I have no idea what this title means. I am two glasses into a nice cheap Sauvignon Blanc (it’s in the 70s here, white wine is appropriate) after a very productive and fun day with my husband. He’s sleeping and I’m tippy-tappy- typing. I like alliteration. Sue me.
I left a large defense company in 2006 to steer my ship a little more into the wild. I promptly started biology classes at USF and loved it. My third semester in, I juggled classes with part-time work and volunteering at the sanctuary. I think my favorite time was the summer and fall of 2007 – working part-time, taking some OK classes, involved in some really fun field work, and volunteering.
I left my work, and soon after classes, to be at the sanctuary full-time in 2008. I was a part-time employee by choice in order to give all the attention I wanted/was required to the animals. (Employees did administrative/managerial work. Animal care and management was (and still is) done by volunteers.) I was one of the only employees who stressed for this division. It was my little dig at the founder – hoping she would understand that she could not staff the sanctuary with those who were also the best volunteers and expect miracles.
I made it almost 2 years in that capacity. I made some of my most embarrassing and serious-consequence adult mistakes during that time. I also grew a lot. I think I learned some patience. I grew more comfortable with my leadership personality. As such, I knew when to place my bets and when to walk away. Change was afoot.
I walked away.
I started my weird pseudo employment with my Gma. (BTW, that’s just an abbreviation – how she always signed cards. When reading it aloud, I say “Grandmother” or “Grandma”.) The hardest thing for me to accept was how little she actually wanted help. But slowly I learned. This job taught me a lot of patience.
Tangent: I am a huge fan of Anne Tyler’s work. Even wrote a paper on her in college. In The Clock Winder, the protagonist, Elizabeth, ends up working for a very elderly man at one point. And she describes a sort of fight the two of them have daily over how much effort he’ll put into living. She feels she’s always losing. Because I was close to my grandparents my whole life, and the closest family member to them for over 10 years, this fight was very familiar to me. But never so much more during July of 2012.
When I came back from hiking in May 2012, I fell into this weird offer from my dog groomer to be her assistant. Not that the offer was weird, per se. Or she was (although she is kinda out there). It was just one of those opportunities that falls into your lap and you take it. She knew my grandmother was very sick at the time, and was amiable to my employment being temporary. She put up with my copious weekends away to be with family, have a service, take care of the cabin, etc.
Now, I have arranged to visit my mother for an extended spell. And so, after two days of training my replacement, I am unemployed. Today was to be my last day. She called this morning to say the day hadn’t filled up as she hoped and she couldn’t really afford both of us so I was free.
Since Tom and I plan to move, and hopefully start a business together, I have no one but myself (and him, I suppose) to hold me accountable for the foreseeable future.