Thursday, February 10, 2011

Career Barbie

Ok, so not so much barbie, as career mom. Started my new job as a team member of a local State Farm agent on Jan 10, and found myself thrown into the deep end rather quickly. I took the place of a team member who had been there for 7 yrs, who left suddenly in mid-December. Since she gave no notice, nothing was wrapped up and no one was prepared. Toss in the Holidays for good measure, and everyone was left overwhelmed. When I came in, I had *Some* experience from working in Dad's office, so they threw me into the mix. Everyone was happy to have their work load reduced, but I really only knew enough to be dangerous. This agency is 5 times larger than my dad's, so the volume of work is too. Now I like getting into the mix of things, but I had SO much to learn, and in the mean time the work piled up. I was thrown into the deep end and I could barely dog paddle. On top of that, we could NOT find a babysitter, and I was beginning to freak. Previous babysitters couldn't help. No family help. People from craigslist didn't work out. Referrals didn't work out. I had exhausted all of my contacts and had no prospects. Brandon had to miss work so that I could work. Kids did NOT take my new change in jobs well at all. In fact, Braylen took to 4 weeks of begging not to go to school, throwing himself in the floor and crying once we got there. 4 weeks!

During this time, I was supposed to be studying for state exams for 4 licenses which were required for my employment...on my own time. Those tests are beasts. I had taken them before, and the classes for Life & Health is supposed to be 40 hrs, plus studying. Add another 40 hrs, plus studying for Property & Casualty. Oh, and I forgot to mention I was dealing with a new crop (13 people)of people who were interested in buying Cutie Tooties and hounding me with LOTS of emails, phone calls & requests for information, reports, stats, etc. Since it was already 2011, suddenly everyone needed my 2010 numbers, which meant HOURS of work for me. At one point about 2.5 wks into the melee, I had meltdown. I was on the verge of tears all of the time. One night I just crawled into the bed with Braylen (he was conked out) and just BAWLED. It was awful. They were miserable. I was stressed & miserable. I liked my job, or thought I would eventually, but I began to wonder if I had made the wrong decision. Through out the last 8 months since I decided to sell the store, I have spent a LOT of time praying for guidance. This path has never been clear or simple. Honestly, I have never felt like I knew exactly where I was going, I was just trying to move forward in faith. Taking the proverbial first step, over and over again. As I got into the thick of things in January, I began to wonder if maybe I had screwed up royally. In my heart, I didn't believe I had, but I DEFINITELY FELT like I had.

Did I mention that I began January anxiety/depression meds-free? Yeah...good timing, huh? I had began weaning myself since October b/c I hated the side effects, and honestly didn't know me without them. 7+ years on meds will do that to you. In December, I began taking Seredyn & Amoryn (after much research) into herbal anxiety remedies. I started taking them with current meds, and then weaned off meds. I am happy to say that this has made me feel a lot better physically. And I seem to finally be able to lose some weight. Going to get my work pants altered today! But, I think that was all a lot of change in a short period of time. Thankfully, I am adjusting. And we found a great babysitter. Kids are adjusting. Braylen only threw himself in the floor once this week! I passed my tests and the store is *almost* sold. Just need to sign the contract! So we are now rocking along. I feel like this is a new chapter for us all, and I am enjoying it. It has been hard b/c it has changed my time with my children, but we are making the most of the time we do have together, and the extra income is a HUGE relief. Selling the store will be lifting a huge burden. Mentally, I think I will be healthier, which I have to believe will make me a better mom.

On a side note, this journey has taken an interesting turn. Getting off anxiety meds for me has really lifted a veil. I used to see crises and experience them through this vague numbness. Now it hits me a little harder, so I am FEELing a lot more. I am making a conscious effort to pray through it and try to allow myself to change. I am becoming more aware of the importance and weight of words, what I say, how I say it. Before, I was able to keep that at arms length in an effort to survive. Now, that I'm not so numb, everything feels different. Everything looks different. Its been (and will continue to be) a good thing for me. I am acutely aware that I am a work in progress. In some ways I think the work in this department has been on hold for the last 5 yrs, so there is a good bit of ground to cover. I'm just trying my best not to impede the progress. Will keep you posted, though it may not be as frequently as I did before. :)

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