Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Getting Ahead of Myself....

Last week was kind of stressful.  The kids started school.  I started school.  I had always thought that when both of my boys were in school full time I would take a class at UNH.  Something interesting. Something just for fun. So, as my kids got on the bus to tackle the first and fourth grades, I also headed out to begin my own first day.  Rusty and anxious but excited. 
I say ‘excited’ because that was not the case a month ago.  Nope, a month ago I was anything but excited.  I was anxious and stressed for sure but not really looking forward to the class I was taking.  See, I was actually signed up to take Statistics.  You know, the class that everyone dreads and avoids like the plague until they absolutely have to take it.  Yeah, that one.  You are probably wondering why on earth I would be taking a class like this when I initially wanted to take something interesting and fun.  Good question.  You see, I am the kind of person who tends to get ahead of herself.  In this particular situation, it went something like this in my head:

Looking at the UNH course catalog:  Hummm, these sociology classes look really interesting.  This one about Family would be really cool.  What if I like sociology?  What if one class leads to another and another?  What would it take to get a Masters in Sociology?  Am I smart enough to do that? Maybe. How much are classes these days anyway?  Holy crap!  That’s a lot of money.  I should meet with someone in the graduate program and find out what prerequisites I would need because I don’t want to be taking classes willy-nilly at THOSE prices. 
After meeting with Graduate Department:  okay, so I need to take Statistics, a Methods class and a Theory class.  Hummm, it makes most sense to start out taking Statistics because it is the foundation of how Sociologists do their research.  Okay then, Statistics it is!

And that my friends, is how Kathy Harter went from “taking a fun class” to “getting her Masters” in a field she has yet to decide if she even likes.  Thankfully, after a conversation with my therapist, I was able to take a step back and reevaluate.  To ask myself how I ended up being where I didn’t want to be.  And how do I get back to where I actually want to be?
When I get ahead of myself I think it partly has to do with fear.  Fear of getting to the end of my life and having missed my purpose.  Never getting to where I was supposed to be. Where I was meant to be.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the phrase, “ I don’t want to miss God’s will for my life” or “ God has a plan for your life and you don’t want to miss it”.  Knowing God’s will is big in my subculture.  So, I try to figure out how God might be leading me and then come up with a plan.  But sometimes the plan takes on a life of its own and I get stuck in the very thing I have created  (and sign up for a very ‘un-fun’ class).

I wonder if God’s will is different than I have made it out to be?  That it has more to do with becoming than arriving.  More about a journey than a destination.  I wonder if it is less complicated…..simpler?  . That He loves me and wants to heal me.  To make me whole and slowly transform me into the person I was meant to be.  What if His will just sort of unfolds as I go along?  My experiences being like stepping stones; each one leading to the next. I could worry less about getting to where I think I should be and focus on who I am becoming. 
I think there is some wisdom in that.  When I get ahead of myself and try to force things in my life, it often produces a great deal of anxiety and stress. But when I take each day and allow life to happen, I tend to enjoy life more.  And honestly,  when I look back on my life, there have been  a lot of twists and turns that I never would have anticipated.  I would  have NEVER been able to map out the path that has brought me to the place I am today. 

So, I dropped the Statistics class and signed up for the Family class.  And I am going to try and let go.  To embrace the unknown of the future.  To step on one stone at a time and leave the bigger picture to God.  Trusting He will get me wherever it is a need to be, when I need to be there.


  1. Sounds great! The past is gone, the future hasn't happened yet, so why not take something you would enjoy right now? I agree, for what it's worth.

  2. I loved this Kathy! And so glad that you are doing what you had planned on doing, taking a fun class. God's plan isn't always for us to know right away, or that we have to know the end of it. Like you said, I believe it is the journey just as much as the destination.

  3. I love this blog Kathy! It speaks to me. I could totally see myself in what you wrote here. The paragraph that started with " wonder if God’s will is different than I have made it out to be? That it has more to do with becoming than arriving. More about a journey than a destination." really struck me. Because I have found lately that the more I let go and trust in God to lead me in the right direction the more my life seems to be flowing smoother, happier, easier. With less worry about things. It's not always easy, worry comes natural to me, but I think you hit the nail on the head, that is what God wants us to learn. To be patient and to trust him rather than always worrying about the what ifs.

  4. This is great Kathy! One step at a time... those stones will keep turning up for you to walk on.

  5. If it makes you feel any better for when you have to: I switched to Sociology when I went back to UNH the second time and not only LOVED it (even though I couldn't afford to keep going until I finished), Stats wasn't as bad as everyone made it out to be and I actually *gasp* enjoyed it.

  6. Here's all you need to know about statistics:

    Don't trust statistics.

    The end.