6 weeks ago when I wrote my last post, I was really immersed in disappointment and had no hope that things were going to get better anytime soon.
I’m happy to report that so much has happened since then – and I’m in a much better place.
When I’m in a dark place, sometimes I have a tendency to want to “fix” things, or try taking drastic measures to make things better. One of those drastic things I had thought about doing six weeks ago was quitting my job. I loved the place and the people I worked with, but I didn’t exactly love what my specific role was. I constantly felt like I was failing, and despite being at my job for over four years, I still felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. I was majorly burned out.
I ended up having a meeting with my boss. He knew I was going through some hard stuff. I told him I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing, and that I was honestly thinking of quitting. He asked me what would need to change in order for me to want to stay. I proposed moving to a different department where I felt like I would be better supported and could be successful. I also proposed working less than 40 hours a week – maybe 32, or even 20, hours.
And because my boss is awesome, he was like, “done!”
So, two weeks ago, I officially began working in my new department – with a team of people who are excited to have me and who are teaching me how to do the work that needs to be done. They are patient with me when I ask a million questions, and the work has been good and steady, and surprisingly more meaningful than I thought it would be. I’m also only working four days a week – I now have Fridays off.
The past two weeks I’ve felt like a completely different person from the one who wrote that last post. I am SO much less stressed. The hours pass quickly at work, I love learning how to do new things, and the tasks are challenging me in a good way. I’m feeling successful. I feel like my work matters, and I’m helping more people than I ever was before. I have more energy for my family, and for myself. I started going back to the gym this week. I decided I would start taking a yoga class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I started making green juices for breakfast in the mornings. I’ve been going on more walks with my dog.
And let me tell you, having Fridays off is a game-changer! I get a day to myself to be alone at the house (a true rarity as a parent!) I don’t have to cram all the errands and cleaning into the weekend, I can use Friday to get some of those things done. Which leaves more time on Saturday and Sunday to be more present for my husband and son.
In my last post I mentioned how I had a friend who believes that God never says “no” to prayers – he either says “yes” or “wait for something better.”
Well, I can honestly say I’m on the receiving end of the “something better.” I would never have planned for things to go this way – a few months ago I had very different plans. But I’m so thankful for how things worked out.
It’s so crazy how when you get to a good place in life, it can suddenly become clear just how bad things were before. I had been “surviving” for so long, it just seemed normal. It seemed normal to be tired all the time. It seemed normal to feel insecure about my job, to not feel like I was doing anything meaningful with my life. It seemed normal to constantly be run ragged on the weekends trying to get all the errands and cleaning done before Monday morning came around again. It seemed normal to feel frazzled and stressed out.
If that’s the place you’re in right now, I want to offer you a bit of hope – it’s possible things could be different. Maybe just a small change could really turn things around for you. Maybe it’s something you’ve never considered before. Maybe all it would take would be to ask for the things you want. (It sounds crazy, but that’s all it took for me!)
It reminds me of that principle in physics: an object in motion stays in motion. It’s so easy to just keep doing what you’re doing, to maintain the status quo. That’s exactly where I was in my previous career as an elementary school teacher. I decided to take a year off when my son was born, and that year gave me the time to stop and realize that teaching was not the profession I wanted to stay in. But if I hadn’t taken that year off, I think I would have just kept pressing on. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to imagine I could do something different.
I know it’s not always that simple, and there are certainly times when you have to stick it out in a bad job or bad situation. But so much of my problem was just being stuck inside my own head. I had limited myself. And I don’t want that for any of you reading this.
So I guess the lesson here is dream big! Don’t get stuck in a way of life and think that that’s all there is. If you’re not happy, let yourself identify what it is that would make things better. And don’t give up – you never know how quickly things might turn around for the better.