Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Setting Myself Up For Success Means Making New Choices

I made a pretty big decision over the weekend, and it goes along with my goal of making healthy choices to achieve good health and well being.

It all started when I began a new workout routine before work.  This was 6 months ago.  Now I may seem like a mild-mannered university administrator, but my job involves event planning, individual counseling sessions with hundreds of students, presentations to large and small groups, and maneuvering and surfing the politics and pettiness that exist in every workplace, mine included.  I built my department, and it has turned out to be very strategically important for the school.  My bosses have been very appreciative of my work, and it felt great.  So I have been given more and more responsibility, and very little additional personnel to help. We run on a shoe string. I have been so thankful that I started working out, because it has helped me manage the physical and mental ramifications of my work stress.  That was BIG LESSON #1  and an ah-ha moment.

When I decided to make a serious commitment to my weight loss and health in November, I felt a shift occur inside my mind.  No longer was I willing to sacrifice my health and time with my family in order to keep growing my department at work.  I began to scale back my operation a little bit and really look at the things that are most stressful and try and figure out different ways of approaching the task.  I think this has been a great learning experience  -- slowly shifting my priorities so that I can achieve not only wellness but well being.  I'm beginning to understand that even small changes can make a big difference.  BIG LESSON #2.

I also scheduled some vacation time little by little each month.  Instead of charging through the worst of it without taking a break for months, I put in for one or two days per month until the end of the semester.  My anniversary, the days my kids have off of school (that was always stressing me out to find care for them), my birthday.  Addressing those things that give me stress, while also taking some time to recharge.  It isn't my employer's fault that I haven't been doing that - it's mine.  It's my choice to try and make my life happier on a more regular basis.  BIG LESSON #3.

So back to my big decision.  I've decided to leave my job at the end of the term.  We can financially swing for me to have some time to regroup and see what my next adventure is.  I have a couple of business ideas that I can develop, or the universe may open some doors, now that my eyes and heart are also open.

I know that everyone encounters workplace stress, and that it's tough to be a working parent.  I have the world's best husband who has given more than his share of time to help keep this family running.  We are a good team.  But perhaps I can find an opportunity closer to home (instead of 40 minutes away).  It's the little things that add up and if I can reduce a few, I know I will be healthier for it.  I've already scoped out a Y near my son's school so that I can continue my morning exercise routine.

As a career counselor, I've broken a few rules here.  You're never supposed to quit a job unless you have another one.  Well, it's okay.  At least I know how to look for a job  or maybe even create one for myself.  Thanks for listening.

1 comment:

Caitlin R said...

Wow that's a big decision! And you've put so much thought into it. I hope you can work out something that is better for your health and well being overall.