Friday, January 22, 2016

Movin' to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches.

I noticed something after I wrote my last post.  As I skimmed my labels to decide what category my story about running would fall, I realized that almost every single label had to do with my sons.  I wasn't really surprised by this as I began blogging in order to document my new life as a mother, but I realized that I really enjoyed, and hoped to continue, to write about me.  In a way, as my boys are getting older and more independent, my life as myself is beginning to return.

So I also noticed that I hadn't written much about my job(s) in the last few years.  In the beginning of 2014, I left the agency where I spent nearly 8 years developing as a person, a professional, and as a mother.  LBZ was 2 at the time, and the new job had promise as a perfect fit with my family because of where it was the same building as their preschool.

When I began to seek employment outside of that job, I always looked at the website of the Community Center where the boys' preschool was.  Certainly I could do just about any job as long as I was that close to them. Throw in a 50% discount off of their daycare cost (what what??), a free family membership to the center and you have what appeared to be the perfect fit for my family.

Except for one wasn't.

The first 6 months were tough.  I wavered between hating it and needing to give it at least a year for a full chance.  Then one of the main staff left.  I knew I couldn't leave then.  I needed to see the program through this huge transition.  So I stayed.  As the first year went on I still felt unhappy and started to think about looking around.  Then, another major staff person left.  Surely I couldn't leave then.  So I stuck it out and actually figured out how to be really good at this job.

That was a little over a year ago.  I do not hate my job.  In fact, I actually really like it now that I have a full staff of really good quality people on my team.  The problem is, it is a very high demand job.  My staff call me as early as 5am and as late as 11pm and I am charged with finding staff coverage, cancelling program details in bad weather, having my phone with me at all times to manage any program issues, and of course, making all of the really hard decisions and communicating them with families.

It's a high energy, fast paced, high demand job.  And I am really good at it.  I can manage people, and participants, and staff, and drivers and temp agencies beginning at 5am and still work until 7pm rocking it out.  I'm like a non-profit business-running rock star.  I think the discomfort I felt during the first year was because I was growing and learning so much.  It's hard for me to not feel like a master at everything.  I learned all aspects of this job and rocked it.

But it's just not working for me anymore.

I expend so much emotional energy on this job, that I am left with less than I need to provide for my family.  The demands are just too high for me during this season of my life, and it is time for a change.  My boys need me more now than they ever have.  I thought the baby stage was going to be the most emotionally demanding part of raising children, but for me it's not.  BBZ is in grade school now, and he is developing into the person he is going to become.  I need to be present with him all the time.  I need to know that at dinner when he is telling me about a conflict at school, I will not be interrupted by a work related phone call.

I have accepted a new job at an agency that I think will be a great fit.  The hours are set, I will not supervise anyone, and there is still a level of professional challenge that I really look forward to.  It's hard to admit when something has to give, and I think I will miss the fast pace business-like world, but I know this is the right choice for me.

I was telling a friend that it feels very much like moving from the city to the country.  The city is a fast paced active part of town where some people thrive.  Others prefer the quiet solitude of the country life.

So that's me.  I'm moving to the country.  I can't wait to smell the fresh air and breath the sigh of relief.  I know I will miss the city life, and maybe one day, when my boys are older and off on their own, I'll move back.

Until then, I am looking forward to the new pace.  Maybe I'll even buy a hammock.