Thursday, March 9, 2017

Six Months

I've been at my new job for six months tomorrow. It's been a pretty good experience overall, and I think I have mostly moved beyond the intense perfectionistic stress of the first few post-training months into a place where I know what I'm doing more often than not. I've changed direct supervisors and that person seems much more on my wavelength as far as learning and working styles go, so that helps. Learning software that is NOT intuitive in the *least* is still my hardest task, and I think I'm improving my decision-making skills. I don't require constant review of everything I write anymore, and I've been 'released' to send reviews to doctors without sending to my direct supervisor first. And the Virginia Disability Determination Services as a whole won a national award, so we all got 4 hours of extra leave. Sometimes state jobs are nice.

The things I still don't love are being indoors all. day. long. Sitting for hours. Getting completely sucked into the detail-oriented work and realized three hours have gone by without me leaving my chair. The regular 8 hour day schedule. Making less money than I did previously. Not being in a management position for the first time in ten or more years.

I realized this week that I actually have less money now than when I was working last year. I didn't have to pay for child care last year. I didn't have a new car. I didn't go out for lunch because I was too much of a slacker to make my lunch the night before. And I was, even at my hourly rate, actually making a higher salary. Now it feels like most things are a squeeze. I should get a raise in September, and another one a year later, though. And some expenses, like child care, should fall off next year, along with one of the car payments.

It was, and has been, really tough to give up my working-from-home/stay-at-home-mom gig. Economic necessity (and by that I mean, maintaining the lifestyle we had) required it. I'm not 'brave' or particularly noteworthy for doing it, though. It was just a fact of circumstances, and I would rather struggle personally with my changed circumstances than struggle to provide activities and experiences for the kids, and riding and horses for myself and Wren.

I'm off today, and so I have had the ability to put a kid on the bus, make pizza dough from scratch for tonight's dinner, take care of some details for an upcoming horse show I am the volunteer coordinator for, and, yes, get out to the barn and get a ride in. Then I will make homemade pizza for dinner, and head to the museum to give a tour this evening. If I feel really ambitious, I'll vacuum the floors, maybe. It's nice to get a break in the week, but I will be back at work tomorrow. I'm just glad the time change is this weekend so heading to ride after work doesn't mean an intense race against the sun.

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