Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pre-Birth Goals

Earlier this year, I set several pre-birth goals for myself, knowing how much life changes with a newborn.

In the beginning of June, I fulfilled my first goal: achieving the Competent Communicator distinction in Toastmasters (10 speeches in a variety of modes). Toastmasters has been such a blessing this year, as the people who are part of our chapter motivate me to keep pushing myself. So many times we have talked about goals and goal-setting, and although I haven't set formal personal achievement-oriented goals for many years, they motivated me to do so.

Now I have fulfilled my second major goal, which was to take my real estate courses (three), study, and sit for and pass the real estate salesperson exam. Balancing the time I dedicate to my home and family with the time needed to do coursework and study has been challenging, to say the least. Yet the reward is great: I sat for my exam this past Tuesday, and I just found out today that I have passed it!!

I was very intimidated going into the exam, because I read somewhere that it has only a 50% pass rate and that most people fail it on the first try. Lots of people recommended that I take a weekend crash course during which actual test questions are discussed, but frankly, I didn't want to spend money on that when those funds could be put to different use for my family (like one or even two semesters worth of music for Katie right now, or a dresser/changing table for Eric). My dad also inspired me because he took both his salesperson test and broker test and studied for them entirely on his own---and passed them both the first time. I wanted to try my best on the exam just by working hard, really hard...and to see what might happen with my tried and true methods.

It's been an intense couple of months. I finished my coursework in late winter and then began the studying-for-the-exam process. I have studied every Saturday for three hours for a couple of months. The only Saturday I missed was David and Ashley's wedding, and I made up for it on the following Sunday. I was pretty strict with myself on keeping up the Saturday schedule. I also studied many mornings before Katie would wake up and often when she napped. It feels so good to know I will now be able to wake up and not have to look at my flashcards or re-read chapters and make notes. I had some practice exams, but those turned out to be much harder than what I saw on Tuesday. Still, I am glad I practiced on the hardest questions I could find: it is better to walk into a test and see more straightforward items than to see items that are more difficult than expected, right?

I am so relieved and so thankful to all those who helped me carve out study time. I know that earning my license has now opened a door for me to help provide for our family should I ever need to do so. I can always teach, and now I have other options, too. Life is about potentiating ourselves, because we never know what journey is around the corner. I am excited to be working for/with my dad, and I know I still have much to learn. As an independent contractor, I will now have the possibility of working in a career that would leave me more time/time I choose with my children. If I ever go back to work full time, we need not give up our music classes or gymnastics---things not possible if I went back to the classroom. These have been the motivating thoughts through all of these months. I put extra pressure on myself and felt so anxious before the exam, because I know I am doing this for Katie and Eric. I had to pass this exam...because I need to be responsible for providing for them should anything happen to Bill, I need to find ways to control my work schedule, and I need to make sure that I am planning far enough into the future such that they will both be able to attend the college of their choosing/college that chooses them.

All of my immediate family has heard me lament and lament my nerves for the past few weeks. They all assured me I would pass, but I am not arrogant enough to have thought so. Doubt is my nemesis. I am so glad to have the period of doubt behind me.

And two significant pre-birth goals have now been checked off my list!

Remaining stated goal: finish my cross stitch sampler.

In the past couple days I have added a few more "nice-if-I-get-it-done" goals, but those kinds of goals tend to be a little weaker.

I am so excited that I do not have to worry about this test anymore! It's been a big part of my life this year... And now I can just play and play and play! Whew! Just in time: the summer is rolling along and we have so many family events and fun memories coming up!