silly grin and wiped out auntie

I’m an aunt.  I really wish I could be in Vancouver right now, so I could say hello to my brand new nephew.  This is such an exciting thing and I want to celebrate with my sister and her husband (even though I know they are probably completely worn out right now).

Now I have to wait (im)patiently for pictures.

I’m so very happy for them.  I know that it’s a strange new world you look out into when you make the shift to being a parent.

I kissed my guys good night this evening and I could feel the grin stretching all over my body.  My sister and her husband get to feel this.  They get good night kisses… hugs… nights where you sit up, helping a sick child… first days and milestones.

wow.

It’s easy to forget sometimes.  I talked to the mom of one of our possible future students today.  She is heartbroken because her student’s financial aid won’t be enough to cover their expenses and they don’t know what they’re going to do.  We talked about how hard it is – wanting to see our children be successful and knowing that sometimes we have to be there to listen to their disappointments and failures too.  We want to make everything better, even though it’s not always possible.

I look back at the years and it feels like it has flown.  Then I talk to a mom with a college-age child and I am thankful that’s a long time off in the future.

I read a story this weekend about a man on another world who realized that all the moments that made up his life were within a mental stretch of each other.  He was able to reach back, stretch his mind, and there he was, able to make another decision at the moment he had chosen.  I wondered, after I read it, if I would do the same given the chance?  What if one small choice made through the line of time caused me to miss out on my children?  I could never do it – never take the chance.

I did my best for that mom today.  In between the endless traffic we experienced today, I read the quick email that announced the arrival of a new boy in our family.  I was wiped out… sore from sitting, tied to my desk by the telephone queue… and here was this most wonderful news.

I’m a wiped out auntie and I’m still smiling.  Can I start doting now?

moonfire

Sad news and happy changes

My Nana found peace yesterday.  I feel such as strange mix of sadness and happiness that she is no longer in pain.   It’s hard to know which way to feel and all I can say is how glad I am that I visited last month.  Mostly, though, I feel sad for my dad and my uncle.  My mom means everything to me and I can only imagine how they are feeling – are they feeling a little lost?  Maybe the world feels a bit emptier and lonelier?

How do you say goodbye to your parents?  I know the loss I feel, but how are they dealing with it

***

School has taken a turn for the better and I am preparing to head into my last year of it starting in July.  The class I’m in now is a misery, but it’s only 8 weeks and then I’m done.

Work?  Well, it the same and yet different.  Potential changes in how things are done could be coming up.  I don’t know if they will actually be done or if it is more talk and little action.  No idea.  I have a lot to do and I’m feeling a bit at sea.  Did I pursue the other option?  No…  I wussed out.  The truth is that I have put so much time in to learning this new field.  I’ll get through August and see what I think.  Perhaps it will be a month at a time until I find some peace…

I have more to say and there are adventures with the kids that are coming up, but right now I’m tired and I just want to sit.  A little non-thinking time would be good.

moonfire signing off

crazy times

I’m sick again.  This fact is only made all the more insane by the fact that it’s now easier to count the times I HAVEN’T been sick rather than those when I have been.

I’m going in today because the sore throat/cough/upper respiratory infection that started last Monday has now been resulting in no sleep and viscous green stuff coming from my head.  That, in combination with the acid issue I’ve got, has thoroughly wiped me out.  My honey has a pre-calc final this morning and he’s got the same crud.  His study time this weekend was effectively blown.

On the work front – I stood up for myself and our team last Thursday.  Net result?  Perhaps some changes for our team.  When it came down to putting it all on the line, I felt like two things happened:  1.  all the stress the professional staff are going through (at least those who have spoke up) was discounted with “you’re internalizing.”  2.  my team-mates, who had been vocal advocates for themselves in the other two major meetings, were suddenly quite silent in the final meeting.  I felt substantially like my butt was left hanging in the wind.

What did I learn from the experience?  Well.  No matter what I stood up for myself.  The dynamic will be forever changed because of it and that’s a good thing.  I know who in my office will back me up and I know who will fade out when the chips are down.  Discounting what your staff are telling you by saying, “You’re internalizing it”  (essentially – YOU are the problem, not saying “I acknowledge your concerns and understand you are feeling the pressure/stress.” )…  this does not help either the situation or your staff.

I’m hedging my bets, particularly on the heels of being out sick yet again.  If my contract isn’t renewed, then I have a way to keep us afloat for 3-4 months while I find something else.  Do I think my contract won’t be renewed?  Not really.  I think it will be fine.  We don’t get raises and we’re wickedly short staffed.  I work my ass off, even if I do get sick a lot (frequently).  This isn’t to say that it couldn’t happen, but the odds are small.

Still – there is a reasonable position open on campus.  It’s a position that I am more than comfortably qualified for and the pay decrease would be offset by the fact that I wouldn’t have to work more than 40 hours per week because it’s not a professional staff position.  It’s a good match with my impending MBA and my stress level would likely decrease.  PLUS it isn’t a brainless position or a total backtrack.  I’ll get my app in to be prepared.

Our big boss (aka, director) listened to what we had to say in the lengthy, impromptu meeting and then effectively discounted what all the professional staff are saying by using that one little phrase.  I realized I have a choice right now – I can hang in there, respecting all of the hard work and training I’ve been through, while essentially supporting a system that simply does not want to change.  Or I can say no, I won’t be a part of something that just keeps perpetuating this same cycle.

I haven’t yet decided what I’m going to do.  Being sick and miserable doesn’t help.  The alternative position posting closes tomorrow, so if I want to have this as a viable option, I have to toss my hat in the ring.  I’m scheduled for a big out of state training at the beginning of June and could cancel out of it by May 14 with no cost to my department.  I’m considering that option right now as well.  If I determine I won’t be staying, then I can’t put a financial burden on my department… it’s not the right thing to do.

No idea what will happen.  Feeling horrible and the acid crawling up my throat is awful.  I’m heading to the doctor’s office in a few minutes and hopefully they will be able to offer me a solution that will get me back on my feet more quickly.

I understand organizations have to operate a certain way.  But alienating and wearing out your staff doesn’t seem like a healthy way to handle things.

More to think on.  More to write, at another time when I’m not phlegmy and miserable.

moonfire