THE BLOG
12/29/2010 10:38 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Lessons Learned and Those to be Mastered

It's Christmas Day and we've spent it with family and friends. It has also been a day where I am trying to get back into school mode and am actually back to reading some of the suggested readings that I could not quite get to during my MSC at Northwestern. So much so that when my husband, who has the week off, suggested a road trip, I shook my head. I must read at least some of the texts assigned for the Winter quarter while I have the time, I insist. With a house move looming and full time work on the horizon, I can't be irresponsible when blessed with time. You see, I've learned my lesson. I have paid the price when I "put off for tomorrow what I could do today" and then had a totally unexpected crazy busy week, which left me careening on the edge of insanity, playing catch up. Oh how I kicked myself for not having used my down time to get reading or homework done - to get that rip taken care of before it became a tear. The scenario repeated itself once or twice before I learned my lesson.

But better late than never, it eventually became a 'learning experience' . 'Get it done when you have a chance, even if it's not urgent' has become my motto. So I fill the gas tank in my car when I have a chance, without waiting for it to get low. I no longer wait for it to run almost empty, like I did before my MSC program began. After all, who knows when there may be an emergency and I absolutely need a full tank of gas and have no time to stop at a gas station? Similarly, I purchase stamps as soon as I run out of them without waiting to actually need them, and I've taken to buying milk in bulk even before the current batch in my fridge runs out. I hang the parking permit in my car days before I head off to campus and yes, I've even requested some of the texts we need during the quarter via interlibrary loan since my public library didn't carry them.

It wasn't listed on my tuition bill but improved time-management is surely one of my Northwestern-earned lessons. Still, I realize, there's a ways to go before I pat myself on the shoulder. After all, I am currently down to my last parking permit when I could have replenished the lot without leaving it to the last minute. Ah, yes. There is always room for improvement. And that is precisely what New Year's Resolutions are for...