We got our grant, which will expand our services, and will make me a full time employee, for a period of 5 years. I will have benefits as a full time employee of the University, including tuition benefits (helpful, since we can get a discount on Husband's tuition, and I will get a certain number of credits paid for per semester if I decide to go back and do a masters in public health or something similar). I will no longer have to
The job is getting more interesting, with a possible federal suit. I'm finally bothering to get licensed in federal court. We're going to partner up with another attorney though, because, hellfire, I know just about enough about federal practice to be dangerous. We've been doing more advocacy too, and I've been doing some administrative law stuff. I know even less about admin law. Exactly what I learned for bar prep. And that in the admin hearings, hearsay is admissible. (Knowing is half the battle.) So that stuff takes the sting away of that missing litigation part of my career, along with concentrating on other stuff I enjoy, like teaching and academic research/writing.
Also, without the impending doom of having to build up my law practice, I will have the time and the energy to devote myself to other things I enjoy. I've been practicing my violin a lot more lately, and I'm considering taking violin lessons again myself this fall, once I'm back up to where I was when I stopped playing a decade ago. I'm getting better. I discussed with Cora's violin teacher about taking lessons, and also about joining the Community Orchestra. That had been the goal when I was taking lessons a decade ago (I'll never be good enough to join the University Orchestra while I'm a student). So, that's what I'm shooting for. I'm also going to work on learning some guitar. I've always wanted to learn to play, I think it'd be cool.
Other things on my plate: As I've mentioned, getting published. We're making that a priority with the program, since we are a research university, and we want to push the academic component of our program. Getting an MPH, or at the very least, ugh, going back and doing a few more stats classes, will help considerably. But also, I want to start writing non-academic stuff too. Some professional stuff, but also just some creative stuff. Maybe I'll write the next great American novel. Or not. That sounds like a lot of work. Maybe I'll just start writing some vampire smut.
Reading books for fun though... I'm totally on it. I have stack I've been wanting to read. I can get through fluff pretty easily, but books of more depth, I've struggled with having the brain power to get through. I did, however, shut down my entire life to spend two days reading the Hunger Games trilogy. Ohmyfreakinglord, I couldn't put it down. It speaks deeply to my inner history/poly sci nerd, my love of post-apocalyptic fiction, and my appreciation for a bad-ass heroine. Of course, I wonder what it says about me that two of my favorite book series are young adult literature (also Harry Potter)? And I also love vampire smut, so there's that.
Random things: I'm crotcheting again. I bought yarn and a pattern. I'm going to try clothing. Nothing complex, but I wanted to challenge myself beyond blankets and scarves.
I'm losing weight. Well, starting to. I'm down 1.4 pounds in one week. Slow and steady! As opposed to gaining weight, which is just rapid. Being back on the Weight Watchers wagon makes me more mindful of what I eat. I still get to splurge on occasion though, that's nice.
I've decided I'm going to do this crazy Zombie 5K obstacle course thing, probably the Missouri one. So, I'm going to really concentrate on kicking ass. When I become a full time employee, and subsequent student, I'll be able to get a member to the super swank gym on campus for super cheap. (Like $50 a semester.) Which has racquetball courts and a climbing wall, and my favorite indoor running track. (The one at the Y sucks hardcore.)
So, all of these things I'm really excited about being employed full time.
On the downside, I will miss being in court. I'll still go on occasion, but most of what we do is legal advice and referrals to pro bono attorneys, not direct representation. I love litigating, just not regarding people's children and/or household furniture, so it's a bummer on that front. But I just need to get creative concerning keeping up my skills, in case I ever return to a law firm to litigate. I've considered approaching my old high school's principal and seeing if they'd be interested in starting a mock trial team. We didn't have one when I was there. And there still isn't one. I'd love to coach one.
Lots of stuff going on, and a possible trip to Orlando in May, which might make 2 trips to Florida for me this summer. (Husband has a conference he might go to, in which case, Cora and I would tag along and do Disney.) The financial aspect of getting this job is like a ton of bricks lifted off my chest. Doubling my income means paying on my loans. Being able to afford a new car, when Money Pit finally kicks it. And doing things like taking vacations again. (The last real vacation we took was right after graduation, 3 years ago.)
I just feel like, finally, my career, and "myself," are moving forward again.