I've been doing anything other than studying lately. Since my last attempt in May I've been rather demoralized, mostly exhausted, and utterly disinterested in looking at anything that remotely resembles the CCIE R&S lab exam.
I suppose failing the thing four times will have that effect on a person.
But enough screwing around. I need to get this finished and move on with my life.
I have done a fair amount of thinking about this whole ordeal to date and I think I can see a few things that I should have done differently. First, I should not have taken the lab four times already. The first time I really wasn't ready, but it was the first time and you have to get it over with and see where you are at some point. I don't regret the first time, but the second I went back far too soon. I got it in my head that I didn't really miss the first time by much and that I could have passed, but that really was not the case. The third time I did pass config, but still no love. It was close, the closest I've come to passing, so I don't feel too bad about that one, but number four was the same knee-jerk "I can do it!" reaction that two was, and again I went back far too soon.
That's four attempts total, in a little over 5 months. Way too close together, and far too much me deluding myself about my abilities.
That's enough with the self loathing though. Shit happens, and I am truly thankful for both a very understanding employer (who is footing the bill), and a supportive wife who hasn't yet reached the point where she wants her husband back (don't say it...).
The plan going forward is to take the next couple months to start over, and look at everything from the ground up. No rushing into a new date, and no delusions about my skill level. Time to take a good look at where my skills are, and ensure that the next time is the last.
So here's my token "back in the saddle" blog post. I hope you've enjoyed it. You can also count on more content rich, awe inspiring, witty technical writing that you've come to know and love from me. Lots more. Because you, the fan, deserve only the best :)