Almost.

I am almost done.  Graduated.  I have one more class, an elective which I will complete on March 7th, and I will have completed my requirements for my Masters’ degree in Professional Counseling.

I can’t believe it was nearly four and a half years ago that I’ve been doing this.  Countless hours at the computer, reading, studying, writing (and editing).  My bride has been incredibly patient and kind – and more of an encourager than I’ve ever experienced her being in our relationship.  The Princesses have been patient and, well, patient, too.  Vacation plans have changed over the past several years and my paid time off has actually excluded the three of them due to needing to be at school.

I’m thinking about what my life will be like in mid-March and how it will be different going forward than it is now.  I’m already starting to think ahead to my home improvement list: a lighting project, some landscaping that needs to be re-done, scrubbing down the shed…  Part of my list is for me to keep moving forward while the other motivation is simply to thank my bride for her constant support.

How supportive was she?  Other than being available to edit my papers (which was utilized no less than 3 times), she often ran the Princesses to wherever they needed to go, covered for me when I had to drive to school for a week, and mowed the lawn more times than any bride should ever expect.  She tells me that she finds it enjoyable, but part of me thinks she is being kind.

She is sooooo supportive that, back in 2011, when the head of the internship department at school said in one of her presentations that I would not be able to complete my internship in the state of New York – to which I called my bride in tears – she responded with a gentle, “You’re going to continue to do this.  You’re good at this.  You’ve gotten this far and you will have an internship.  I don’t know how yet, but you will.  You don’t need to know the answer now, but there is one.”

She offered to move to another state, live closer to my parents (who are near Pennsylvania), and do just about anything to ensure the reality that I complete my degree and obtain my license.  For the record, we never had to leave New York for the internship, which was completed in mid-December.

Some of the challenges we faced as I have been in classes included business travel as well.  Fortunately, most of that business travel we’ve endured was before I started school.

What am I looking forward to the most?  Continuing to apply what I learned is up there on the list, but the one thing is probably spending more time with my family.  I confess that sometimes, I let school and homework be a scapegoat, but with them at 13 and 11, it’s critical that I step it up a bit and be there for them all.  Maybe a game night each week that will be “totally lame” to the kids but will be something for them to remember for years to come.

What major milestone are you coming up against?  What are you looking forward to and how might you be challenged moving forward to, well, continue to move forward?  I write and think about transitions a lot, but what is your next hill to climb?  And what kind of support will you have on that leg of your journey?  It can’t be as wonderful as mine – she’s already taken. 🙂

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4 Responses to Almost.

  1. betraist says:

    What a wonderful story of love and sacrifice. Now the goal is actually within site, and things may be tough…pedal to the metal, Derek. This has calling written all over it.

  2. Angie B says:

    My husband is pretty great about helping out when I’m in the hairy part of a semester… Part of me doesn’t know if I want to go to grad school immediately when I’m finished with my bachelor’s, and just let go of craziness for awhile, but… there are pretty limited jobs for a bachelor’s in community counseling. Substitute teaching isn’t out of the question… but neither is plugging onward. Thanks for this… it’s inspiring to go for it.

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