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I can't get over my luck!! This life is one absolutely awesome adventure!! Can it get any better than this?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why Am I Here?

Older people do not understand how I can confidently go to school "at my age"...


Math is not my strong subject but let's be honest...if you did do the math I am going in an interesting direction.


I am wracking up an alarming amount of student loan debt. College in the UC system in the 70's cost $700. I owe over $27000 for this term in grad school alone...but I would not change a thing. I think it comes down to a pivotal concept that I did not at all understand when I was a teen and convinced we were all going to die in a nuclear disaster in the 80's...There was no point in finishing college or having a savings from that perspective.


Now I am older....I have raised perfect children...lived a perfect marriage and home life...lived in a community that was filled with loving and caring people for decades.


I get that the world is not nearly done...and even if it were...I am now thinking that Mad magazine's Alfred E Newman is closer to my true philosophy, "What? Me worry?"


People who are 50 years old are supposed to, I suppose be locked into jobs and careers and see this as a mad sprint towards that elusive concept of "retirement"....


I know I am older...but I can run when I want....eat what I want....do what I want...when on a whim in Italy my Ex hubby and I decided to  walk an enigmatic distance along an old dirt road caressing the shoreline....we had no idea how many miles it translated to....


Hours later we rolled into the next lovely town...it was a beautiful but very long walk that was really worth every moment. I think it was the trail from Monterosso to Vernazza in Italia....mind blowing!.... that there were houses along the old walkway that people lived in...how they got around and dragged groceries to such far removed places was beyond me...


Anyway...I guess the point is.... that I am not planning on retiring at 65 and neither should you. I would barely have time to pay everything back and reach my stride!


But I plan on working and getting as far as a I can with practical hands on knowledge...for years past the 65 year old mark.


In my Economics class the wise professor said that he expects people to live to 150 within my lifetime.


That is when it hit me that I have made the wisest choice.


Ignore that outmoded wisdom and shoot for a degree now when I am older and wiser...I am gearing up for the middle ages of my life...I should be retrained for this middle 50 years. I shouldn't be due for another retraining and late-in-life college stint until I am around 100 if he was close to correct.


I know my debt to income ratio is effecting my ability to rent since my latest $27000 term has now hit my credit lowering my credit rating since I have an abysmal debt to income ratio at the present time.


But I think I am being savvy and clever.


I am getting the new trend clear in my head before it is being written about...before anyone is really suggesting that it might be far more clever to invest in your own college education through the middle zone of our lives...I see it as THE truth...


There should be colleges geared around catering to my age group....there should be loans based around my future income from banks and loan companies...people my age should be counselled to pursue whatever they are drawn to since it is the most practical segment of our lives to be in school...


We should be done with young children by 50....we should be ready to pursue the bigger goals.


I am studying economics this term....I have a class in development and improving people's plight around the world...I have another class taught by an Ex military man who is clearly into the practicality of learning how to problem solve global issues and protect people of all kinds around the world....I am learning in other languages as I always had wanted to do...and politics is still strong in my experience here at grad school.


I don't know what I am going to do with all this fascinating material I am rolling around in my head....but I can guarantee you one thing! This is not a waste of time and I am only just getting started!


Thanks Howard for prompting me to see my direction...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Divine Design

As frantic as my logical right brained studies have been my life is drawn forward always by outrageously far fetched coincidences that I usually don't bother to talk about with anyone...well...my friends back home in Sonora...Ann, Rose, Marcia and Donna were my primary confidants outside of my dear Ex...my kids and my sisters....Anyway...here in this bastion of right brained logical thinking I have not been at all my Reiki Master...psychic self...squishing any acknowledgement of my inner abilities, intuitions and interests...but today I wound up on a different trajectory, and my left brained world collided with my right, creating a much happier version of me by bedtime!


I like to introduce myself as a housewife and mother here, since I feel it is important to make it clear that we mothers and female sorts are just as capable of being feminine and also shining in the masculine world of business and scholarly pursuits...but I never bring up my left brained interests...especially here since I feared it would make me less serious of a scholar and lead to me being less successful.


Even as I write that I see the illogic of such a thought process...I am a success here and now...and respect should be accorded to me because I have not only earned it but I deserve it...yet look at me hiding my feminine intuitive side behind an inferior fa├žade of my own creation. No man or masculine class has subjugated me...I subjugated myself in a wild preemptive strike!


Here in this world of communication and language as well as passionate economics and cross cultural intermingling I should have realized that I owed it to myself to be me.... this is a world where I should have not just allowed myself to let others see glimpses of my inner being but I should have embraced it and let it shine ...how else would others ever see the importance and value of intuition or of femininity to our over all goals of peace and security if I am suppressing it at all costs?!!


Tomorrow I am boldly following my inner guidance and intuition....even as I hope to jump into  wider business realms I am now seeing that I cannot get out there in the wider world while suppressing much of who I truly am....time to mix both sides of my brain as well as both my heart and my mind as well!

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed...

It isn't 7:00 am yet I have been up for hours working on communicating with loved ones and saturating myself in our subject matter in class! I love studying and putting pieces together in my head....it feels like my studies are really making sense...and now it is showing me how to apply it to what I care about....


I got into school as a reaction to my foreclosure....now I am figuring out how to rewrite the policies that regulate this screwy financial system...I am hatching and formulating ideas that are going to help me see where I fit in later....the idea is to stick with my biggest goal of pulling all of my studies towards wealth building for everyone and poverty alleviation.


I can't help but be excited and delighted to know another full day awaits my focus at school...the idea that I am living the dream really only sinks in during brief moments and at random times....but for now I am definitely bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pianos and Wine

     It is delightful to be pushed to my mental limits and then unwind in the evening.....


     There are reasons many of us drink in college...it is nice to unwind after pushing our mind to its mental  limit. I am without my youngster and pushing myself pretty intensely in this Economics Bootcamp that I am finding myself in this next ten days. I am thinking really hard and sitting for 6 hours at full alert. I challenge you to do the same at tis kind of intensity.


     Tonight and last night I stayed with a friend from the course that I already knew from Policy Analysis. I always knew he was one of the brightest people in the room...he gets what is going on with ease and it helps to know I can trust his take...but let's be honest...everybody here seems to fully grasp what is going on....I even think I do sometimes...but I fade in and out...but here in this situation I am feeling rather confident about my experience...I really like the overall concepts and the way they are presented.


     And.....like my classmates I am cramming in work on the side...I am only working as a tour guide but I am doing it on my lunch hour...so I get an hour for lunch and I am sharing my love and passion of this school's offerings for 45 minutes of it...not getting much chance to even eat much less unwind...so the evenings are taking on tremendous importance for me....


      I went shopping with my school buddy and he cooked an amazing dinner...fish, broccoli, brown rice and amazing sauces...


     The whole thing was bookended by inspiring piano playing by my host while my hostess painted nearby....this adventure reminds me again that I love being with people...hearing their stories and living the experience of following another households rhythm. I am really traveling in Europe while enjoying my roommate experience...even here at home....


     After a dazzling dinner and delightful conversation, spiced with wine and intellectual open-mindedness I am relaxing in bed.


     My friend is playing the piano in the other room and its sonorous strains seem to caress my ears as the wine warms my nose, dulls my overly stimulated brain and stokes my heart. Wow....I am very lucky indeed!

Chaos and Scheduling...

     I am now in the depths of an Economics intensive. I came fully prepared. I read for a full weekend in spite of moving out of less then the best housing...I think I might have gotten it done thanks to having become invincible feeling by moving all of the stuff I had in my house all by myself!! Alone I shimmied a solid wood couch down a flight of stairs and into the back of my car....It took every ounce of my physicality but I somehow pulled it off when everyone I had who could help got pushed out by the landlord moving things up a day...I had been at fault since I made it clear that I would move out earlier in order to make it easier for him to rerent...my town has many people moving in and out of the area thanks to the many schools and military branches represented around town.


But I moved everything alone! Every muscle in my body was achey the next day...but let's be honest...it would have been the same if I had been picking up the same things and moving them alone when I was twenty five...I should be delighted that I am twice that age now...and I could even accomplish it....a little achiness felt more like a badge of honor!!




     When I was free for a few days I hightailed it to me Ex's house...I could relax and crash with him without having to think about it....the nice thing about counting your Ex as your best friend is that when you find yourself together, you are suddenly with someone who has known you for years and doesn't need any explanation...




     He got it when I just felt like sitting since he also felt like sitting around and watching TV too at the same time....when he was hungry I was hungry....when it was time to finish a chore or errand we both felt like stopping at the same time...it was sort of like finding that my Ex is my Doppler Twin...of course I don't know if he felt as comfortable as I did but it was very nice for me to just pull out my highlighters and have no need to explain that I was about to dive into my study mode and that I would only come up for air when I had finished thinking out a complete series of thoughts.




     So amongst the Chaos that is my life at this moment, I completed all of my studies and my chances to just relax and breathe in between school responsibilities...




     A serene moment came along when I dragged my dogs to the UC Berkeley campus and I just enjoyed the entire atmosphere..my Ex was back at work, so I was going it alone accept my pups...it felt so good to just park the car, walk for a bit and sit on a rock highlighting my book and studying for my Econ class that had not started yet. It was delightful!




      The craziest part was that I was only just settled...I had just systematically placed all 5 colors of highlighters and two very sharpened pencils at my side...I pulled out my now colorful Econ book, when the tower nearby started chiming....it didn't just indulge me a bit...it went wholly into luscious sound mode....chiming out archaic sounding piece after beautiful piece. I timed the never ending enchantment...it went on for 45 minutes!




     So if you are ever in need of revival...and you are in the Berkeley area...sneak into the south side of campus and find a lawn area near a statue of "Pappy" something....an old football coach of yesteryear...and sit between 2-3 in the afternoon on a Sunday just listening....it will astound you at its subtlety and length...




     When done with studying, I walked around....I talked to people....my dogs sniffed around profusely....little boys dared each other to jump over things as if they had been influenced by parkour like my son....




     I was struck with something that seemed to come from deep within me...




     It reminded me of when I visited my present school back in 2008....I had always wanted to go there so it was no surprise that I had to go by and visit the campus to help reawaken my dream from the past. And now I am presently going to my dream school. It only took 5 years to get here.




     It felt that way at Berkeley though...I had a deep inner sense of wanting to teach or go to UC Berkeley in my future...I don't know why it would be a goal of mine now....it never really has been a goal before...but I had an odd sense of belonging...and I don't think it was all because I have been here many times before...as a child my own father worked near here in a very technical position. My mom walked us girls all over the place around here growing up.




     Yet it seemed somehow like the birth of something deeper...a desire is being created I think.


Now I am old enough to know we never get all of our desires....they morph and twist into something more fun than we originally could have foreseen...and oftentimes my desires have started out pulling me in one direction and then dragged me into another based on the  pull of the original dream. That is when it does not even appear to be the same dream to the layperson's eyes...but I always seem to recognize how one pulls me into many directions as it unfolds from its original perspective.




     Anyway, I know that I am going to wind up doing something that will have been born from that feeling of studying in the quiet, scholastic serenity that I experienced there on campus that day.


.

Crushes.....

     I have a crush on Bob...



     I sort of demoted the fabulously successful and rather together lawyer I was dating named Bob to good friend...he is dazzlingly fun but it didn't work out. His love of his adorable dog made him delightful to be with since I also prioritize my pets highly. His curly hair and purring sports car were also quite attractive as well...but his mansion didn't score as much with me as his thoughtfulness ...perhaps he was too thoughtful...planning out details to our dates required weeks of time... He was good, kind and had a golden smile but now we will meet as friends instead...just what I need another handsome "good" friend...



     This spectacular find came after the super-kind and good-hearted Commodities Trader, who is exactly my age, apparently ran its course...having been raised in the shadow of my beloved Disney, the Trader hit all my buttons by speaking my Disney language fluently. He is the sort of guy who has all the lovable qualities of Peter Falk in Colombo...


      I spent Christmas Eve with him as he bought supplies for the community dinner, an activity he indulges in every year. It was the first time I have been able to be involved in such a warm hearted activity so close to the holiday.  I happened to be goofing off on the couch alone watching A Christmas Carol, when he sent me the text asking for my large car's aid. Oddly it was a really nice time. I saw him yesterday and probably will again...though I have been a stand offish version of myself...I have to admit, it has been fun hanging around with him during my extra time when not in school and while my son is away visiting.



     My Partner in Fun here in this new world, (when my son is away) is a clever and pretty blond who works at the Admissions office at my school. She drinks with me at schmoozing get togethers and diplomatic style parties the school has as well as kindly supports me with friendship on many levels. I don't think she realizes how fond I am of her, but I show up and barge into her office in the middle of campus perpetually. She always makes me laugh, even when I am stressed to my limits. I don't know if the school realizes how much she draws in us new students...she is one of the three crucial staff members that I think of as representing the whole school aside from professors.



     When I got frustrated at the school during the application process, she not only put up with my snippy attitude over the phone, she diffused it...then she carefully guided me and the other hundreds of students she had under her belt lovingly. Without Laurel I bet the school would attract half as many people...the powers that be don't always realize that without a nice, patient front person to act as our first contact, us students would just as easily switch to another school.



      My personal theory is that if the school has a snotty first contact, the rest of the place might not be much better once I get into the school.



     Anyway Laurel is the one who turned me onto Bob....Bob is a radio station near here and it plays the best music....music from the 80's that I listened to and enjoyed long ago in my twenties...and even though I prefer to listen to music that is more recent, I also enjoy sliding into the comfy old sounds of my youth.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Patterns and Paybacks....



I am realizing some patterns. The more fretful and worrisome I get the worse my health and the slower my accomplishments...but the more I sit back, and trust...the better everything flows....

So I am amazed at how things unfold....it is like that story from the movie The Secret...you only need to see 200 feet ahead of you as your headlights illuminate the road at night...no need to see every detail of the drive you are embarking upon, right?

Too much of the time I get myself into trouble desperately trying to plan out every detail...without realizing I am never going to be able to do that...

Today I fell back into my school mode...though a case could easily be made for never having fallen out of it for the Christmas holiday. I read articles aloud in Spanish learning all the news of the day...I meditated on success and ease...then I did something I never do...I usually leave all fashion stuff to my sisters and Ex Hubby...but today I researched out what I would want to wear if I were in my dream jobs that I am studying for in my future...

I looked at Brooks Brothers suits...the top of the line, never-owned-one-because-they-are-too-expensive styles...the Ann Taylors that haunt my dreams...I found out what sort of heels are fashionable now-a-days even though I always favor flats since cheap suit or not, I am prone to run...and heels slow me down.

I went this route instead of hunting down housing that is less cold and more suitable because I felt strongly that my obsession with action was slowing me down.

Yesterday I found a lovely 3 bedroom place that is bigger, warmer, more cozy and sooooo much closer to my school that I would probably walk it every day...perfect for a roommate or two and vastly more affordable than the place I have now that had a leaky and expensive bath...terrible washer and dryer and the coldest interior I have experienced since staying a few days in Strawberry, high in the Sierras....

But I cannot constantly force stuff to happen...when I take my eyes off the ball it seems to fall into my glove...so this morning I am engaging in frivolities...I am not out of bed...it is before 7 am and yet I have played and relaxed and dreamed and enjoyed...instead of fretting and worrying.

I have been having side adventures in school realms with a few buddies that I can't divulge anything about but I can say it is much more fun to take a hands on approach to trade and economics than by studying them from afar...I have found that I have acquired useful skills while delving into my colleges...I can pour through government documents with ease...assess global finances effortlessly through my foreign policy lens and generally really walk into things that used to be way over my head...and still have a clear eyed view!

I can't wait until I start earning money and paying back my school loans...I lived a long time before college and didn't acquire these polished skills so I owe it to my professors of the past and future to be delighted as I pay all this back someday soon!

I am still baking cookies, (yesterday it was pecan shortbread snowballs in honor of Aunt Winnie!) but I can also stretch out in other directions too....