January 1989 – I have caught the brass ring on the merry-go-round. After 29 months in the valley, I have landed a job at CSU Stanislaus, one of the better places to get a job in our area. And, it is a permanent job, not one of the designated “temporary jobs” that can go on forever and ever and ever. The permanent designation lends it a special cache of, well, permanence. The job comes with a safety net. All I have to do is get through a 12-month probationary period.
June 2006 - I've been so tired all year. This job has changed so much that what was at least a two person job with one person running it, has evolved into almost a three person job. Over the past 17 years there have been so many procedural changes on campus that much of the responsibility that fell to other offices has now rolled downhill to the departmental, administrative level. Much of the time I feel I am spinning ten plates in the air like a juggler and am waiting for a plate to crash. At least two plates have crashed on me in the past week. It was plate No. 1 that finally made me confront the fact that I need to make some changes in my work life. I need to:
1. Retire; or
2. Streamline my job and cut back on hours; or
3. Change to another position elsewhere on campus.
The third option is the least desirable of the three with, of course, affordable retirement being the most ideal. This is most attractive because of the option I would have of returning part-time to work on special projects. Most likely though may be option No. 2, which is not a bad option. So, why now? What has changed to lead me to this potentially drastic change. When will this happen? Who will I become. Where do I go from here?
The "why" is easy to answer. I'm burnt out. I'm so tired all of the time from keeping the various strings of the job together and building better mousetraps to make sure the plates don't crash, that it's just not working for me anymore.
"What" has changed is the fear factor level in my life. It has decreased considerably. I was terrified of financial changes a few years ago with the children still in school and all the needs that go with getting them safely to adulthood. Since I don't feel so fearful anymore, I feel freer to explore other of life's possibilities.
The "When" pretty much hangs on what I learn about retirement benefits. I submitted a request for two different retirement dates this past Monday and the results will act as a guide for how much longer I will work full-time. I should have that information via mail in the next few days.
And the "Who". Now there is the big question. Who I Am has always been a big question. I am wife, mother, care provider, worker, sister, friend but . . . . Lately the "who" has been expanding and the inception of this Blog actually catylized this expansion. I am also a poet, writer, photographer, artist. I have a world view that needs to be explored and at 58 I feel that I am a bit on the downside of this exploration and I'm really just getting started with it. But I still have a pulse and a healthy mind and healthy attitude so I really have as much time left as I am able to grab from life at this point IN my life.
And "where" will this lead me? I haven't the slightest idea but isn't that what the adventure, the romance of the risk taking is all about? I feel I have step up to a closed door and opened it. I have not walked through that door yet but I'm standing there looking at the view. It looks pretty damn good from where I am standing.