I feel stuck. Every area of my life. Well, most every area. Stuck.
Work. I am a social worker and have been working in social work since 1998. I typically choose jobs and populations that are challenging and often crisis-driven. I'm tired. Nearly ten years of challenge and crisis. Very, very tired. Without sounding too cocky, I am good at what I do and take great pride in my work. This perhaps is also my greatest downfall. My boss's boss told me several times last week that they basically don't listen to me when I say I need help because they know I am so competent. See what I mean? My greatest downfall. He also said that because I work so hard it allows the people around me to work less hard. He is one of those people that has to work less hard because I work so hard. Additionally, I work in residential services. So, I work a lot of holidays, two evenings per week, and one weekend day. I'm also getting tired of my variable schedule. I have to be part of an on-call system that I hate. When I moved into this job a little over a year ago, this position was supposed to grow into a more administrative position and it hasn't. I feel like I need to say good bye to social work. It feels like a death. I love and hate the field all at the same time. It is all I have ever done and I hold a masters degree in social work and I am good at it. But, it is no longer healthy for me.
Marriage and Family. My husband and I met nearly nine years ago and we have been married for two and a half years. We moved in together after one year of dating and for all intents and purposes we might as well have been married at that time too. Almost two years ago we decided that we wanted to have children in the near future. Just over a year ago I moved to a less stressful job (still within social work) with hours different from my husband's hours. Our intention was to need very little child care and my mother was happy to assist with this. Last autumn we "actively" started trying to conceive. Seven cycles later and still no baby. The conclusion of this cycle really upset me. Really. I'm beginning to wonder if it will happen for us. I'm beginning to think about fertility treatments and adoption. Questioning what is right for us. I have concluded that my career path is one of the problems.
Creativity. I want to be an artist. I want to create. I want to write. I want to surround myself in beautiful things and beautiful thoughts. I want to open a yarn store. I want to get an MFA in writing. I want to have the energy to do these things and I feel like the stress of work often prevents me from doing the things I really love.
Money. I am going to sit down and figure out what our fixed expenses are and how much money we have to bring in to maintain our basic expenses. Then, I want to start elminiating the extras. I want to pay off whatever is extraneous and determine how much money I absoultly need to bring in to maintain the lifestyle we want. Then, I want to re-focus my effort and energy on creating. Creating the book that has been doing cart-wheels in my brain. Creating a healthier, happy life for myself and my husband. Creating the space that I want my house to be. Creating the life that we so much want to parent. Creating the business that will support my need to create with fiber. Creating a lifestyle that will allow me to spend every moment I can with our child and not resent my job while my baby is in day care.
Reality. I know this won't all happen overnight. I am thinking that I may need to give myself a six month or one year time frame to make this happen. I know my husband also needs to change jobs--he is in a similar boat. We are pursueing some state jobs for him which will provide for our family the excellent benefits that my job now provides. I do, at times, love social work. I would like to continue to work one day a week, on my terms, in the field. This would also provide a set amount of income to count on while I work on some variable, creative sources of income. Or, hopefully, the one day a week I get to spend with adults while I am a SAHM.
Thank you for listening, if you made it this far. I think I needed to get it out, to sort it out, to plan, to help me commit to what I know is right.