I'm in that lovely crunch time in semester where I have assignments and other assessments coming out of my butt and I seriously question the sanity of going back to school. Ok, I'm always questioning the sanity of that choice!
Which has had me thinking in the last day or so as I worked on cost accounting exercises - would I be doing this if Ian hadn't died?
Initially I thought no.
He didn't have a job and was struggling to find one. I was the sole income earner, and would have had no choice but to find another role once my contract ended whenever that was going to happen. And we were hoping that Ian found a role once he finished his studies to have his UK work skills & experience recognised here.
Lots of things would be different - we'd have tried for a second child, we'd have progressed our plan to move to a bigger home in a better area, with the corresponding increased mortgage and need to be earning a decent income.
But the combination of my learning my job only had 12 months to go, followed only 2 weeks later by Ian's death was a catalyst for thinking about what I needed to, and wanted do in the future. Which lead me to find, consider and apply for my accounting course only about 4 months after Ian died. My job was going because the project unit I worked in was being closed, and the whole team at my workplace would be out of a job. Even with the massive personal issue of a dying/dead husband, I was possibly the first to have an idea on what they were going to do when our work unit was disbanded, and have that idea come to fruition.
But the more I think about it, going back to school probably would have still been the same - widowhood or not.
There's every chance I'd have still gone back to uni and studied something. Maybe not accounting, but I might well have done something. Before, and still after, I'm a firm believer in life-long learning to keep the brain ticking over. And I was already tossing around the idea of further study in the year leading up to Ian's death, anyway.
Being widowed changed my focus on the "what" to study and it changed the mode of study I'm able to undertake, but as memories and thoughts come back into the light, I've realised it hasn't fundamentally changed the "if" I would study.
Life is completely different from what it was and what I expected it to be. But maybe in the longer run there's a little bit that's not so different after all.
I've just wound up taking a very much unexpected and unwanted path to get there.