Ok - so I've been neglecting this little corner of my world, I admit it's been a little too much to maintain this summer.
Summer definitely started out in low gear, I had mono. Yes, mono. Who knew old farts like me could get mono? That was a rhetorical question - I just thought I was run down. Just not enough energy to go around. I worked full-time, started dating again and managed to get through the season without too much stress. My energy is finally coming back. Just in time to start school.
So the goal is to actually finish my degree, but the method has changed a bit. There is a general lack of engineering programs available to those of us who have to work full-time. In a perfect world I would take the next three years off from work and finish school. In the real world I'm planning on about five years. The next two-two and 1/2 years will finish a pair of associates degrees/certificates. The first will be the Engineering Technology Certificate and the second will be a general transfer degree. The next two-three years will finish an English degree with a focus on Technical Communications. There are two options, one is an evening program through UW, the other is an online program through WSU. I like the UW program better - so that's plan A. Wish me luck.
I also started seeing a counselor - one of the symptoms of mono is depression. Between that and the high-stress year I'd had some outside help was definitely needed. It took some detective work to find someone that I can work with, and Joanne fits the bill nicely. Kind, compassionate, she understands that it's hard for me to trust and has the patience to help me connect and open up. She's given me some great tools for my coping toolbox. Which is exactly what I needed. It feels good to finally clear out some of the crap from my past. To recognize where my issues come from and to set them aside. One of the things that has come up in my counseling sessions is that I tend to live with a certain amount of the 'fight or flight' reflex up and running in the background of my consciousness. I'm not nervous or anything like that, just a tad detached. I tend to react on a intellectual level long before I react emotionally. I do have emotions, lots of them, they come into play a day or so later. Good in a crisis, I usually have a Plan B in place, though I rarely need it. It's at the root of a couple of my health issues. So, as I address the emotional my physical body is healing. Pretty cool.
It's been a good summer all-in-all. I'm seeing a very kind and gentle man, he's got a great sense of humor. And I truly relax around him. It's been a long time since I've been with someone that I could connect with like that. I actually miss him if I don't see him for a couple of days. We both work at Philips though not in the same department, so no conflicts there.