Back to the Basics of Herd Management…..

I’m getting back to the basics of why I started Herd Management. Although I love the work I’ve been doing, and I’d still LOVE to work with brands that are a great fit, the focus of my blog no longer represents my original intentions for its content. I used to feel an emotional, personal connection to Herd Management, and losing it has never been my intent.

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve just about fallen off the social media/writing grid since August, and there’s a very good reason for that!

In addition to all four of the kids going back to school, all-day long, I have gone back to school in pursuit of a Nursing degree at Troy University’s Montgomery campus… with full-time school hours. Nursing is something I’ve always wanted to do, but part of me never believed I was capable of it for a long time. I worried that my science/math abilities weren’t strong enough for me to succeed, and maybe they weren’t when I was fresh out of high school. Being a very hands-on, active mom for a decade has taught me things that will prepare me to be a better nurse, and it’s really cool to see how God works in laying the course of my life.

My husband even made me take a “1st Day of School” picture… so glad he did.

Because of my shift in focus, I will not be seeking publication on other websites for quite some time (if ever) and have decided to go back to writing purely about my children, their experiences, and my life. These posts may be MORE interesting to you, or they may not be what you’re looking for, and this blog might no longer be your cup of tea/brand of beer/choice of whisky… and that’s A-Okay! I have learned that I cannot pigeon-hole my writing to one topic or genre, and that my interests run a wide gamut that can’t be categorized into a niche. That is also A-Okay with me. Writing is one of my passions and a gift; in pushing myself to write under deadlines and about specific topics that may or may NOT be speaking to me at the time it took much of the joy and therapeutic benefit away from the experience. I’m reclaiming that.

My actual Nursing curriculum classes won’t begin until January but I decided to get a few of the non-Nursing fundamental classes out of the way, like Nutrition and Developmental Psychology, so I went back to college for the first time in 11 years this August. I also needed to complete the two pre-requisite classes I didn’t take while earning my BA in English: Anatomy and Physiology I and II. At Troy the classes are divided into Terms rather than Semester for anything EXCEPT Nursing classes, and Terms only last for 8 weeks, so the classes I’ve been taking are super fast-paced and rigorous. We’re talking weekly tests on multiple chapters in each class. For the 1st Term I tackled A&P I Lecture and Lab classes, and took Nutrition as an online course through Troy Online. I completed those three classes October 15th (with straight A’s) and then began A&P II Lecture and Lab Classes, and am taking Developmental Psychology online.

It’s been a tough balance to maintain with all of the studying and driving kids to and from school (30 minutes each way), attending football games and practices for the boys, attending all of the school and church functions we are a part of, my daughter’s horse riding times, and oh, um, LIFE… but I love it. I love school and learning, always have, and being back in school literally feels like I’m using a portion of my brain that’s been shelved for awhile. Initially I was kind of worried that me being older than most of other students pursuing nursing would make it hard to make friends, but that’s so not the case. I’ve met so many new friends and am excited that some of them will be starting the formal nursing classes with me in just a couple of months!

My professors have been great, and I really feel like school is easier this time around. One thing I was slightly nervous about, even though being a Mom and living in the country have killed most of my squeamish tendencies, was seeing and dealing with the cadavers in A&P Lab. The “ick factor” of looking at a dissected body wasn’t what concerned me; it was knowing that the body had once contained the soul of a person who had lived a life and died. Knowing the stories and unique traits of people I encounter is important to me… when I’m a nurse I want to be one that cares for the person I’m working with and not just their physical body. I know that maintaining clinical detachment and professionalism is important for everyone involved in terms of mental health, but the human element is so important to maintain in care-giving.

Looking forward to writing more this week about what the kids have been up to this fall (hint: it’s ALOT) and what else we’re up to around here!

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