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February 03, 2005 - Thursday, 3:49 p.m.

Happy 69th Birthday, Mom!

Well, that was a long silence from me. What a busy week that was! Where to start? My class was something else. When I finished up day one I was thinking, “WHAT THE HELL DID I SPEND MONEY TO DO THIS FOR?” I was tired and not too happy with the class. By the end of the second day I was thinking, okay, there is some value here I suppose, but “WHY THE HELL DID I TAKE ALL THESE DAYS OFF FROM WORK?” By about half way through the third day it all started to pull together and make sense. By the last day it was just fine. It was an exhausting 4 days… made longer by me, I went into the first day with about 5 or 6 hours of sleep. I never got more then 4 hours of sleep until Sunday night. It’s been a long slow week of just trying to feel rested.

What I got out of this group of classes was the importance of setting not only ground rules and the consequences for not following them, but learning a sense of what standards are. It helped me to look at what standards I’ve set in my life and it started me on a path of really setting standards in my life. My first task being to try to create some sense of what rights, responsibilities and privileges that I want in my household, and I have begun a dialogue with my kids on what we want that to look like and then will formalize it so we can all agree to it. It’s about making concrete changes in your life. Tangible changes. It’s an interesting process. I feel better about life and more open to my own potential. I feel more animated and alive then I can remember ever feeling in my life.

I see a lot of value in these classes, but have struggled with some of the methods of the staff to keep people in the program. It is very much a hard sell on some people and that has alienated them. I am keeping my network with them, but they aren’t happy or even contemplating continuing on. I am fine with that, and will maintain the friendships for as long as they hang around. Mark is one that is struggling with it, but as I am pretty sure he’d have dropped out after the first 2 hours of the second course, I have little incentive to encourage him to continue on. Our friendship has survived it, so no problems there.

School is gearing up, time to get focused on homework. Lots of finance to do, and it’s a little dry right now. The management class has lots of reading I need to do, and our project which two weeks ago felt dreadful, actually looks to be an interesting assignment. I’ve changed, not the assignment.

I started reading “Kitchen Confidential” this weekend. It’s well written and I am feeling like I’d rather read it then my homework. :o)

I talked to Gary on Monday. We talked some about school. The deeper he gets into school, the more I find I have in common with him. I’d love nothing more then to see him stay in the world of academia and really contemplate teaching at the University level. I’d have never dreamed he’d have any interest in teaching ten years ago. He tells me he is really enjoying school and that if he could he’d love to just keep going to school forever. He said if he were younger he’d pursue a sociology/psychology degree. However, he’d just want to be in research, not counseling. He’s grown up so much. The more I talk to Mark, the more interesting Gary becomes. Go figure. He is really pulling his life together. I’m proud of him.

Today is my mother’s 69th birthday. Man, she doesn’t look much over 50. There was a terrible blizzard the day my grandma went into labor with my mom, it was a chore to get to the hospital 20 miles away and required horses, a snow plow and a car. She arrived at the hospital to find that things weren’t going well. The baby wasn’t going to be born. They told her that she needed a c-section, something very rarely done in 1936, and even MORE rarely in the middle of North Dakota. They told her if she didn’t do it, that both she and the baby would die. The alternative was that if she did the c-section that the baby would live, but she had a 50-50 chance of living. No choice. Mom was born that day, February 3, 1936 in Minot, North Dakota via c-section (probably the doctors first attempt at that procedure). My grandma was in the hospital for one month. They did a lousy job with the muscles and the incision. The muscles never did heal right, but she did have a lovely, sweet baby girl, the apple of her father’s eye, my mom. My grandma, she’s still around; she turns 101 on March 22, 2005. :o) Life’s amazing.

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