(Archie Bronson Outfit)
Today was the first day in quite some time that I woke up and didn't feel that sense of impending doom. I credit J giving me a much needed pep talk and letting me vent last night as the source of my new found zen. Sometimes you just need someone to tell you that no matter what, it's all going to work itself out. We're in an in-between place right now. The past few months have been tiring and the past few weeks have downright sucked. Being sick for weeks on end in the middle of my least favorite months have made me blue.
It's more than that though. Work and school and everything else has coalesced into one giant stress ball and made it pretty clear that we need to make some changes. J works minimum 55 hours a week, with an hour commute. I work at my assistantship 20 hours a week, plus at my cataloging position 30 hours a week (45 minutes commute), plus, I go to school full time. In my spare time, I'm planning our wedding. I can juggle and I can make it work, mostly because it's only for about two more months and once I finally graduate a giant weight will be lifted off me. But, it's only worth juggling all of this if we feel like we're working towards something, like what we're doing is worthwhile, and if it's not jeopardizing our health, relationship, or sanity.
We've reached the tipping point. It's not the time, though that's obviously less than ideal. It's the being exhausted every day, it's the being sick all the time, it's the never having energy to do anything for me-ness, and above all, it's the feeling that we're both sacrificing for positions that don't really appreciate us.
We've made the decision that J needs to move on from his current position and do something else. The environment is really negative, the people suck, he's not learning, it's far from home, etc etc. Mostly, it's just making him really depressed. So the first step is to get out of the situation and do something else to bring home a paycheck and then re-evaluate what the next step is career-wise. It's scary. I'm also sure it's not what a lot of people would do. But, right now, our only major responsibility is really to ourselves and each other. We don't have kids, don't have other people relying on us, and until we do we get to be selfish about making our overall happiness and well-being first priority.
On my end, work has been really stressful lately. Much too stressful for something that's not full-time. I don't always feel like it's the best cultural fit. Sometimes, I feel like it's a little drilled in to me that I'm just part-time, but at the same time, I feel like I get responsibilities that I'm not adequately prepared or trained for. And that on top of school and the wedding and life has just been a lot recently. So, I've made the decision to give up the acquisitions portion of my duties (which is about 6 hours a week), go back down to three days, 24 hours, focus on cataloging and get a little pressure off me.
The six hours pay wise doesn't make much difference anyway. It's not the difference between supporting myself or not- come May when I graduate and my assistantship ends, I'll either need to get a full-time job or find another part-time job to augment this one. The hours make a difference in the stress level by a lot though. It also makes a difference in my availability for another part-time position...
I have an interview for one as an adjunct librarian on Wednesday. Academic library, better title, more liberal institution, different job duties. If it does, the next two months while I'm finishing school and my assistantship would totally blow. Besides that, it could be really perfect for me, actually. There aren't a ton of full time positions available in Orlando right now and I really want to avoid moving before the wedding. Ideally, if we have to move, I'd like to do it this time next year.
But, if I don't get it? That's going to be alright too. I have to believe that there is something out there that's a better fit for me. And as J pointed out last night... our worst case-scenario isn't all that bad. We're lucky to be debt free (minus student loans) and have a paid-for wedding. If we can't do much more than break even for the next few months, that's not ideal, but it is alright. Eventually, if we have to move, we will. And that will be okay too.
I just don't want us to make decisions based on fear. I don't want to kill myself at this job because I'm worried that I'll need the extra hours if I can't find something else. I don't want J to stay somewhere that is making him miserable simply because it's a steady job. It's just not worth it. Being in limbo or looking for something new or even starting something new is stressful and scary. But I don't want to live our lives sticking with something because even though it sucks beyond belief- it's consistent and familiar.
At some point, it will all be better than just okay. We've made so many changes in our lives over the past few years to get us to where we are. I'm not complaining, in general, life is really good and we're really lucky and we both know that. I just don't want us to get complacent... and I hope these changes make our lives just a little bit easier and a little bit better.