I obviously haven't been posting as much lately, and when I do, nothing of very good quality. My last post was probably a great indication as to why. The thought of bitching every day about work makes me half nuts, so I know none of you really want to read about it, either.
But at the end of the day my brain feels as if its made out of tofu...thick...dense...void of flavor and color.
I hesitate to write all of this, if for no other reason than my old boss reads my blog. He was the best boss I've ever had...fair, friendly, flexible. He "gets" it. If your employees are happy, you'll be happy, too, and they'll be more productive. Its the little perks that don't really cost much that will get you the most mileage.
I knew that I had a good thing at my last job. Knew it. And I hope those I worked with never thought I took it for granted. I could have stayed there for many more years, floating along, doing what was easy and comfortable and would let me go home early in the afternoons.
Above all I don't want my old boss, nice as he is, to read this and try and get me to come back. When you work somewhere for a long long time, you get this feeling of safety and security that is really hard to let go of. If ever I want to try my hand at writing for real, or go out on my own as I've talked about in my head for years, I don't know that I would ever do it had I stayed put. Now that I've let go of that place, well, I have so fewer connections to this one that it should be easier to walk away.
Besides, I wasn't being challenged. Sure, every so often we'd do a software upgrade that would make me want to tear out my hair in big huge clumps and rock back and forth while sitting under my desk, but that was so predictable as to be expected. Part of the routine.
When this job offer came my way (which, if you missed the post, quite literally dropped in my lap) the "pros" of taking this new job seemed to outweigh the minuses. I took a chance at the opportunity to be the man in charge. And after nearly a month on the job here, I've gotten exactly what I expected. Lots of challenges, lots of decisions to be made, lots of WORK.
If you ask anyone here they'll say I'm handling it like a champ. And I am. I certainly have the experience to know what I'm doing. I've been through this all before, under the guidance of that great ex-boss. In just less than four short weeks, I've taken this new place from udder chaos (in terms of the software I support, anyway) to relative calm. People trust me. There is no doubt that when I say we can do XYZ that we will be able to do XYZ and do it exactly the way I've said we can do it.
But again, I'm working until 5 pm for the first time in years. When you factor in even a short drive home from downtown at that hour, then dinner isn't had until almost 7 most nights. Which means, when you have little kids, that dessert is followed by PJs and a bedtime story and not much else.
And there's the tofu brain to contend with. I'm just out of it. I used to be able to unwind at the end of my day during the ride home in the car. Now I get home and read the mail and watch the news and load the dishwasher...all while my kids jump and prance around me begging for my attention. They miss me. And not just for the nine plus hours I'm gone every day, but for that time when I'm just not present.
And that kills me.
I've always been a firm believer that when the work day is over, you should walk away and leave it all behind. I do not have a Blackberry. I won't take a job that isn't paid hourly. If you are a co-worker who is my friend, you may call my cell phone. But you sure as hell better not bother me while I'm on vacation and ask me about some file somewhere, or I'll probably hang up on your ass.
So what the hell was I thinking, really? Didn't I start out this year with intentions to work even less than I had been? Why, then, am I working even MORE?!? Obviously I thought that the extra money would be nice, to pay down some bills or to stash a bit away before making that big decision to quit a 9-5 completely.
When it comes right down to it, there's still a part of me that is like that lonely middle school girl I once was -- one that feels the need to prove herself to others. Yes, I am smart enough. Yes, I can do it. Yes, I am capable. The thing I struggle with on a daily basis is the letting go of that ridiculous need. Getting rid of that feeling that I'm not doing enough to show my true worth.
I am my own toughest critic, I know.
So...plans are in the works, I'll just say that. I'm here to do what they are paying me to do and that's all. I will be here, I will do it well. I will fix this project and make it even better than they thought it could be.
But that's it.
Cuz I still have tiny people asking me to cuddle with them in the mornings. And no amount of money can replace that.