I've been thinking about the events in my life that have taken place since I started school, including: the births of 7 grandchildren, 2 high school graduates, 2 college graduates, 4 deployments, 2 weddings, 3 hospitalizations for David, plus his diagnosis of bipolar disorder, the passing of his dad from Alzheimers, and my job assignment change after 25 years of typesetting and production work.
I think that, even with the added stress of tests and papers, going to school helped keep me from losing my sense of identity through all these events. It also helped to be able to focus on each class, and then enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when they were finished.
What to do now that I'm done with the goal of getting my Bachelors degree? I'm not entirely sure, but I plan to do more with this blog, as well as put together family history stories and do some family history research. No doubt that my "extra" time (is there really such a thing?) will be filled with more family events (including 2 more expected grandbabies), some household tasks that I've put off doing, and if I'm really lucky, time to do some recreational reading and needlework. David and I have also discussed the option of going for a Masters degree, and while I would still like to do that, I think it'll be some time before I actually start to do it.
What I do know is that we are going to relax and play this weekend, even if it means dragging David camping. He's going through the pre-vacation anxiety, but we deserve some play time. I went to the university bookstore and had a really fun book-buying shopping spree (I can't resist books), and I found a small token graduation gift that I can hardly wait to give him.
I'll post more about the last few weeks with David later, and when I figure out how to add pdf files, I'll add my final paper about the need for mental health education. I thought about posting it here in its entirety, but its 5 pages with a bunch of footnotes long, and I thought it might be overwhelming. It turned out to be an interesting and enlightening project.