Saturday, March 22, 2014

Back to School

When I was in college, I remember seeing a quote that went something like:

Every day do something for the sole reason that you don't want to.

I have no idea who said it and can't seem to find it now so I may be remembering it all wrong.  Regardless, the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone has always stuck with me.  So many times when an opportunity presents itself, my gut reaction is always to say no.  Even when it is something non-threatening like going out to lunch with someone.  Although, if I ignore my gut and do it, pretty much every time I'm happy that I did.

With my new job came the opportunity to get a new certification.  I already have one for a specialized area but this one is much more broad and covers every aspect of my profession (I won't bore you with details about auditing!).  I had actually considered doing this on my own when I was unemployed because I thought it would help me find a job.  Even though I'm now working, it can only help me in my current position and put me in a better position if I find myself unemployed again.

Even though I knew all this, when it was first suggested, I hesitated.  I've been out of school a long time.  This is a three part exam that will probably take about a year to complete.  That means hours and hours of studying and then concentrating through 2+ hours of testing at a time.  I was really tempted to say I didn't have the time to commit to it.  But then I realized that was crazy.  My daughter is in high school and always busy with her own activities.  She certainly doesn't need much of my time any more.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized this is actually the best time for me to do this.  Plus, what kind of example would I be setting for her if I didn't continue to improve myself?  I always tell her that you have to keep learning so it is only right that I lead by example.

So I agreed to work towards my certification.  I ordered a study program and immediately became overwhelmed!  But I quickly fell back into the routine of studying.  I worked out a plan of attack and scheduled all my study sessions for Part 1 in my calendar.  I'm now 5 weeks into it.  I'm hoping to take the first exam sometime in April.  Some of the sections have been easier than others but even when I struggle, I just keep going.  One chapter in particular is just killing me.  I've taken quiz after quiz and I feel like I'm getting worse!  But even when I get frustrated, I'm enjoying the challenge.  Losing my job last year was a bit of a blow to my confidence but now I can feel it coming back.  It feels good to take on a challenge and feel like I'm really accomplishing something.

Last year my big challenge was running that 5K.  Hopefully this will be just as successful as that!