Year End/Spring Clean

Today is the beginning.

Apartment Therapy Spring Clean. Yes, I know that we are planning an imminent move, but we’re disorganized and cluttered, and it is really affecting our state of mind, and it is spilling over into our work lives. I’m not using the ‘royal’ we here – I do mean Big S and me. While he’s still in between contracts, he has been given notice that work will start in two weeks, and training begins this coming weekend. We’ve got two weeks to get our lives sorted. Then mass pandemonium will inevitably ensue. The aforementioned chaos will be somewhat lessened by good organization, cleanliness and efficiency. None of which do we presently hold. Adding to this, is a feeling that our disorganized home life is spilling over into my work life. It is fiscal year end. A time I usually relish. I love tidying-up the year, and putting accounts to rest, starting new files, closing the old and ushering in the new. But this last year has felt like I’ve been working in a blizzard; trying to shovel and clear a path in the snow, but it just keeps pouring down, and my work is futile. It is busy. I’m not closing out my work day. I’m thinking about work all the time, and it just isn’t positive or beneficial. It doesn’t help me get the work done. I should be able to get everything done within the alloted time. But we’ve had staffing issues, change overs, and just general changes that are shaping and changing the structure of my work. I’m often hard pressed to tell people what I do. Do I run a lab? What parts of the lab? The finance and the HR? Maybe if I got a hold of what exactly it is that I’m doing, I could focus on one thing at a time. But instead, I’m fractured, separated in disparate areas. Trying to learn how to do new things, while maintaining the old duties. Trying to figure out how the lab works, without really knowing how the lab ‘actually’ works. I’m out of my league, and wish that I had somehow obtained an Engineering Degree by osmosis. Oh yes, I know I’ve been working at the same place for many years, but in the past the Lab Manager kept all things lab related under lock and key. He did not like it when I asked questions about how things worked, what projects folks were working on, and what the outcomes of research were for our group. So over the years, I gradually asked less questions, and stuck to what was my position – the HR and Finance. But holy, I’m doing so much more these days. So much more. It is hard to keep it under control. To not forget the little things, but especially to discern between what is important versus what is an emergency. Everything feels like its immediate. It is always pressing. It isn’t. But it is taking me a while to figure this out. To try to support the students, staff and faculty. I don’t think that things will fall apart if I leave. Everyone here will be just fine. I’m quite expendable. Not always the best feeling, but it is pretty true, we’re all replaceable, so how do I get to the point where this place is running like a Porsche? Where I can step away for an evening, a day, a weekend or heaven forbid a whole week without everyone contacting me and expecting that I answer immediately?

This is what I’m going to spend the next few weeks figuring out. This year I want to take a break. I want to spend time with my family, where I’m actually off of work. Not thinking about it, or spending my evenings working instead of spending them with my family. Don’t get me wrong. I like my work, and I want to continue to like my work, and to do this there has to be time off – everyday.

***I didn’t post this right away, I wanted to sit on it and think about what I’ve written. As it turns out Big S was called into work, and thus the slog starts. It will be fine. He’s committed to doing the clean-up along with me, just at a different time. I’m a little sad, as this is the first night, and I already miss the big guy. What a sap, but I love the guy. Otherwise, things are going really well. Committed to the home and work, and feeling mildly renewed already.

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