It’s quiet in the house this afternoon. My youngest is sleeping, the boys are quiet in their rooms (my 10 year old is probably taking a nap), my husband is downstairs in the prayer room. I’ve been puttering, doing little tasks that I keep putting off but that should get done. In an hour, our friends will start arriving for house church.
I’ve been trying to think about what I should write. It’s been so long and I’ve hardly written anything in 2010 (my husband threatened to de-link me if I didn’t post something – that would be part of the reason why I’m writing this post). There are a lot of things I could write about. The last year (2010) was a hard one, from my occupation standpoint and from our family life (particularly concerning our oldest son).
Where do I begin?
I’ll start with my job. When I first became the Catering Manager, I was excited. There were a ton of possibilities; I had ideas for improving things, and I was able to invest in people and make a difference. But that attitude has shifted. There has been a revolving door of people entering and leaving our office over the past 3 1/2 years. And the hotel has been very busy. Which means I haven’t been able to implement the ideas I’ve wanted to. I can only help people grow to a certain extent because then they move on. I keep shifting from picking up the slack from an unfilled position to training someone new. There’s always more on my plate than I want there to be.
Maybe this is part and parcel of being a manager. I don’t know. There’s also all the bureaucracy and red tape that you have to deal with as a manager. I’m not enjoying this. I was so worn out by the time I hit December, I was granted a 3 1/2 week (much needed) vacation. It was very good for me. I know I was in rough shape going into my holidays because a few weeks in, my husband said to me one day, “It’s nice to have my wife back.”
Uck! If this is what my occupation is doing to me, I don’t want it! I used to rationalize that I didn’t have to put in a ton of overtime at my job. Sure, I would have a fair amount of overtime building up in the Fall because that is the busiest time of year, but it wasn’t like that for 3/4 of the year. “Hours” was the measuring stick I used to determine if my job was taking too much out of me or not. But this summer I started to look at this differently. Sure, I didn’t work a lot of overtime, but what was the effect on me when I wasn’t at work? I didn’t have very much energy for my children, my husband. Sometimes I was constantly thinking about work: what did I forget to do? what do I need to remember to do? I was angry and frustrated with all the stupid little (and big) things that were going on at my workplace. My job was consuming me.
I decided I wanted to get out. So I started looking for other employment (not in hospitality, mind you – I wanted to get out completely). I have built up enough skills that I can translate them over to other lines of work. But what do I want to do? I started applying for jobs that I thought I could do (not necessarily what I wanted to do because I hadn’t worked those jobs before so how would I know if that is what I wanted to do or not). Going into the job search process I had a sense that this whole thing might take some time. I certainly didn’t think it would take over 4 months!
At first, I just wanted to escape. Now that I feel much better after my vacation, I can think a little more objectively. So I’ve started asking myself what do I WANT to do. I haven’t figured it out yet.
There is something very positive that has come out of this process: I have lowered my expectations of myself at work. I used to feel miserable because I wasn’t getting everything done in the time I thought I should do it. Going into this Fall, I accepted the fact that I won’t get it all done. This has taken a lot of pressure of me and it’s been good for my mental and emotional health.
I’m not sure what’s in store for me in 2011 with regards to occupation but I’m hoping for a positive change that will be better for me and my family.