But... this is a different year. Yes, it's true that all my friends are going back to school within the next week or two. Yes, it's also true that I am not. But last year at this time, I lacked the perspective that when you're unemployed you get to do more things than you would if you were working.
Here are some things that I did in the last year (that I wouldn't have done if I were working...)
1) Went to France and Spain at Christmas with my whole family - I planned the whole trip. I conceived the entire idea, convinced everyone that we ought to do it, rented the apartment, found flights, made the itinerary for the whole trip. It was an incredible trip. Once in a lifetime, perhaps, but we did it!
2) Took a photography class - I had always wanted to learn how to take better pictures, and the adult education in my town had a photography class. I learned how to use the camera I had and eventually bought a better one. I know how to use that too.
3) Went to Ireland with my mother-in-law - This was funny. Mister's mother called me randomly on a Friday in May and told me that she was going to Ireland the next week for her work. She said that everyone in her group was bringing someone from their family and Mister's sister and dad were both working and couldn't get the time off. Obviously, time off was not a problem for me, so I said yes. I went to Ireland for a week on something like 8 days notice.
4) Rediscovered my love of baking - (Thanks for reading those PB&J cupcake posts, btw!) I tried to bake something every week for the people in Mister's office. Most of it got rave reviews, which always made me feel good. The good part was sending it off to the office in a container in the morning and just getting the container back at night. It's hard to feel guilty about eating one cupcake or brownie or cookie or whatever. I know that if I had the entire pan of brownies here, I'd eat them. So I'd eat one when I made it, pack it up and send it to the office with Mister. Win-win.
5) Move - Finally. We moved out of our crappy neighborhood and our crappy townhouse into a new house. We had been talking about it for most of the last 3 years, but I was always too busy. While Mister was at school and at work, I packed up our old house, drove boxes over to the new house, and unpacked the boxes at the new house. The movers really only brought the furniture over. I did most of the boxes and anything else that didn't go in a box but wouldn't be considered furniture. As a result, we lived in a neighborhood that didn't make our social worker roll her eyes when she came. It's important to make the right impression when you can, and our old neighborhood would not have helped. So now we're happy with where we live, and the "Our Home" page in the profile will be gorgeous instead of just OK.
So, since I'm not planning to be in the classroom for the 2010-2011 school year, I hope I will be as open to some other great stuff that couldn't happen while I was working. Here are some things that I hope will happen.
1) Profile - I hope to finish our profile book by Labor Day. I just want to get it out of the way. I plan to hole myself up next week and just bang out the first draft for our social worker to read. It doesn't matter that it won't be perfect, but I just want to get something down on paper. I can edit from there. Right now, I can't edit because there's nothing to edit!
2) Mister's graduation - Right now it is scheduled for December. I can't wait. I miss him so much when he's in class and it takes up so much of his brain space. I will be so happy for him when he's finished.
3) Weight Loss - I'd like to lose about 15 more pounds. I started in July and have lost about 7 pounds so far. It kind of fluctuates depending on the day, but I'd feel great to weigh about 15 pounds less. It's really hard, but I'm doing it. Slowly, slowly, but I'll get there.
4) Travel - I don't really have any planned, but at this time last year, I never would have said I would go to France, Spain and Ireland within the year. So travel is always on my list and I keep myself open for any fun opportunities.
5) Last but not least, adoption - Obviously. I hope that we're matched quickly. I hope that it's a successful match and placement. I hope that we have a baby soon.