The beginning of the end.

It is in pajamas and on the couch that I ignore the TV and focus for once on what is about to begin:

The end.

I am now three classes and one comprehensive exam from finished with my master’s degree in rehabilitation and mental health counseling. Monday marks the start of my second-to-last semester of grad school (if all goes as planned).

It also marks the start of my second counseling practicum.

Of being new, and learning how to counsel troubled children and adolescents, one on one and in groups.

Of 46 hour work weeks (the practicum plus the paper).

Of reasons to be in three separate cities three days a week, and two separate cities two days a week, and four cities total.

Of a minimum of 300 miles, or seven hours and 45 minutes, in the car each week.

Of being in bed by 10 and awake by 6, and of not hitting the snooze. Which is probably what I’ll mourn most. The loss of the snooze button.

The truth about all this is none of it will be easy. But the point is how it goes depends on my perspective. I can wake up Monday expecting to be kicked in the pants by the semester, or I could wake up Monday expecting to kick this semester in the pants. I could call this semester impossible, or I could call it difficult.

I could call it torture (big stretch), or temporary (truth).

I could pout since it’s the end of summer break, or I could smile, since it’s the beginning of the home stretch – the beginning of the end of schedules like this one.

Until I get my PhD.