Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Evolution

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.

11 comments:

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Your steps have been steady, they have been balance and good......and now...life takes your hand, hugs you and says come let's dance, let's go and with a quick smile, I see you leap the threshold!

...on your way!

Jennifer (she said) said...

Good for you for taking the time to understand yourself and the way thigns have changed over the years. I think you're going to be okay no matter what. Your careful thought and reflection are so valuable!

vicci said...

Good Luck to you Annie....You have my love and support whatever you decide to do....I'm sure we will talk about this at some point...

Anonymous said...

From Cait - Good for you! It's nice to take a step back and look at the options we have in life. Best of luck to you! I know you'll do great.

paris parfait said...

Annie, bravo for listening to your heart, taking a giant leap of faith and embracing new opportunities! I'm sure you'll like this fascinating new road you're mapping out for yourself.

Meg said...

I wish you nothing less than exciting, exhilarating adventures and extreme pleasures on your new journey to becoming Annie the Adventurer!

I'm sure things will fall into place for you, how could they not? You're such a positive person with a gift for expression.

All the best to you!
Lots of love,
Meg

Cait said...

Good for you! It's nice to take a step back and look at the options we have in life. Best of luck to you! I know you'll do great.

trailbee said...

This, Annie, is a leap of faith, which you have in spades! Be ready for the unexpected, good and bad, but love it. Believe it or not, you have the world by the tail. Go for it! A bezillion hugs from me to you. See you at school. See what I made today.

Beth said...

It sounds like a wonderful opportunity for you Annie. I admire your wisdom to know when you need to make changes in your life. I hope the new position will make your feel less stressed and you can use more energy for your writing and art, and all of your wonderful talents.

trailbee said...

I just realized something else. From the school's point of view they are huge losers. Not only are you an institution at that school, but better yet, you are a good one! Do you remember the first day I walked into your office? I was expecting a cold, officious, 'go-look-it-up-in-the-catalog' 'witch' and got the surprise of my life! Yours is the most helpful office on campus. You will be a hard act to follow, Anne. I am soooooooo excited for you. I did it. You can do it. You're going to love it. The one huge drawback? Not enough hours in the day! You'll hate going to bed at night, because you have to stop whatever you're doing. Kudos, Lady!

Cate said...

I read this the day Blogger was acting up (or maybe I tried to comment that day) and I've thought of your often since. I applaud your courageous in pursuing your dreams, searching for the answers for certain questions! What a marvelous way to live life! I can't wait to hear what happens next! xo