Monday, May 9, 2011

I'll Stick Around

Many moons ago, and a year after I graduated, I started working on my MBA at night while I worked during the day.  There was no burning desire to actually obtain this degree except for the constant and annoyingly persistent phone calls on Thursday nights from my friend Laura...someone who had survived the Finance program at Troy (and a certain professor who thought that women had no place whatsoever in the financial world) along with me.  I finally applied and ended up finishing the program two years later and have always been grateful to her for prodding me into it...and also very proud that I did it.  Had I waited a year longer to start...I might not have finished since I was pregnant with Jill four months after I graduated.  Why yes, timing IS everything.

Oh, I could have manufactured every excuse known to man to quit...and sometimes I'd actually entertain the idea.  Things like...I had to pay for it myself and was making nothing, I was tired, I had to go through Accounting and Economics AGAIN...not to mention two Statistics classes, and I was newly married and working all day!  But I didn't.  I stuck it out.

For this ability and obsession with finishing something...I credit my mother.  She never let me quit anything.  Not in the middle of it, anyway.  Oh, I was allowed to quit dancing lessons before they started that Fall, but not in January when she had already paid for the recital costume and she knew that my problem was that I didn't want to change clothes in the sub-zero bathroom of the Armory.  She never let my little sister, Linda, quit cheerleading when she was less than six years old and wanted to sit in the stands with her Mama when the weather started getting cold.  She marched her back out there and that was that. 

There's a lot to be said for sticking it out.  For sticking around when something looks hopeless...for perservering when people tell you you've lost your mind.  I've found that when people tell me that I'm on the wrong is a pretty good sign that I'm not.  But maybe that's just me.  I always do tend to want to make things impossibly difficult...or take the road less traveled just because it's there.

I'm also not the only one, either.

Because we switched from one cable provider to another, I lost a lot of programs and movies I had stored on DVR.  No big deal, right?  Well, probably not to a normal person...but I tend to watch the same things over and over.  Needless to say, I lost "Pride and Prejudice" and a Hallmark Christmas movie that I watched about once a month.  And just so you know...when I mean over and over...I mean literally...over and over.  I've seen "Legally Blonde" something like 100 times.  Same with "Maid in Manhattan" and "You've Got Mail."

Of course, Big Dave lost his Clint Eastwood collection and a ridiculous number of other movies (that I'd rather eat paint than watch) that he saw fit to I felt it was somewhat fair.  However, we've been a little slow about filling up episodes and movies on the new DVR...which I suppose is good.  I've only recorded one thing...the Foo Fighters documentary "Back and Forth" that ran on VH-1 a few weeks ago. 

I've watched it at least eight times since then.  Okay...maybe more.

Anyway, other than being a fan of the music...I am a fan of the fact that a guy (Dave Grohl) who was a drummer for a very successful band (Nirvana) decided to be a guitarist and frontman for his own band (Foo Fighters).  He took songs he wrote to a studio and recorded all of the instrumentation on all of the songs except one (had a guest guitarist).  He did this in five days.  He handed out cassettes of the songs to people and started getting interest from record labels.  When he signed, he had to find a band to tour.  He's been at it now for the past sixteen years.

Rock on.

In the documentary, it outlines how they got from that little cassette made in a studio because he didn't know what else to do with himself after Nirvana broke up when Kurt Cobain a band that puts out a wide range of songs of which I love the vast majority. 

Yeah, I think he'll stick around...

Sometimes people ask me why I am so devoted to the rock genre (one of my top three favorite bands is "Third Day" - a Christian rock group) and I'm not entirely sure.  I've just never outgrown it.  I love drums and loud guitars and cymbals.  I just do.  Maybe it goes back to those days when I was in graduate school...

As I drove home from those classes at night...after being all jacked up on Diet was hard for me to settle down.  I'd get home and would toss and turn as the caffeine kept the lectures rolling through my brain.  I needed to sleep, but I just couldn't seem to unwind.  Then one evening after class, I turned on the local rock station and heard Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and I turned it up and sang for awhile. 

(Okay, FINE...I didn't really know anything but the chorus...but I was in the car by myself and I was singing what I knew.  I still do this, by the way, so don't laugh if you see me at a stoplight.)

When I got home that night I decided that I was going to go out and buy the cassette (yes, I had stepped up from 8-track and my stylin' 1984 Honda Accord had a tape player) the next day.  Apparently I did...because I distinctly remember playing that tape on the way home from class at high volume...every night.  I graduated to another tape and then went back and forth between the two.  And yes, I probably replayed the same songs on those tapes over and over because I was trying to learn the words. 

I still pretty much do that, too, by the way.

What I found was that the loud music overrode what is probably some undiagnosed ADD...and I was able to sleep like a baby.  I've also found that at times when I am extremely stressed out and my mind is going in forty different directions, if I listen to something loud...I can focus.

Lately, I've been doing a lot of this, if truth be told.

Because "lately" has not been a cakewalk.  It has been busy and difficult and awful some days and exciting and overwhelming and amazing other days.  Sometimes all of the above in the same day.

But I'll stick around.  I'll get through it.  I'll overcome it.  It's what I do.

And it is what you do, too.  Every day that you get up and have a to-do list that has to get accomplished...and somehow you get through it.  When you meet needs and you give of yourself and then someone asks for something else and you dig down deep and figure out how to give beyond your wildest dreams.  Those times when someone sees something in you that you don't see in yourself...but you give it a shot anyway.   And those times when you don't quit even though everything and everyone is telling you that you should. 

It's tough...but you're tougher.  Stay at it.  Move forward.  Stick around.  Rock on.

And if all else fails...I have a documentary you can watch...


  1. Yep, that 5th from the bottom paragraph would pretty much describe the last few months at go girl!

  2. Karen, thanks SO much for this one!! I think I may cry as it seems it was written just for me! Those last paragraphs spoke to me loud and clear! It has been a tough long road. Working, single mom, earning that degree and wanting that Educator's license plate on the back of my car!!

  3. Thanks for being such an inspiration to those who are going through what you have been through. Thanks for making women realize education is important.