Monday, August 29, 2011

From 20 to 40

I was really worried about how hard the adjustment from being a part-timer to a full-timer would be. At the preschool, I typically worked 20-25 hours a week. I was usually done for the day around noon or earlier. Big changes like a new job are hard for me and there’s an adjustment period that takes place until I feel settled and as if my feet are on solid ground. There were so many times I questioned myself by accepting this new job. Was it the right decision?

To answer the last question, abso-freaking-lutely. I can’t even tell you how much I love my job and now that I’m doing more tasks, it’s gotten even better. The past two days, I’ve had work to do from the minute I walked in until the minute I left. No observation or sitting around, twiddling my thumbs.

As for the worry about adjusting to a full-time schedule? It hasn’t been much of an issue at all. My days absolutely fly by and most days, I look at the clock and think, “It’s already 4:30?” instead of “It’s only 4:30?” I thought I would miss having my afternoons off, but it feels good to be productive. It also helps that my work day doesn’t start until 9:00, instead of 6:30. (Driving to work with the sun out is pretty awesome, let me tell you.)

I think what I noticed right off the bat was how much my energy levels improved. I remember days when I would have been at my old job for just a few hours and my energy levels were so depleted. That job was emotionally and physically exhausting and sometimes I wondered how I would make it through the rest of the day. And I was only working part-time! How the full-timers do it, I will never know. Eight hours at my new job is a piece of cake compared to 4 or 5 hours at my old one. The work I’m doing can be mind-numbing and a lot to take in, but it doesn’t deplete my energy level. (It also helps I work with fun people who have amazing attitudes and energies.)

I had a few people remark about how working a regular, full-time job is similar to the time when I was working part-time and going to school. I’ve only been out of school for 3 months so my knowledge of how that time of my life was is still fresh in my mind. When I was going in school, my days were generally 6:30 - 1ish. Some days I would be going from work to classes to my internship to a night class, leaving the house at 6:00 AM and not returning until 9:30 PM. My afternoons, nights, and weekends were filled up with homework and studying and writing papers. The biggest difference between that time of my life and now is my weekends. My weekends are finally my time. I can do whatever I want and maintain any schedule I want. I don’t have to worry about making sure I started on this assignment or finished that paper. I spend 8 hours at my job a day and then come home and can leave it all behind. Once I’m done with work, I’m on my own schedule. It’s such an amazing feeling. (And makes me wonder if I’ll ever go back to get my Master’s. I’m enjoying my freedom a little too much to even think about it right now.)

My days are long. I leave the house around 8:15 and don’t return until 7:30 or later. (I head to the gym for an hour right after work.) But it doesn’t feel like such a chore, like my long days before did. It just feels like my new life. I think it helps that I’m spending most of my day at a place I enjoy and am starting to find my place in. It leads to a specific amount of joy in my life. For the first time in a very long time, I don’t feel stagnant and unhappy with the place I am in life. I finally feel happy to begin each day. It’s really one of the best feelings in the world.

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