Nursing school at 53? You bet!

This week, I’m traveling for work, which changes my daily schedule just enough that it can be difficult to carve out enough time here.

With that in mind, I had thought I would repost some favorites from the past, starting with this:

In the end, about one person attended for every year it’s been since our graduation from Chariton High School 30 years ago.

By my count, 28 people showed up at Carpenter Hall in Chariton to represent the CHS Class of 1985. The group photo shows 17 classmates plus one from the Class of 1986. Check that, Mark McVey, Classmate No. 18, took the photo and refused to get in front of his camera.

I wrote that five years ago. It seemed worth sharing again since we were supposed to meet this month for our 35th reunion, but decided to postpone the get-together because of the pandemic. With any luck, we’ll have an even bigger and better crowd next year when we hope to get together.

My plan was to stop here for today. But then I saw Teresa Buckalew taking a knee in the center of the group photo. She is one of three people in that photo whom I have known since kindergarten — relationships that are approaching 50 years. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about Teresa’s life since we graduated from high school. I think she is a member of the city council in the small town where she grew up. From her Facebook page, I know she is a proud mom and grandma. She is a dog lover and gardener.

A couple of weeks ago, she wrote on her Facebook page about a big life change:

I have had a very trying 5 months, a very select few know a fleeting of what is going on. But in the process, I have learned something, finally, about myself. I love healing and the process. This is why I have decided to try to become an RN. There are so many other possibilities of where this could go and lead, and I did not even know myself, and and I’m still on the tip of the iceberg where I could take myself with this!

This is really admirable. Going back to school in your 50s — with classmates who are young enough to be your children — is a good way to overturn the apple cart that is your life.

Last month, I finished a two-year MBA program. There were times in the past two years when I felt for sure I had bitten off more than I could chew. But thanks to encouragement from some members of my tribe, I stuck it out. The same can be true for Teresa or any of us — regardless of how we challenge ourselves — if we just keep trying, working hard and moving ahead.

There will be mental and physical challenges associated with nursing school, but Teresa can tackle them if she believes in herself. I’m pretty sure the MBA I earned was easy by comparison. Plus, she already has experience as a later-in-life learner. About 10 years ago, she was a student at a nearby community college and says she really liked the experience. She’s going to do great at nursing school. I just know it.

Go get ’em, Teresa. I think I can speak for all of our old classmates when I say we’re behind you.

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