Tipping Point

I mean, I wonder where it is? How long before I break like a dry brittle reed? This morning, I spent an hour with an academic advisor, and even though I had an advisor for my current classes, it seems I repeated a requirement. Even though I specifically- emphatically- stated I needed to be efficient and not waste any time or money on redundant classes. With. An. Advisor. Fury doesn’t begin to describe it. I don’t have time for this crap. I have to finish, and finish quickly, so I can support myself and my children- I am not some 20 year old spinning my wheels trying to figure out who I am…

The people- no really, the entire department- I need to speak with are on vacation, but I have to register for fall. My shoulders burn and my head swims in the July heat, and I am unsure if I’m going to puke. I got a sitter specifically so I could take care of this without my kids. Turns out I cannot be cleared for fall registration without an online formality- which has to be done from my computer. I do not have my laptop with me- so I have to drive home, then come back- a 45 minute trip.

Swallowing my anxiety, I pick my fall classes like throwing darts at a map. From my academic sheets, it looks like they count for both departments I’m courting- but really, it looked that way for summer, too.

When I get back home, I set up the Slip-n-Slide I picked up for the kids, and get everyone in their suits. Within two minutes- I hadn’t even gotten the sunscreen washed from my hands to sit down and work on my paper- Bean jumped on the reservoir at the end and blew a huge, gaping hole in thing. Now Jeff and Abby were screaming and wailing in despair, since neither of them even got a single chance to slip or slide.

Shaking and fighting to control my own breath, and heard them in the house, and tell everyone to get out of their swimsuits and back in their clothes. I yank the hose from the blown out Slip-n-Slide and stomp back in the house, while my books and computer mock me from the kitchen table. It’s almost 1:30 now, and I haven’t even started either paper that’s due by 9 p.m. Abby is weeping, broken hearted over having to come in the house, and while I am helping her in her dry clothes, the boys begin to pummel each other again. I start to cry. Now we are all crying.

The kids are dry and watching Ang and the airbenders on Netflix, and I sit at my table, spilling the chaotic contents of my mind onto the clean white screen of my mac. I have to, or I will be helplessly sucked up in the swirling vortex of my thoughts and never be able to focus on the lives of colonial women in American history. Maybe someday some grad student will be writing a paper about me. If only the leaden knot in the pit of my belly would dissolve and unravel, and I could find the surface again.

15 thoughts on “Tipping Point

  1. Tracy,
    I just wanted to say that you are doing great! Going back to school with 3 children at home and no help is an amazing feat that you ARE accomplishing. Keep on keeping on, and if I didn’t live in Canada I’d offer to babysit for you. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  2. Wish I lived close enough to actually do something for you instead of just typing a comment. Someday you’ll look back in amazement at this time and marvel that you got through it and more than that, that you SUCCEEDED. You can do it! It doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough.

  3. Please hang in there. I’ve been reading you for a while and you are truly an inspiration. I’ll be praying for you all.

  4. I also learned the hard way (although not under nearly such hard circumstances) that advisors don’t always know what they are talking about. It’s how I ended up with enough classes for a dual Major rather than a Major and a Minor. So sorry!! I’d say you are due for some new tender mercies.

    BTW, I made your lemon bars today and they were so good, I may never make or eat any other dessert again. ever… 🙂

  5. Trying to find the silver lining in this–if you’re currently in a class you don’t need, can you drop it?

    About the slipping and sliding, sorry, no blessing in disguise in there.

  6. Days and advisors like this, suck.

    May the advisor who got you into an unneeded (but now you are stuck because of financial aid credits) class get the worlds largest sunburn while sitting by the pool. May she not sleep for a week from the discomfort.

    For everyone else at that stupid school who isn’t there to help you, may their car tires go flat, may they get rashes in unspeakable places and finally, may they have every fricken thing that can go wrong on their vacation go that way with a bullet.

    I hate problems created by other human beings. It is SO rude.

  7. I went back to look at the goals I posted over at MMW at the beginning of the year (to help motivate myself to finish them), and I noticed your goals right below them. Guess what? You accomplished them! I thought that might be a nice thought as you’re plowing through all the work you have to do right now. Good job, and good luck!


      • No, those were huge and important goals. You should be proud of yourself for accomplishing them. And what prompted me going back and looking at the goals was struggling to get myself writing (you know, procrastinating one project by finding another one).

  8. hey. You don’t know me.
    But I read and think about you a lot!

    Today I hope and pray for you that you will be able to see something, anything on the horizon, just a glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel. I hope today will be better for you.

    Keep on keepin on.

  9. So I realize that it’s a pain in the backside, and that if you wait some classes will fill, but can’t you sign up for a full load of whatever and then change your registration when the people you need to talk to have reappeared?

  10. Survival Mode is just that. Simply surviving moment by moment – and you are undoubtedly there. You will survive, because you have no choice. As much as you may want to lie down and throw a temper tantrum and hope for someone to rescue you, you can’t. You must keep going. There are no choices here – and that’s the hard part. But you are strong, you are determined, and you are surrounded on all sides by angels. You will do it because you must, not because you want to. I’ve been there. I promise that when you are through gasping for breath, you will turn your face toward the breeze and smile and you will KNOW that the Lord was carrying you all along.

    I meant it when I said I’ve been there. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s lonely. But it does end.

    I’m 2600 miles away or I would watch your children, drive carpool, bring you food, and grocery shop for you. In this case, I hope my words help.

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