Three simple, but labor intensive goals. By this time next year, I hope to have four more classes under my belt, weigh less than I do now (no size or weight goals, I’m just going for progress) and a lovely yellow and white metal chair to lounge in.

Wish me luck!

Fear…That *&%^@ Dirty Bastard

I’m rapidly discovering that heading back to college means I’m going to have to face just about every fear I have.


I fear and loathe math. I’ve never been any good at it and I’m pretty sure that the only reason I passed high school geometry was because my teacher felt sorry for me. I memorized all the postulates and theorems but I never understood when and how to apply them. I went to the help sessions one night a week, I called the Homework Hotline, I asked for help.  I REALLY tried but I never understood it. Mr. S knew that and I think he only passed me to show mercy.

I don’t even try to do math anymore. I use my kids. “Jacob, tell me which one is the better bargain.”

I know. It’s embarrassing.

Somehow I knew deep down that I couldn’t continue on this way forever and my day of reckoning is close at hand. Math is required towards my degree and since I’m so bad at it, I’m looking at taking THREE math classes in order to get my math requirement completed. I don’t know enough to take the entry-level class so I need to take what my friend’s daughter calls “stupid math”.

Poetry is another one I fear. I’ve never read poetry and avoided it as well. It’s so much WORK to figure out what the poet is saying! The “whittled fantasies of wooden cages”…what the heck does THAT mean? I just assumed I was too dumb to get it and moved on.

I’m taking a Poetry Writing class that starts in two weeks. Another requirement towards my English degree.

Music is another hurdle. I need a Fine Arts class and my college adviser suggested an online Music Appreciation class with the promise it would be “fun”. I love listening to music and played the clarinet many moons ago but to be honest…band was more of a social thing for me. There are loads of things about music that I never learned for a variety of reasons. I didn’t try very hard either and assumed I was too dumb to get it…like time signatures and meters for example. Maybe because it relates to math a bit?

The Music Appreciation class was crammed into a three-week “mini mester” session that concluded today. Every single day of this class made my brain hurt. But I’m really happy that I’m at the Finish Line and didn’t quit. I learned a lot but this class quite literally gave me nightmares and dominated my waking moments.

Then there’s the lack of approval and support from those I hoped I could rely on. In the past, if I didn’t have 100% approval from everyone around me, I’d quit. It gnaws at me that I don’t have approval from some key people in my life. How much stock do I put into their opinion?

And then…there’s the fear of failure. What if I can’t do this? I have this fear of completely tanking and wasting money.

I’ve wanted my Bachelor’s degree in English since I was 12 years old. I’ve had to ask myself some pretty hard questions since I’ve enrolled, applied for Pell Grants, purchased books and taken my first class.

How badly do I want this?

Am I going to listen to those who think this is a bad idea?

Am I going to quit when it gets hard? Because it WILL get hard.

Fear wasn’t part of my thought process when I decided to head down this road but it sure didn’t take long for it to show up. Now I have to decide whether or not I’m going to let it stop me from accomplishing a dream; I have to decide daily.

The only way to conquer this bastard is to turn around, look it in the eye and not blink.