August is probably an odd month to be thinking about resolutions, but it occurs to me after going back through some of the comments that my New Years Resolution Post needs a follow up. In that post I had said that my sole goal for this year was to continue working on getting in to graduate school. I also said that I would consider making some mid- or late- year goals.
As it turns out, I was able to achieve my goal. I was accepted into a Masters Program in Experimental Psychology. I was even offered an assistantship to cover the cost of tuition and earn a little bit of cash. I was thrilled at the prospect of getting paid to be a student. For three years, my singular goal had been getting in to graduate school. Ultimately, I plan to get a Ph.D., and once I start the masters program my highest priority long term goal will be to get into a doctoral program. Unfortunately, though I had to turn down the offer for admission into Augusta State’s program. At the moment I only have one priority higher than my education, and that priority is in the process of expanding.
Shortly after I wrote the Resolutions post I found out that my wife was pregnant with our first child. Initially, I was tried to figure out how to work graduate school into the equation. I had convinced myself that I could make it work. Grad school had been my only focus for quite a while, and I didn’t want to wait any longer to continue my education. However, during one of the ultrasounds, the doctors discovered that my son will be born with a cleft lip and palate. This is one of the most common birth defects, and is usually correctable with surgery. But having to endure multiple surgeries with a newborn child, I knew that school was out, at least for now.
In deciding that school would be delayed I faced another difficult question. Over the last three years I have started and completed hundreds of tasks. Each one of these was added to my task list, and checked off when completed. One item has stayed at the top, remaining incomplete, reminding me of the goals that I had set. I was ready to check off that item this summer. Officially I had accomplished the goal: to get accepted into graduate school.
But as I looked at that item each day since getting accepted, I had to ask myself, should I mark it complete or not? I am reluctant. I have grown so used to it being there, that I would miss it if it were gone. I suppose I could mark it complete, and make a new task. But I am used to this one, so for now it remains incomplete, reminding me of what’s ahead.