I came to the realization at work last night (as I was looking at my pay stub online) that...
1) I do not make as much money as I thought I did.
... When I originally got my job I thought I calculated my yearly salary correctly, but I guess not! I was about $5,000 off! That's a whole semester of grad school money! Luckily, my salary is a perfect amount for my current life. I am able to pay my bills (cell phone, car insurance, health insurance, dental, vision, gym membership), pay my grad school tuition bills (no debt yay!), and still have money for playtime and savings. Hopefully all the hard work I am putting into being a full time student and full time nurse will pay off and I will make almost twice as much as I do now. Although the nurse practitioner I want to be probably gets paid on the lower end, since I want to work for the public... public health... Planned Parenthood... instead of at an OBGYN type of setting. I need to remember money isn't everything... but having enough of it makes life a whole lot easier! I swear I am not that materialistic. I just want to afford a nice house, reliable cars, and enough to go on sweet trips all over the world every year like I have already been doing since I was a kid.
2) I need to take vacations!
...I have accrued 103 Paid Time Off hours since last September! I need to use them! In one year of work I will have only used 12 hours of Paid Time Off for my friends' wedding coming up in October. Other than that, I have not taken any official vacations days! Mostly because I only work 3 days a week, so I just schedule my mini vacations around my work days. And... because for my trip to Ireland, I was lucky enough to have someone switch shifts with me and then I didn't have to use any vacation days.
... To remedy my need to vacation... I have already planned two trips for next year...
FEBRUARY: a trip to Oregon to visit two of my favorite people who are moving there this month. Katie will be moving to Corvallis and Manda will be moving to Eugene. I plan on being in Oregon for an entire week! Yay. That means lots of snowboarding.
MAY: a trip to VEGAS with as many ladies as I can gather. All my friends are excited! While I know not all of them will be able to go, at least 5 of us are a definite yes, which is a party all in itself! Every additional lady added to the bunch will just be a bonus. My one requirement is to see Beatles Cirque du Soleil.
I am thinking I need to take a small trip this fall or winter... South Carolina to visit Justin, my marine biologist friend, and Christina & Peter my nursing school pals? Perhaps? :)