Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Housekeeping

Wanted to do some quick updates.....

1. I AM going to 20 Mule Team. If it doesn’t rain. Or if my horse doesn’t kill me between now and then (have I mentioned lately she has turned into a little fuzzy MONSTER?). If you are going to 20MT and are interested in buying or renting renegades, please let me know what you are interested in! I only carry a select inventory of rental boots (ie – orange) in the most common sizes. This means I can fit you for a pair of rentals, but if you want to buy boots in a certain color or size, please let me know ASAP so I can order in time to have them at 20 MT– this includes glueon boots.

2. I have a new blog for you’all: http://vetontheedge.blogspot.com. This guy makes even the weather entertaining.

3. Thank you to Monica for the blog award. (her blog is: www.tbeventer.blogspot.com). I haven’t had an award for quite some time and I must admit that I’m flattered to get one. Getting the award “picture” and all that jazz is WAY too difficult from work, so if you are interested in what it looks like or even what it’s called, go over to Monica’s blog and take a look. I do happen to know I’m suppose to pass it on to 7 “new” blogs – Google reader is not cooperating right now so I don’t have addresses to give you, BUT, when I find a good “new” blog I do my best to pass it on to my readers.

4. A big welcome to my new readers and/or commentors. I can’t post in the comments during the week right now – but for all you people who posted on the breeches post who I haven’t heard from before, THANK YOU. I love that I have local people reading the blog that I’ve never met in person before – maybe I’ll see you’all at a ride some day?

5. Vet school update. There really isn’t an update. It seems both silly NOT to post on something that occupies 98% of my thoughts at any one time, and equally silly to post on something that I have no further information than: I have submitted my application, I have gotten confirmation that my application is complete.

Applying to grad school as an adult with a career is very different from applying as an undergraduate student, or one that has been out for a year or two. I’m giving up a lot to do this. It’s sobering to realize that I have enough $$ saved for vet school I could go out and put a down payment on the ranch of my dreams and start living the lifestyle I’ve wanted since I was a little girl. And I currently make enough $$ in my career that I could sustain that life. I could have multiple endurance horses and go to rides every weekend. I could have a home to call my own. I could continue to save for retirement. I could continue to train in dressage and jumping and compete at Pebble Beach. I could continue to wear fancy cocktail dresses to work parties and sip expensive wine. Instead I’m going to take that money and go to school. By the time my four years are done, the $$ will be gone, I will have a load of debt, I will be restarting my career, and my retirement savings will have been put on hold for at least 5 years (during a period of time that is crucial to saving). In reality, that ranch is probably a long ways away.

In a way, this is my one and only and best chance of getting in. I have already given notice at my job that I will be leaving sometime early summer. If I don’t get into school this year, the application committee expects you to make substantial improvements to your application to be considered for the next year. I will get notified in March if I don’t get in. That gives me less than 6 months to gain any additional experience I need and redo my letters of reference. If being in this job 5 years and having top-end references, including one from the VP (who is also a vet) doesn’t get me in this year, there’s no reason to stay an additional year. In reality, although I may be able to apply for entry into the 2012 fall admissions, I probably won’t be a serious contender again until 2013.

Right now, I’m focusing on the “for sures” and leaving all the “what ifs” until March, when I know whether I’ve been accepted. In a way, it’s good that it’s taking so long to go through the application process. I have time to decide what is really important in my life and what can be sacrificed and what can’t. Farley is important and a priority, competing with her isn’t. Something as intensive as vet school will take its toll on personal relationships – what relationships can be sacrificed and which ones have priority? Having almost a year between staring the application process and notification of admission means I have time to think and consider what getting into school will mean. I have a long time to say goodbye to my current life and to appreciate what I’m doing NOW, and even to grieve for the things I’m really going to miss. This week I got thrown a curve ball that may mean that I’m able to do even less than I thought during school in terms of recreational activities such as endurance. It’s a very real possibility I may not do endurance at all while in vet school, or it may be reduced to one local 50 miler per year – or maybe just to volunteering at a local endurance ride. But these thoughts are all “what ifs” – so back to the “for sures”.

The “for sures”
  • I’m quitting my job in early summer (exact month will depend on a number of factors, so that is in the category of “what ifs”). Originally it was my intention to give notice 4-3 weeks prior to quitting, but I started being very open about my intention to quit in November because of some circumstances at work – and it becomes a sort of insurance: I told everyone I was quitting and going to grad school this fall, so now there’s no backing down! I did my 3 marathons in a similar way – I told everyone I knew that I was doing a specific marathon so I couldn’t wimp out! There are some advantages of being labeled a “short-timer”. I never thought I would be happy being a “mediocre employee”. However, now I understand better the shift I’ve seen in co-workers: high achieving performers go off on maternity leave and return post-child and they seem less driven and focused – their priorities have shifted. I’m still the same person that cares about doing a good job, but my definition of “good job” has changed because I *can’t* do everything.
  • I’m moving in early summer out of my apartment. And now I know where I’ll be going, at least for the summer , and I know where my stuff will be stored.
  • Related to the point above, that fact makes these facts “for sures”: I need to get rid of as much stuff as possible, pack everything into boxes. I have started a Keep/Sell/Giveaway list.
  • Farley will be moving to my parents in the summer into a pasture. I will be quitting lessons, and will not be competing in horse shows. I need to sell all non-essential horse equipment and gear in order to do some pasture improvements (build a shelter, set up a feed area that won’t get yucky – which includes mats and gravel – etc.) and maybe create a riding area/dressage court.
  • I will be leaving a church (that I love) in Turlock and will need to find another one close to where I’m living.
  • Jonah will become an outdoor ranch cat at my parents. (Mickie is still a “what if”)

Focusing on the “for sures” definitely makes me feel better, and makes everything seem a little less chaotic. I’m alternating between can’t-contain-myself-exhileration-dancing-in-the street and just-stay-in-bed-and-eat-popcorn moods but it’s working for now!

2 comments:

  1. Those are HUGE changes, Mel! I wish you all the best with all of them, of course.

    You will know in March if you DON'T get into vet school...will they tell you earlier if you DO get in? Argh. I wonder if the admissions offices know what they do to us?

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  2. I TOTALLY get the vet school thing occupying 98% of your mental time....I'm still in the same boat (I commented a little while back about vet school.) I've heard from Colorado, Cornell, NCState and VaTech, but Davis takes the longest!! Being a Virginian, VaTech was always my best bet because of the in-state thing and I've got an interview on the 28th. I might know if I get an offer from VaTech before I hear if I even get an interview from Davis!! BTW, I think interview offers go out in Feb...no specific date. I know I'll be checking my email about 10,000 times a day come Feb!!!
    Oh, and you're not alone about giving up the whole career thing....I'm 30 and have a solid job/career. People think I'm nuts, but it all comes down to whether you want to be doing something meaningful with the 1/3 of your waking life you spend at work, or just doing the 9-5 thing. Personally, I can't stomach the thought of just plugging away, working on crap that doesn't mean something to me for the rest of my working life.
    HOWEVER, keep in mind that going to vet school doesn't guarantee the job of your dreams. My equine vet recently left the area to take care of her mom, and she had to go back to nursing (she was an RN before a vet) b/c there just aren't equine vet jobs out there. I've talked to some vets at an endurance ride and they agreed that there aren't a ton of jobs for large animal vets. We keep hearing about this dramatic shortage of large animal/food animal vets, but in reality there isn't the paying clientele base to support more vets....ergo all those school loan repayment plans for students who go into large animal practice. Even the govt acknowledges that you can't make enough money practicing to pay for the education!
    Sorry for the super long rant!

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