I was up around 3am. This means (so far) a net gain on my sleep time of about 1.5 hours over the night before. Almost time to cheer about that one!
I think it’s not a surprise that I woke up and as soon as my brain began to fully function – and this is a relativistic term, particularly in the face of it being freaking early – in my head I began to write my application letter for the new position. Things move slowly in state government… really slowly. Because of this vast, slow movement (I’m thinking borderline glacier), I may not have the opportunity to apply until later in October or November. This is a long time to be sitting upon that kind of knowledge, feeling guilty about even making the attempt due to my feelings of loyalty for my current department. Or at least, the feelings of loyalty I feel towards the people. I think I’ve been fairly clear about my ongoing struggles with the fatiguing nature of my work, not to mention the lengthy hours.
I realized over the course of last night and this early morning adventure, that this is about quality of life which extends not just into the realm of my financial needs for supporting my family, but also into mental health, family dynamic, and peace of mind to live much more freely as a parent. If I am less concerned about how we’ll pay the rent, I am more mentally free. If I feel intellectually challenged, I am more mentally free. If I know that taking time to see a kid’s play or be attending for a big event is not only ok, but fully understood?
You get the idea.
Now the practical issue still has to be addressed – the one that caused me to hit bottom this week: Money.
I’ve run some test data to see what the implications might be. I think the university will fight the salary level my old boss is asking for. It’s a fact of life and I don’t believe he has built in any supervision component for the position, although, certainly we did not discuss it to the nitty gritty detail level. I think I was too busy trying to pull myself together well enough to eat my salad. Perhaps eating before talking would have been prudent??
By the way, chamomile tea with honey is very soothing at 4:17 am. Just in case anyone was wondering.
Slight digression here: I find it interesting to look at the patterns in things. You could say that I’m slightly driven by it (ok, more than slightly driven…), and I noticed a pattern to this ripple effect in the choices I have made. Yet again, I can see how certain choices led to this moment. I left the university to work as the tech support person at an accounting software firm. I lasted “on the outside” of the university for 7 months. I interviewed with my now “former boss” who contacted me this week. The interview was November 2009. I began work there January 2010, the same month that my financial aid position was announced. I was very upfront with my boss and in the end of much waiting, I began the financial aid job (my first professional position) in May 2010.
There is a very good chance that I may be interviewing with him in November of this year.
Not much of a pattern, when written like that, but here are the kickers. I wanted out of financial aid in January, instead working away at it and still being a part of it now, fall 2011. I only worked for my former boss for 4.5 months. In that time he came to appreciate me and he fully supported my move into a professional position. If I had left financial aid when I so very much wanted to, I would not have been available for the opportunity sitting here before me. Slogging through has put me in the one place I needed to be.
I may have to diagram this on my white board as a reminder that patience does pay off.
And no, I may not ultimately be chosen. I will have to reconcile myself to it and not pin all hope on this one position. At the same time, I refuse to given in to pessimism and be self-defeating. I will do my best.
There is potential here… potential to move into 2012 in a new, better-paying, less stressful job, with a brighter, healthier mental health picture due to the work I’m doing with SSF (my clinical psych), and a freshly pressed Master’s in Public Administration, emphasis on government management.
Is there anyone out there who would not see this as a positive and refreshing way to begin a new year?
Questioning minds may want to know: What about law school? I called the program yesterday. They are 2-5 years out from bringing the full law program down here to our city. I will not move. I actually discussed this goal with former boss yesterday and he is hearing that they are bringing the tech law degree down first, with the environmental and resource law program coming in later. In this instance, I can be patient. I can REALLY be patient if my employment world changes.
I have to be living in the present now. I have a mid-term this weekend, initial and tentative research to perform, as well as thread postings of substance to create. I then have to place one foot in front of another, working just as hard each day as I can, to make sure that my current job is handled in the best way I can. I will move forward with everything as though this has not happened.
I may be writing a year from now, talking about the opportunity that came and went, while I continued to plug away at my current department. I may be writing a year from now, talking about all of the work that had to be done when I made the transition. Or I may be writing a year from now, discussing the difficulties, trial and tests it took to land a federal job.
It’s all a mystery at this point.
And it’s 4:35am. So I think I’ll finish my tea, read a few blogs, and try to slip back to bed for a bit of rest. It’s a Mie Mie kids day, chess morning, and read/write/study weekend.