Saturday, August 24, 2013

Deep thoughts

“You’ve been doing a lot of thinking,” said my massage therapist.

“You must be psychic. You should combine psychic services with massage therapy,” I said.

No psychic ability needed; people who suffer from migraines or do a lot of thinking tend to have a ton of tension in the muscle that goes into the base of their skull. She told me the name of the aforementioned muscle, but I was too busy enjoying my massage to recall the name. Although I suffer from migraines, I haven't had one since my last massage, so I agreed with her clinical impressions. I also had a terrible run later that evening. The next day I learned that you’re not supposed to take part in strenuous exercise after having a massage. Good to know! But I digress…

There’s been a lot to think about recently. I’ll start with the potentially less life-impacting thing first: purchasing another car. We’re going to keep Jay’s truck Charlene as well as sweet Roxie, who has nearly 300k miles on her. Roxie is a great commuter car and good for at least half a million miles. We also wouldn’t get much money for trading her in. There are so many decisions to be made. New or used? What should we buy? SUV or wagon? There are a lot of models in the running. Jay wants a new car and thinks that is where all the deals are. Although I would love a new car, I’m leaning towards used so that we can get more bells and whistles (heated leather seats are awesome).

Now on to the real thinking – about life. I’m not passionate about my job. I’m not making a difference. Although I’m sure that if you asked some of the physicians, I’m making a difference in their lives by giving them a terrible schedule. I also listen to them whine and gripe about each other (the inference I get is that I'm also supposed to do something about the offender). Sometimes the complaints are legitimate, others not so much. Apart from the occasional “Thanks for the great schedule!” emails, there isn’t much enjoyment I get from work apart from my paycheck. Of course, this is not to say that I don’t like my job.  I gain satisfaction from completing a project or compiling and presenting data in new and exciting ways. I’m happy when people tell me that I’m doing a good job. These are basic things, but it keeps me sane. I’ve made a few friends. The money is decent and I like my bosses. This will do for at least the next few years.

However, it’s time for me to start thinking about #26 on my 101 list. That is “Figure out what I want to be when I grow up or figure out my degree path.” This happens to coincide with #8 on my bucket list: Get my 4 year degree. 

The fastest way to that four year degree is through either a business administration degree or a psychology degree. A psych degree is pretty much useless unless I’m planning to get a PhD (however I may do a double major just because I have so many psych courses already). The business administration field is just not my thing. A marketing approach might be fun so that I could be creative, but I don’t see myself as the business type. With a degree in social work, I could earn my master’s degree while working in the field. Ultimately, I’d like to either have my own private counseling practice or work in the schools. The benefit to working in the schools is that I would finally have that extended vacation time that I’ve been looking for. School counselor jobs are hard to come by around here, so I would have to be patient for an opening to come up.

Fortunately for me, Salisbury University offers a bachelors and masters of social work through the Higher Education Center at Chesapeake College. From the information I’ve been able to track down, there are four or five general ed classes that I’ll need to take before being able to enroll in the social work curriculum. I’ll find out which ones those are when I meet with an advisor, but I’m pretty sure they will be bio and history courses. 

As usual, this epiphany occurred a little too late for me to get my act together and sign up for fall classes. I will have the next few months to prepare my mind for the spring semester and make some tough decisions about how much time I can devote to the organizations that I love. 

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