It’s amazing how fast life can change and cause drastic changes in one’s routine.
Tomorrow will definitely see some drastic changes in my life, and in just short time. I woke up Friday morning and started it in my usual fashion – get son off to school, dress for work, feed the dog, take a 2.5 mile walk, open the office and proceed with business at hand. At 2 p.m. I went back for what I thought was a third interview for the position of Office Support Assistant in the North Central Research and Outreach Center at the University of Minnesota. Instead I was handed a contract to sign, filled out a short online form and an “in case of emergency” form and was asked to report to work at 8 a.m. Monday morning. By 2:15 p.m. my new supervisor and the department head were telling me to “have a good weekend and we’ll see you Monday.” I was told that by starting while it is still April I would be eligible for my benefits on May 1. Having been without benefits since the end of July 2011, I was thrilled and the stress of getting sick or injured and not having coverage was immediately gone. It was also so wonderful knowing that I will be back at my former income level and not trying to get by on 15 hours a week and supplemental unemployment, which combined was less than 2/3 of my regular income.
When I woke up yesterday I realized how much this is going to change my daily routine. Starting an hour earlier and having to drive (10 miles rather than 1 mile) will impact my morning walk as well as my walk home (2-mile round trip) at lunch time. Do I take the same morning route only earlier or do I wait until after work? What exercise will I be able to accomplish during my new lunch time – don’t know how long it will be (although there is plenty of area to walk around the campus and grounds). I now won’t see the regulars on my morning walk – the city crew waving from whichever piece of equipment they are working from, the local police officers patrolling the school areas, the retired men who walk every morning at the same time and the young woman who races past me on her run. This does make me a little sad – they have been a small part of my life for the past few years.
I will go from an office of one to an office of 25-20 staff members. I am very excited about this because I love being around others but it may take a while to get used to – after 5+ years I am used to doing things in my own manner with few interruptions. There will be a lot to learn – again I am excited because I am ready to learn more, step out of my box and try new experiences.
Fortunately I will still be able to work a couple hours a day for the company I have been with since February 2007. The new job is 32 hours a week. The difference is that I will now have the office open late afternoon rather than in the morning, and will still attend some evening meetings representing the old company. I am thrilled my boss and I were able to come to an agreement because I have been so happy with them, the staff and the job overall – they have become like family to me.
There was also shopping to do. In my current position I wore mainly blue or black jeans and casual tops and sweaters – only having to wear dress pants and nicer blouses for occasional meetings. The new job requires dress pants every day (with the exception of Friday when I can wear jeans as long as I wear a school-logo top) and dressier blouses and sweaters. So yesterday I hit the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, another thrift store and a few rummage sales. Luckily I found enough clothing to get by until I start getting a regular paycheck and am better able to afford new clothes. Being thrifty, I will continue my shopping at thrift stores and rummage sales – I love great deals!
Another big change will be my sparking time. Up until now I was able to log-on during quiet times at the office and I am not sure how it will fit into my new position. No matter what, I will find my “spark time” because it is such an important part of my life – as are all my amazing friends here.
Thank you everyone who has encouraged, motivated and supported me on this job journey – you made the difficult times easier and I am so thrilled to be able to share this wonderful news, as well as celebrate, with all of you.