Thursday, September 1, 2016

New season, new job

The leaves are beginning to turn their pretty fall colors around here and the insane (for me) heat is starting to wane. At last. Autumn has always been my favorite season. Much more so than New Year's, it seems like a renewal. Winter is a time for hibernation and occasional lifting of spirits. Spring is the time of anticipation and ramps up into summer, when there's always stuff going on. Fall, on the other hand, doesn't seem to know where it's at. It's simultaneously a season of starting anew (new school year) and slowing or quieting down. The busy-ness of summer gives way to a quieter, more contemplative season as the days get shorter and the temperature slowly starts to drop. I love it. "Clair de Lune" has been playing endlessly in my head, not that I mind, and seems to capture how the season feels for me. It has a quiet sort of energy to it, soaring and beautiful without being overpowering.
The change in seasons usually brings with it a change in  point of view for me, particularly autumn. Taking stock of my life at the end of summer works well for me, far more so than the middle of winter. Changes always occur. We got married in autumn, at my request. (My husband would say, at my insistence.) We'll mark five years on this coming Sunday.
Some of the changes made in autumn are always out of my control, which brings the usual mix of good and bad. HusbandX's job, we found out in mid-August, decided not to extend a full contract to him. The one bright side is that it was for company reasons, not for performance reasons. (They don't have enough senior staff to take on more junior staff.) But once again, he would be jobless come the fall.
For a while, I was just angry. It seemed that life was throwing us more of the same old crap just as we were starting to get comfortable, to hope that we could change our circumstances. I was mad at the company for not telling us sooner, so that he could begin job hunting that much faster. I thought of how much time we've already spent living in my parents' house when we (foolishly) planned it to be for no more than 3-6 months. This was particularly notable when I realized how much our daughter has changed since we moved in here and when I further realized that, soon, she'll have spent as much of her life in this house as she did in Fairbanks. Half her life in a place we've considered a temporary living situation, with only two rooms actually "ours". I've just been angry at it all.
After a while, I got sick of being angry. I was sad, too, and it was affecting how I interact with the people around me. Since I'm mostly at home, that means I was taking out my anger and frustration on my family. It's not pleasant to realize that, particularly as a mom. What a terrible example to set! So I decided to be more proactive, to do something to change our circumstances. I'm sick of waiting for companies to realize how great my husband is. I'm tired of being at home all the time, having nothing in common with the moms that I meet in this fancy neighborhood, and feeling like my brain is atrophying from disuse.
People (mostly nosy neighbors) keep mentioning that surely our daughter is old enough for preschool now. (Depends on the preschool, it turns out.) HusbandX and I talked it over and decided that, even if she's not old enough, it would be good for her to get more social time with kids her own age. We can see how starved she is for that, so putting her in either preschool or daycare would actually be a good thing.
With all of this and more going through my head, I started a job hunt. A really, really lazy job hunt. I applied for a grand total of three jobs over the course of four days, two of which were part time. Thankfully, since I was applying for jobs that I had plenty of experience for, I heard back from one of them the day after sending in my application. I had a phone interview a couple of days later, and then they asked for an onsite interview. Apparently, I nailed it. I had no sooner gotten home than I received a call saying that the team was impressed with me and that they wanted to do a background check and get some references before extending me the offer.
The background check cleared, of course, and my wonderful references said nice things about me (I assume), so yesterday I accepted the offer. I'm still stunned by how quickly everything has moved. HusbandX's employment ends this Friday, and mine begins next Wednesday, just over two weeks after submitting my application. I'll only be working part time, but I'll still be receiving full benefits, which is incredible. Occasionally I'll be asked to come in full time, but I don't mind that. My biggest concern was that I wouldn't cover the cost of childcare, or that I'd just barely cover it. (After taxes, transportation, office-appropriate clothes and childcare, not to mention the allure of convenience when you're tired from working all day, you might be surprised at how much it costs just to have a job.) In this case, however, the company will cover my bus fare, and I'll be earning enough to have some money leftover even after childcare, taxes, and my retirement contributions. I might not be earning much each year, certainly not enough for us to live on in an expensive city like Seattle, but the math still works out in favor of this job. Plus, the mental relief it brings to me is worth quite a bit more.
Even better, the company seems like a neat place to work. Ethical, based on the benefits they offer, what they do, and how they're organized, and everyone I talked to said that they enjoy working there. The position I'm filling shouldn't be particularly taxing, nor will it be completely mindless. It's a mix of duties (reception/admin assistant type work) so every day will be a little different. I was concerned that my upcoming trip to Russia would be a problem, but they're fine with it. Phew!
I have so much to be excited about this autumn. It's not what we'd planned on, and it's not even what I'd hoped to be excited about (house hunting...), but it's a good change.
I'm also feeling more hopeful again in general. My optimism came back before I even had an interview, just from beginning the process of searching for a job. It turns out that doing something to fix a situation, rather than just being angry about it, is the best way to feel better. I know that HusbandX will get another job, and it should happen much more quickly this time. Good things are starting to accumulate, and the tail end of 2016 should be better than the first half of it was.

1 comment:

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