Adjusting….again

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Can’t remember when this was taken, but I love looking at these rocks/cliffs across the lake.

Six months ago, I didn’t think I’d be in this spot of being the “newbie” all over again, but I am. I got in my car, drove cross country with five cats, and all my stuff, and my dog Osito on my lap (yes, it was INSANE), and thought “this is it, this is THE big move. The one that  changes my life.”

Well, it did. And it was A big move, but not the last one ever. But it got me closer to where I am today, so yes, it did change my life. Just not in all the ways I thought it would.

People ask me why I moved cross country to an area where I pretty much knew no one. People asking sometimes sound like they don’t understand how I could do that, or that they think I’m brave for doing it, or that they think I’m crazy, “Oh, I could NEVER do that…” And I realize when I start telling my story (I’ve tried to abbreviate for folks as much as possible but inevitably, when the words “Harvard Law” come out of my mouth, there’s a bunch more questions that follow), just how crazy it sounds. Leave a job at a premier law school where I was making more money than I had ever made, using both advanced degrees I am still paying for (and likely always will be until I hit retirement age or die), to take care of animals who poop all day (an average of 360 times, to be exact), and then start working at a campground as a supervisor. I now have much more responsibility than I think I ever have in a job before (except for maybe when I was a lawyer and that came with its own sort of craziness.) It does sound a bit insane, doesn’t it? 

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Photo taken at the “bewitching” hour, i.e. right before sunrise. 

So I find myself again not completely sure of what I am doing at work, but as I mentioned to one of my team leads yesterday, I have learned to embrace change more than i ever had before the past year. I used to be afraid to take chances. To make big choices and then deal with the consequences. I was most DEFINITELY afraid of failure.

This is not to say that any of that doesn’t scare me now. It still does. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. It’s just that I can put things in a different sort of perspective. I told my Team Lead that whereas before, something might have super stressed me out, I now try to think to myself as to whether something will still really matter a year from now. Or, I think of the changes I’ve made in my life in the past year and try to compare the change or choice I am about to make, and see how they match up. And, not for nothing, but I’m 43, and I keep hearing about health problems that some of my former high school classmates are going through or have gone through, how many have already died. So, it kind of puts things in perspective.

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My most recent pre-sunrise photo. Made getting up so early so worth it.

 

I will admit I’m a bit nervous about doing a good job at the job I’m at now. There is a ton to remember – everyone keeps telling me eventually it will all make sense. (I hope that’s the case, like how all of a sudden the mental block I had about giving sub-Q fluids and keeping the needles sterile, gave way, and I  “got it.” Now it seems like second nature to me to give fluids to Bonkers.)

Someone will show me how to do something and at the time it’s explained to me, it makes sense and I can do it. But trying to retain it all is a bit daunting. At times, I feel like a brand new reference librarian all over again – like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights, I might freeze when you asked me the simplest question.  Or, how I used to freeze when anyone asking a question would involve business terminology like stocks, equities, securities. You could ask me to find a law or treaty for you in a language I couldn’t read, no problem. But ask me a business-related question and I would sheepishly call for help from my old officemate who was super patient with me all the time. (God, thinking about her now, I really miss her a lot.)  Sorry, tangent there for a minute….

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I took this a few hours before a storm rolled in. Just loved seeing the weirdness of the colors of the sky. I thought it almost looked the color that a sky would look before a tornado hits. Also loved how dark blue the lake appeared. I’ve always been enamored with storms.

I’ve been trying to calm myself down when moments of panic or self-doubt occur, by remembering I used to be a reference librarian, and if I do so say so, a damn good one too. I was  persistent in finding things, even when I had very little to go on sometimes.  I felt confident in my skills. And now, well, it’s just hard being the one asking all the questions again, not having the answers, and knowing that at the same time, I will have people looking to me for answers. I’m going to have people reporting to me who are trying to figure me out, what kind of boss/supervisor I am going to be. Maybe that is the part that stresses me out the most, knowing I will have people looking to me to be a leader, while I’m still trying to figure out just what the hell I am doing, and how to navigate the large organization I’ve just joined. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just not feeling like I have my feet firmly planted underneath me just yet. 

I’ve always been a straight shooter and one thing I’ve never been is the person who plays politics. I don’t kiss up to people, that is just NOT in my nature. But I know that others do, and I know that others will try to stab you in the back. Some friends in the past have faulted me for being too trusting. Maybe I am, but I would hate to be cynical and negative all the time as the alternative.

One thing I am not used to doing is saying “no” to people. When you work at Harvard Law, you don’t say no to professors often. There are always rules and there are always exceptions to the rule that are granted. As a librarian, you always want to do your very best to satisfy the patron. You look and look and look for the answer, or the way to show them how to find the answer him/herself. I know I will sometimes have to say “no” to staff and their requests and/or a customer (although  I will try my best to accommodate as many as I can.)

The girl training me at my job is the outgoing supervisor and a person with whom I wish I had spent more time working. She’s very cool and seems to really have the respect of the people underneath her. She works very hard also. She told me I am doing well and that she thinks I might be placing too much stress on myself right now. But that’s the Type A personality in me that got me through law school. The part of me that always feels like I need to work harder than anyone else, just to stay up there with them. It’s the part of me that always felt, when training for a marathon, like I had to run just one more mile more than anyone else. I really did. Ask my training partner from back then. Some days we would have 14 miles on the training plan and I would tell myself to go home and run just one more.

I know things will eventually calm down. If you’ve read all the way through this, then you’re either on a mission from God, or a glutton for punishment. Either way, I thank you.

I do hope you have enjoyed some of the photos sprinkled throughout this post. I’ve been running a lot more lately, with the gorgeous sunrises that I am treated to almost every morning.

And now, I’m going to take a deep breath and hit “publish.” Some posts are just cathartic for me to write, whether or not they ever get read by anyone.

16 thoughts on “Adjusting….again

  1. Hopefully things just get easier for you. I’m certain they will…things are like that.

    We are very similar in some ways. I went to library school and would have LOVED to be a reference librarian for a few years, but the economy didn’t work out…I graduated in 2008. And I’ve run 5 marathons and know exactly what you mean about feeling you need to run one more mile. Though I never actually DID that. Getting through the planned miles once we were up in the 14, 15, 16, etc mile range was hard enough for me. And I’d REALLY love to just get in a RV and travel west with my dog. But husband and house and responsibilities here are my excuse for now. Someday. I know I know. Someday could be now. But he really doesn’t want anything to do with that lifestyle so I’d have to just do it on my own. Which isn’t a problem so much as it would hurt his feelings. So we will see. I’m hoping, now that I’m retired, that I’ll be able to camp more with the dog around here and get the husband used to the idea of us being gone for extended times.

    • I know of another lady who blogs and she goes on extended trips from her husband (think you read her blog, Kimbolopolo.blogspot.com) Wow, you have done five marathons! That’s so many more than me, that’s super impressive. I can understand that yearning you have, wanting to do something different, but not having a a partner that would want to, or could do, it without you.

      I’m jealous you are retired – I would love to be in your shoes, but I guess we always think the grass is greener elsewhere, huh?

      And you know what? Being a reference librarian isn’t always what it is cracked up to be, although there were many good things about it. I miss parts of it, now, for sure.

  2. I love your life and what you’re doing. Those feelings you’re having are called “living”!! Fear, insecurity, learning new things, those are real living! I envy you more than you will ever know. Most people ask those questions because they’ll never know what it’s like to truly be alive. They live in their bubbles and never test themselves or explore this wonderful thing we’ve been given.
    Keep it up, embrace those feelings.

    • Willie, a friend told me that being a warrior is pushing through those feelings and that that is something most people don’t ever do. So she called me a warrior – I was so proud!

      I remember when we both went through some scary personal stuff a few years ago – I’m glad for both of us that we seem to have come out the other side, for the better. And thank you for being so supportive.

  3. Yes, I got to the end! I always look forward to hearing what you are doing. I was just about to start to worry, so glad you popped in for a visit! ;->

    Sounds like you are doing just fine! Keep enjoying the skies and other scenery.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    • Sorry to make you worry (again) – when I first started the job, I was also pet sitting at night for a friend who lives in town, and so I would just get home at night and crash. Yesterday, I just felt like I had to get this post out. Thank you for always supporting me and for reading all the way to the end of my long-ish posts!!

      • I hadn’t thought of it until just now, but I made a drastic life change at 42, so maybe that is why your experiences are so interesting to me.

        Your next phase is going to be a challenge, but when the chips are down, Girl, you will be able to do it! ;->

  4. It’s always great to hear your latest news and thoughts, Terri. One thing I’m fairly sure of: you’ve never been one of those people who wants to live as if her mission in life is to pay the bills to Comcast and Bank of America. Mastery takes time, and you’ll get there. Enjoy the view and keep in touch! David

    • Hi DAvid,

      You have always “totally gotten me” since day 1 of us sharing an office together all those years ago. Can you believe that was 11 years ago??!! And no, I don’t want to live a life just to pay bills. I want to know that when I go into that grave, or cremation (kiln?) I’ve lived a good life and have made this world a better place, at least for the time being. 🙂

      Yep, I guess it did take us a while as librarians to know just what the F was going on, didn’t we?! I miss you. {hugs}

  5. Ah you, you will be just great- you have youth on your side to figure out where and what you’re doing 🙂 I left WA state this last Sunday and have finally reached my ‘home’ state at least, today, been talking to people here in nice pubs, etc…..New Mexico. I admire your drive so much, figuratively and literal drive I’m talking about, with all those loved pets of yours!! You are reaching for Your Stars, so keep believing and follow your heart 🙂 I would love to meet up with you somewhere, once I get my special place figured out here….we’re alot closer than we than we were distance wise now ! Write me anytime you want, ok? 🙂

    • Hey Jenn,

      I am so glad for you you got on the road! (I tried to respond to you yesterday but then my computer freaked out, so that was the end of that…) I will gladly write you privately so we can correspond that way. I know right now it’s probably super scary for you with all the newness – but I am glad you are liking NM.

      That moment when you hit the state line – it was really exciting but a bit scary, right?

  6. Hey, starting over is never easy! But, you are doing a darn good job at it.

    God bless you!

    We officially hit the road on March 15th. I am ready :), and pray for God’s guidance. What is the name of the Rv park that you manage? Maybe one day we can stay there.

    • Oh that is awesome for you guys!! I’m excited for you! I’m at the wahweap campground at the Glen Canyon National Recreation area. It’s part of the lake powell resort. Considered to be in Page, AZ.

  7. Hey, you’re doing things the western way now, just jump on and ride. And you’re holding on admirably, I might say. You’ll look back and this will all be nothing, because you’ll be doing even bigger stuff, right? And pretty soon, you’ll be climbing Denali with a smile (figuratively, maybe).

    • I am not sure how well I am holding on, honestly. Some days I feel extremely stressed, like I have bitten off a lot more than I can chew. Maybe it’s because so much is always new to me. I feel like maybe I’ve hit my “newness” saturation point. I will email you privately. 🙂

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